Buddy Hield went for 27 points, including a pair of critical threes in the second half, and Jordan Woodard and Isaiah Cousins combined for 31 points and six assists on 6-for-8 shooting from three as the No. 2 seed Sooners knocked off No. 15 Cal State Bakersfield, 82-68, in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Oklahoma was never really in danger of getting Michigan State’d, but the Roadrunners were tied early in the second half and within single digits under the final minutes. The final score says 14 points, but the Sooners didn’t really get enough separation ever feel comfortable.
The Sooners will advance to face No. 10 seed VCU in the second round. The Rams dispatched No. 7 Oregon State in the first round. On paper, the Sooners look like they should be able to handle VCU fairly easily. The Rams no longer are full ‘Havoc’, as they don’t really play that over-gambling, full-court pressure defense any more, but they are still a team that relies pretty heavily on forcing turnovers and will gamble enough that opponents do get some open looks from three.
Oklahoma has one of the nation’s best back courts and is also one of the nation’s best three-point shooting teams.