Sooners Advance In NCAA Men’s Hoops
(Columbus, OH) —
3rd seed Oklahoma never trailed and held off 14th seed Albany 69-60 for the Sooners 1st win in an NCAA men’s basketball tournament game since 2009 Friday night in Ohio. The Sooners jumped out to a decent lead early in the opening half and while never really running past the Great Danes from the capital of New York state, OU was never really threatened either.
Oklahoma’s inside game was great all night, especially senior TaShawn Thomas, playing in his 1st-ever NCAA tournament game. The 6-8 forward led OU in scoring with 18 points, hitting 7-11 from the field and he also blocked 4 shots. The Sooners constantly got inside Albany’s defense throughout the game and scored a bunch of points on follow shots or putbacks. Ryan Spangler grabbed 11 rebounds while also pitching in 9 points.
Big 12 Conference “Player of the Year” Buddy Hield scored 15 points to lead the Sooners perimeter gunners. Frank Booker added 8 points off the bench as the Sooners had all they needed with a 9 point halftime lead. The win was also the first victory in an NCAA tournament game for OU head man Lon Kruger since he’s been the coach at Oklahoma. Kruger also becomes the first man *ever* to coach his way to at least one tournament win with 5 different schools.
At 23-10, Oklahoma now advances to a Sunday game, also in Columbus, against the winner of the Providence – Dayton game. And if OU wins that game, they’ll advance to the round of “Sweet 16” to be played in Syracuse, New York.