NORMAN, Okla. — Oklahoma still is a far cry from the team it was in mid-January when the Sooners rose to a No. 4 ranking behind the phenomenal play of freshman Trae Young.
However, after an 81-60 win over Iowa State on Friday night at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla., the Sooners figure to at least have a shot at the NCAA Tournament.
Oklahoma started its regular-season finale a bit sloppy but then began to pull away from the Cyclones late in the first half.
It was just Oklahoma’s second win in the past nine games as the Sooners improved to 18-12 overall and 8-10 in Big 12 play heading into next week’s conference tournament in Kansas City, Mo.
Kameron McGusty led the Sooners with 18 points while Christian James and Young added 15 each. Young hit just 5 of 19 shots from the floor. Kristian Doolittle led Oklahoma with 10 rebounds.
Lindell Wigginton led the Cyclones (13-17, 4-14) with 20 points. Jeff Beverly had 11 points and 15 rebounds while Donovan Jackson scored 10 points.
Oklahoma will have to wait until Saturday’sO slate of Big 12 games to learn its spot in the conference tournament. The Sooners could finish as high as sixth or as low as ninth. A sixth-place finish would earn Oklahoma a bye into Thursday’s quarterfinals, while a lower finish would necessitate playing a Wednesday first-round game.
The Cyclones are the No. 10 seed and will open the tournament Wednesday against the No. 7 seed.
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Oklahoma made just 7 of 29 3-point attempts, but Iowa State was even worse — just 13 percent (3-of-23) from behind the arc.