12. Oklahoma (10-1)
Not many people expected this kind of start from an Oklahoma team that was picked to finish near the bottom of the Big 12 standings. Their schedule certainly wasn’t the toughest in the world but did include wins over USC, Arkansas, and Providence along the way. Unfortunately, the Sooners’ unbeaten start came to an end this past week, leaving a sour taste in their mouth throughout Christmas.
That first loss came in Charlotte at the Jumpman Invitational at the hands of a very talented North Carolina squad. The Sooners fell 81-69 for that first loss of the season. Otega Oweh continued his hot season with a 23-point performance, but the Sooners struggled with turnovers despite outrebounding the Tar Heels.
Porter Moser’s squad is certainly exceeding expectations and you’ll find few complaints about their play to this point in the season. Winning against North Carolina would have been great, especially as this was their first real test against a potentially elite team. Nevertheless, Oklahoma will have plenty of chances to prove themselves in the months ahead against a Big 12 that expected them to finish in the conference’s cellar. Home dates against Central Arkansas and Monmouth await after Christmas before those conference battles can commence.