Minutes before the scheduled start of the game, it was announced on Saturday that Oklahoma would be down two starters against Alabama — leading scorer Austin Reaves among them — because of COVID-19 issues within the program. Predictably, the line moved quickly. The Sooners closed as 2.5-point underdogs in some places.
But they won the game anyway.
Final score: Oklahoma 66, Alabama 61.
The Crimson Tide, in possession of one of college basketball’s most explosive offenses, missed each of the last eight shots they attempted and didn’t have a field goal in the final 4:23. So their 10-game winning streak is no more. Meanwhile, Oklahoma is now on a five-game winning streak that also features wins over Texas and Kansas. When you combine that with the fact that the Sooners beat West Virginia earlier this month, Lon Kruger’s squad just became the first team to record four regular-season wins in the same month over schools ranked in the top 10 of the Associated Press Top 25 poll in more than 45 years.
“It’s huge,” Kruger told reporters after Saturday’s victory. “Anytime you can win a game like that, [it’s] big from a resume standpoint, big from a confidence standpoint, [big for] momentum. It’s continuing to move in the right direction. Those wins, you never take those for granted.”
On the other side, Alabama coach Nate Oats seemed to suggest he was unsurprised by what happened. He said he’s seen it before.
“Sometimes, when teams are down a couple of players, there’s a galvanizing effect,” Oats explained. “It’s happened for us and against us. I thought [Oklahoma] played hard to begin with. And then when they’re down two starters, they really bought in. We tried to tell our guys. I’ve got to do a better job making sure we’re ready to play.”
The win launched Oklahoma up to No. 10 in Sunday morning’s updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings. Alabama is now No. 11. Gonzaga and Baylor remained No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, after each recorded another double-digit win. Gonzaga is now 17-0 with 16 double-digit victories. Baylor is 16-0 with 14 double-digit victories.
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Sunday’s Top 25 And 1 rankings
|Gonzaga’s perfect record includes double-digit victories over Iowa, Virginia and Kansas. The Zags have won their eight West Coast Conference games by an average of 25.4 points.||—||17-0|
|Baylor’s perfect record is highlighted by victories over Illinois, Texas Tech and Kansas. The Bears have won 14 of their 16 games by double-digits.||—||16-0|
|Villanova is 3-0 with two wins over Seton Hall since returning from a COVID-19 pause. The Wildcats will take a nine-game winning streak into Wednesday’s game at St. John’s.||—||11-1|
|Michigan is 8-1 in the first two quadrants with double-digit wins over Minnesota, Wisconsin and Purdue. The Wolverines’ lone loss came at Minnesota.||—||13-1|
|Houston is 5-1 in the first two quadrants with a double-digit victory over Texas Tech. The Cougars will take a seven-game winning streak into Sunday’s game with SMU.||—||14-1|
|Texas was missing three of its top eight players, and coach Shaka Smart, in Tuesday’s loss to Oklahoma because of COVID-19 issues. The Longhorns are 6-3 in the first two quadrants with all three losses coming in the first quadrant.||—||11-3|
|Ohio State is 5-1 in its past six games with victories over Wisconsin and Illinois. The Buckeyes will take a two-game winning streak into Sunday’s game with Michigan State.||3||13-4|
|Illinois beat Iowa on Friday to improve to 8-5 inside the first two quadrants. Four of the Illini’s five losses are considered Quadrant 1 defeats.||3||11-5|
|Iowa’s loss at Illinois on Friday dropped the Hawkeyes to 6-4 in the first two quadrants. They’ll take a two-game losing streak into Tuesday’s game with Michigan State.||3||12-4|
|Oklahoma’s five-game winning streak includes victories over Texas, Alabama and Kansas. The Sooners have four Quadrant 1 wins and zero losses outside of the first quadrant.||10||11-4|
|Alabama’s 10-game winning streak was snapped Saturday at Oklahoma. The Crimson Tide is 9-3 in the first two quadrants with one additional loss coming to Western Kentucky.||3||14-4|
|West Virginia’s two-game winning streak was snapped Saturday by Florida. The Mountaineers are 6-5 in the first two quadrants with all five losses qualifying as Quadrant 1 defeats.||5||11-5|
|Texas Tech used a 12-0 run in the final minute Saturday to win at LSU. The Red Raiders are 4-2 in their past six games with the only losses in that stretch coming to Baylor and West Virginia.||—||12-5|
|Missouri avoided what would’ve been its first Quadrant 3 loss by edging TCU in overtime on Saturday. The Tigers are 6-3 in the first two quadrants with wins over Illinois and Tennessee.||—||11-3|
|Tennessee improved to 5-3 in Quadrant 1 opportunities via Saturday’s blowout of Kansas. The Vols will take a two-game winning streak into Tuesday’s game at Ole Miss.||4||12-3|
|Virginia Tech improved to 6-3 in the first two quadrants via Saturday’s double-digit win over Virginia. The Hokies will take a two-game winning streak into Wednesday’s game at Pitt.||NR||13-3|
|Virginia’s seven-game winning streak was snapped Saturday at Virginia Tech. The Cavaliers are 6-3 in the first two quadrants with zero additional losses.||8||11-3|
|Creighton’s 3-1 record in Quadrant 1 opportunities is highlighted by wins over Seton Hall and UConn. The Bluejays will take a three-game winning streak into Wednesday’s game with Georgetown.||—||13-4|
|Wisconsin is 3-3 in its past six games after Saturday’s loss at Penn State. It was the fourth time this season the Badgers have lost as a favorite.||4||13-5|
|Florida State’s five-game winning streak was snapped Saturday at Georgia Tech. The Seminoles are 6-2 in the first two quadrants with one additional loss to UCF.||3||10-3|
|Purdue is 5-1 in its past six games with the lone loss in that stretch coming to Michigan. The Boilermakers have four Quadrant 1 wins and just one loss outside of the first two quadrants.||3||12-6|
|UCLA is alone atop the Pac-12 standings with a 9-1 league record. The Bruins have two Quadrant 1 wins and zero losses outside of the first quadrant.||—||13-3|
|Kansas is 1-4 in its past five games after Saturday’s loss at Tennessee. The Jayhawks are 6-6 in the first two quadrants with all six losses qualifying as Quadrant 1 defeats.||7||11-6|
|Florida’s four-game winning streak features Quadrant 1 wins over West Virginia and Tennessee. The Gators are 2-2 in the first quadrant, 3-2 in the second quadrant.||NR||10-4|
|Louisville’s 7-3 record in the first two quadrants includes victories over Duke, Virginia Tech, Pitt and Kentucky. Three of the Cardinals’ four losses have come inside the first quadrant.||—||10-4|
|North Carolina is 6-1 in its past seven games with victories over Syracuse, NC State and Pitt. The Tar Heels will take a three-game winning streak into Tuesday’s game at Clemson.||—||11-5|