COLUMN: Bedlam lacks same excitement as previous matchups
Since 1935, the Bedlam men’s basketball series has been one of the most competitive in the entire nation. Oklahoma State holds a slight 85-83 edge over the Sooners. Round two of the 2012 edition at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Norman may be one of the least anticipated matchups in recent memory, though.
Ben Williams, The Oklahoma Daily
Both the Cowboys and Sooners are having sub-par seasons, and both teams have been eaten up by the incredibly difficult Big 12 conference schedule.
Oklahoma State is currently two games under .500 in the conference at 6-8, while the Sooners are faring even worse with an abysmal 3-11 conference record. Most recently, the Cowboys have broken even in their last six games. The Sooners, on the other hand, are 0-6 in their last six contests.
First-year coach Lon Kruger definitely has the Sooners on the upswing. However, this is a building year for the team. OU has struggled to find consistency during games, particularly on defense.
“I think we kind of dwell on one turnover or one missed box out or they get a layup or something like that, and it carries to two or three (possessions),” junior forward Romero Osby said. “We’ve just got to get tougher mentally with stuff like that because stuff like that is going to happen during games.”
The Sooners needed plenty of mental toughness to get through their most recent 0-6 stretch without getting down on themselves. To its credit, the team has kept a positive demeanor through its struggles.
Oklahoma cannot afford to keep waiting for a silver lining to this season, however. The team now has only four games remaining, with two on the road. Those games and the Big 12 tournament are all OU has left to build toward next season.
Coaches love the old cliché that the next game on the schedule is the most important. For OU, though, that may ring true. Oklahoma does not have much to look forward to at this point in the season. The team’s conference record will be below .500 and there will be no postseason tournament this year.
The Sooners can still split with their in-state rival and put together a solid run leading up to the offseason, however.
The game means less this year than it has in the past, but it is still Bedlam. Make no mistake: it still means a lot to the players on both squads.
After Bedlam, OU has a few days off before traveling to Baylor Friday.