Oklahoma’s unlikely ascension from unranked to No. 7 in a month’s span hit an ugly roadblock when the Sooners dropped a 62-57 decision to Kansas State on Tuesday night. It’s the first loss outside of Quad 1 this season for the Sooners, who entered the night as a projected No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, according to Jerry Palm’s latest Bracketology.
The Sooners (14-6, 9-5 Big 12) will fall off the No. 2 seed line after the defeat, which qualifies as one of the worst imaginable losses for a team playing in a major conference. Kansas State (7-18, 3-13 Big 12) had lost 13 straight games until it beat TCU on Saturday. Now it has won two straight all of the sudden.
Tuesday’s victory for the Wildcats came despite a 25-point night from Oklahoma’s Austin Reaves, who scored 18 in the second half. Kansas State was led by 19 points from Mike McGuirl, who came up clutch with series of three straight 3-pointers to help turn a 53-47 Kansas State deficit into a 58-53 lead for the Wildcats late in the game.
In total, the Wildcats outscored Oklahoma 15-4 over the game’s final 3:57. While the defeat will surely be a reality check for the Sooners, they are still in great shape to land a desirable seed in the NCAA Tournament. They had rattled off eight wins in their last nine games entering Tuesday night’s loss. That stretch included victories over West Virginia, Alabama, Texas and Kansas, all of whom were ranked in the top-15 at the time.