Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin, Purdue, and Oklahoma Headline this week's Sunday Mailbag

There were a lot of storylines this week after 4 of the top 5 teams lost to unranked teams. Check out this weeks Mailbag for more key storylines from this week in NCAA Basketball

Jan 13, 2024; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers guard AJ Storr (2) dribbles the ball down
Jan 13, 2024; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers guard AJ Storr (2) dribbles the ball down / Kayla Wolf-USA TODAY Sports
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 Which upset from the past 48 hours of a top 15 team concerns you the most?- Tristan Freeman (@hoopsnut351)

Tristan is referring to Tuesday and Wednesday night last week when the following top 25 teams lost. #1 Purdue lost at Nebraska, #2 Houston lost at Iowa State, # 3 Kansas lost at Central Florida, #5 Tennessee lost at Mississippi State. Those were just the teams in the top 5. The rest of the top 25 losers were # 23 Gonzaga lost at Santa Clara, # 21 Clemson lost at Virginia Tech, #9 Oklahoma lost at TCU, # 11 Marquette lost to Butler, # 17 Colorado State lost at Boise State. This was only supposed to focus on a top 15 team and of those teams there is only one team that concerns me, and only one of those teams concerned me heading into conference season. 

Purdue ran into a buzzsaw against Nebraska and the Huskers played perfect. Houston also played a desperate team in Iowa State who needed a signature win. Kansas didn’t play well in the second half against UCF and Tennessee lost to another good team against Mississippi State. All of those games were on the road. Marquette has battled injuries and Butler is a good team but that is a game they should have won. Oklahoma though, they are a team that has concerned me for a while and here is why. Oklahoma has not performed well against the teams that are going to make the NCAA tournament. They did beat Iowa State in Norman and that was the only win they currently have against a team in the field. 

Against the other bubble teams and teams in the projected field Oklahoma has not performed well. They got smoked by North Carolina, lost at TCU, and just lost to Kansas in Lawrence. No shame in losing in Lawrence but so far the Sooners have not passed their test and have not proved that they have earned their ranking. Good news for Oklahoma is that they play in the Big 12 which presents an opportunity every night but I don’t know how good they are, it appeared they were just opportunistic at the start of the season. There is a lot to prove for the Sooners to justify their record. 

Oklahoma does shoot the ball well from the outside and their offense scores over 81 points per game. However, if you look deeper into those numbers against North Carolina, Kansas, and TCU they are shooting 20-68 from deep which is 29% from deep. That is a far cry from their 35% they are shooting overall on the season. Those 81 points per game shrink down to 69 points per game against the best of the best in the league and one of the best in the country they have not played well. Oklahoma has got to figure it out like so many other tournament hopefuls do when the schedule ticks up. The two losses this week were both on the road and they have looked better at home. I know road games are hard but tournament teams will have to win some.