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Can The Sooners Close Strong And Make A Splash In NCAA Tournament?

Coming off of two tough losses against Oklahoma State, the No. 16 Oklahoma Sooners return home to host the No. 15 Texas Longhorns Thursday in their regular-season finale.

Despite both teams being ranked in the top 20, the Sooners (14-8, 9-7 Big 12) have lost their last three games, while the Longhorns (15-7, 9-6) have lost five of their last six games against ranked opponents. 

Oklahoma senior forward Brady Manek — one of the program’s top scorers — is hoping he finds the same rhythm in the finale that he had at the start of the season.

Coming off a 20-point performance on Monday night, Manek enters the matchup just four points shy of becoming the 15th player in program history to total 1,400 career points.

Manek said his inconsistency this season has really worn on him.

“[When] you don’t make many shots, yeah, it wears on you. You go into games and you’re wide open and missing them, and you don’t know what’s going on,” Manek said. “Then you turn it around like the other night and I have a good game, and now I definitely don’t know what’s going on because you go from one extreme to another.”

He said he played well in some games but that others were “weird.”

“Then the other games I was getting tons of rebounds, and it was just a weird scenario,” he said. “It definitely goes up and down, especially when I had a cold streak there for a couple of games. It was wearing on me a little bit.”

Now on the game’s fourth rescheduled date, Manek said he hopes the team can defeat Texas and finish strong.

“We all know the importance of this last one. We don’t want to be in that bottom four [in the league] and go back to where we have been,” Manek said. “We definitely know what the stakes are for this one. We’re trying to stay in a good seed for the postseason. We’re trying to stay in a good seed for the Big 12 Tournament.”

Although there are a few games left in college basketball and conference championships to play before tournament discussions begin, the Sooners are hopeful.

The NCAA Tournament Selection Committee announced its top 16 teams in a mock bracket selection, with Oklahoma as a No. 3 seed, OU Athletics said.

Written by Megan Turner

Meg is in her last semester at the University of Central Florida and writes and tweets about anything related to sports. She replies to comments she shouldn't reply to online and thinks the CFP Rankings are absolutely rigged.

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