West Virginia Vs Oklahoma Men's Basketball

Oklahoma Sooners guard Jordan Goldwire (0) shoots an uncontested 3-pointer as West Virginia Mountaineers guard Malik Curry (10) looks on Tuesday at Lloyd Noble Center.

Considering Oklahoma’s struggles through much of conference play, the situation could be worse.

With the Sooners’ 72-59 home win over West Virginia Tuesday, their second-consecutive victory, they moved into eighth place in the Big 12 standings. But for purposes of the Big 12 tournament, however, it’s technically seventh place.

Oklahoma State’s one-year postseason ban includes the Big 12 Tournament, which means only nine of the 10 conference teams will compete in Kansas City next week. With an odd number of teams competing, the first day of the conference tournament will be a play-in game between the eighth and ninth-place teams.

The winner of the play-in game is matched up with the No. 2 seed in the quarterfinals. The loser is eliminated from the tournament.

The Sooners (16-14, 6-11 Big 12) are tied in the standings with Kansas State, though the Sooners won the first meeting back in January.

If the Sooners defeat the Wildcats again in the regular season finale Saturday, they’ll enter the conference tournament with sole possession of the No. 7 seed.

That’s one fewer game they have to play, and their quarterfinal game would come against the No. 3 seed. That scenario also gives them a better chance of making a run at the tournament, which would increase their chances of earning a bid to the NCAA Tournament later this month.

However, if they lose to the Wildcats, they’ll play West Virginia in the conference play-in game and be matched up with the No. 2 seed if they win.

The Big 12 Tournament is scheduled for March 9-12 at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

• C.J. Noland returns: The freshman missed the Sooners’ game against Oklahoma State last Saturday.

But he came back in a big way against the Mountaineers Tuesday, finishing with five points, two assists, a steal and a rebound in 17 minutes. The Sooners also outscored the Mountaineers by 12 points while he was on the floor.

• No turnovers, no problems: Giveaways have been an issue for the Sooners all season, turning it over 14.9 times per game. That ranks 323rd nationally.

It looked to be another problem against the Mountaineers after they turned it over 10 times in the first half. But that changed in the second half, as the Sooners only turned it over twice.

The Sooners finished with 12 turnovers compared to 15 for the Mountaineers.

Up next

The Sooners finish the regular season against Kansas State at 3 p.m. Saturday in Manhattan.

Jesse Crittenden is the sports editor of The American and covers OU athletics. Reach him at jesse@normantranscript.com or at 405-366-3580.

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