11. Oklahoma (11-1)
Each week we talk about how these Sooners continue to surprise, and it is true based on these first twelve games. Picked near the bottom of the Big 12, Oklahoma will enter the league with heightened expectations after a laundry list of nice wins, including Providence and Arkansas in December alone. Let’s not pretend that the Sooners blew out any ranked teams, and they did struggle against North Carolina not ten days ago, but they are trending in a great direction.
Their first challenge after Christmas was back on Thursday as the Sooners won 88-72 against Central Arkansas. This was simply one of their final tune-ups before conference play begins and they played well enough, getting 23 points from Javian McCollum in the victory.
There’s very little for Porter Moser and company to complain about heading into 2024, with this program certainly in its best place since his hiring three years ago. The Sooners have shown capability on offense, had a few elite defensive showings, and look to surprise in Big 12 play, though it’ll clearly be an extremely tough undertaking. They actually host Monmouth for one last nonconference game before welcoming Iowa State to town next weekend.