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OU basketball: Beating West Virginia just what the Sooners needed

The OU basketball team's Saturday began with the NCAA basketball committee releasing its first in-season rankings. West Virginia, with an 18-4 record, checked in as a No. 2 seed.

A couple of hours later, the Mountaineers walked into Lloyd Noble Center and seemed as if they had gotten off spaceship, not a charter bus. Legendary coach Bob Huggins uses a rotation that includes players listed at 6-foot-11, 6-10, 6-9, 6-7, 6-7, 6-7. Most of them thick. Long-armed and broad-shouldered, sporting wing spans not seen since Jurassic Park.

Then the Mountaineers started throwing up shots and you quickly realized the gameplan. Get the ball up on the rim and let a teammate rebound it. Thirteen minutes into the game, WVU led 16-15 and had scored five first-chance points.

The Mountaineers had 17 rebounds to OU’s 11, and you wondered if the Sooners could escape not with a victory, but with their health.

But over the next 19 game minutes, the Sooners outscored West Virginia 44-26 and eventually had a 69-59 victory that could have a profound effect on OU’s NCAA Tournament hopes.

This was a Sooner team in desperate need of a marquee victory, and the 12th-ranked Mountaineers provided just that platform. OU’s previous best victories were over Mississippi State in Oklahoma City or Minnesota in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, or Texas in Austin. None moved the needle much.

OU entered Saturday No. 58 nationally in the NET rankings the committee uses to group teams. That’s too low to feel comfortable about NCAA Tournament inclusion.

The Sooners had lost at home to third-ranked Kansas and had suffered close road defeats at top-ranked Baylor and rock-solid Texas Tech. But the big-time win had not materialized.

Until Saturday.

“Anytime you beat a ranked team, that’s great for the resume’ standpoint,” said OU coach Lon Kruger. “Obviously very happy for the guys. They’ve been making progress … close at Baylor, close at Tech, and beating a club like this was the next step. Couldn’t be more proud of ‘em. Battled like crazy. They’re the most physically unique club in the country.”

The outsized Sooners held their own. West Virginia finished with 21 offensive rebounds, but part of that is the Mountaineers missing so many – 52 missed shots, on 76 attempts. WVU committed just 11 turnovers, so the Mountaineers were continually attacking the basket. West Virginia made just 12 of 32 shots within two feet of the basket and made just 18 of 61 2-point shots.

Young guards De’Vion Harmon and Jamal Bieniemy combined for four turnovers, a remarkably solid showing against West Virginia’s constant pressure. Kristian Doolittle and Brady Manek combined for 20 rebounds and battled hard against the bigger Mountaineers.

It wasn’t a must-win game for the Sooners, but it was a need-to-win game.

“It’s a huge win,” Doolittle said. “They’re a highly-ranked team. We knew this game was going to be a battle, especially down low. We had to be ready for this game. This is my fourth year playing ‘em. I knew exactly what it was going to be. Every year, it gets tougher and tougher, players get bigger and bigger.”

And now OU is 15-8 overall, 5-5 in the Big 12, and has the marquee victory that makes March Madness much more likely for the Sooners.

Related Photos
Oklahoma's Austin Reaves (12) calls a timeout as West Virginia's Miles McBride (4) knocks the ball away during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma's Austin Reaves (12) calls a timeout as West Virginia's Miles McBride (4) knocks the ball away during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020....

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-9ad82ec2abb3717e969cd70d83bdb3f2.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma's Austin Reaves (12) calls a timeout as West Virginia's Miles McBride (4) knocks the ball away during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma's Austin Reaves (12) calls a timeout as West Virginia's Miles McBride (4) knocks the ball away during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma's Austin Reaves (12) calls a timeout as West Virginia's Miles McBride (4) knocks the ball away during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-23ee91a880a89fdaa16924adac24813f.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma's Jamal Bieniemy (24) and Kristian Doolittle (21) high-five during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] " title="Oklahoma's Jamal Bieniemy (24) and Kristian Doolittle (21) high-five during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Oklahoma's Jamal Bieniemy (24) and Kristian Doolittle (21) high-five during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-0e82400aad660a641ddd5affb4b17291.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma's Austin Reaves (12) passes the ball around West Virginia's Jermaine Haley (10) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma's Austin Reaves (12) passes the ball around West Virginia's Jermaine Haley (10) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma's Austin Reaves (12) passes the ball around West Virginia's Jermaine Haley (10) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-1bd6e6750c061ca4dbfec75f3f73c16f.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma's Kristian Doolittle (21) goes past West Virginia's Derek Culver (1) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma's Kristian Doolittle (21) goes past West Virginia's Derek Culver (1) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma's Kristian Doolittle (21) goes past West Virginia's Derek Culver (1) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-9bcfd8ad73d11393f2b11729804f4929.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma's Kristian Doolittle (21) goes past West Virginia's Derek Culver (1) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma's Kristian Doolittle (21) goes past West Virginia's Derek Culver (1) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma's Kristian Doolittle (21) goes past West Virginia's Derek Culver (1) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-9160d9261e8591e5fb4d409a0c741e50.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma's Brady Manek (35) tries to catch the ball beside West Virginia's Derek Culver (1) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma's Brady Manek (35) tries to catch the ball beside West Virginia's Derek Culver (1) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma's Brady Manek (35) tries to catch the ball beside West Virginia's Derek Culver (1) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-07702b3b015de5db5c304a9c345cff5c.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma's Kristian Doolittle (21) shoots basket beside West Virginia's Chase Harler (14) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma's Kristian Doolittle (21) shoots basket beside West Virginia's Chase Harler (14) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma's Kristian Doolittle (21) shoots basket beside West Virginia's Chase Harler (14) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-62db6e169109b2bd2fd0f2f0221bb62a.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma's De'Vion Harmon (11) goes past West Virginia's Logan Routt (31) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma's De'Vion Harmon (11) goes past West Virginia's Logan Routt (31) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma's De'Vion Harmon (11) goes past West Virginia's Logan Routt (31) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-670f5e129546c6086f2b925ac299aadf.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma's Kur Kuath (52) goes for the ball beside West Virginia's Derek Culver (1) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma's Kur Kuath (52) goes for the ball beside West Virginia's Derek Culver (1) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma's Kur Kuath (52) goes for the ball beside West Virginia's Derek Culver (1) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-893cb0828716687e9facf50d7963e12f.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma's Kristian Doolittle (21) shoots a basket ver West Virginia's Brandon Knapper (2) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma's Kristian Doolittle (21) shoots a basket ver West Virginia's Brandon Knapper (2) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma's Kristian Doolittle (21) shoots a basket ver West Virginia's Brandon Knapper (2) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a2cdd51b7db05fd7bd4d1be8140fc55a.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma's Jamal Bieniemy (24) shoots a 3-pointer over West Virginia's Miles McBride (4) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma's Jamal Bieniemy (24) shoots a 3-pointer over West Virginia's Miles McBride (4) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma's Jamal Bieniemy (24) shoots a 3-pointer over West Virginia's Miles McBride (4) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-6cb269a3eaf79bb4d0c80cfb79ebe5b6.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma's Kristian Doolittle (21) looks to the basket from between West Virginia's Miles McBride (4) and Emmitt Matthews Jr. (11) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma's Kristian Doolittle (21) looks to the basket from between West Virginia's Miles McBride (4) and Emmitt Matthews Jr. (11) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma's Kristian Doolittle (21) looks to the basket from between West Virginia's Miles McBride (4) and Emmitt Matthews Jr. (11) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-ef08072875cf0f0b62bee90739fe88d8.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma forward Kristian Doolittle (21) looks to pass after diving for the ball during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma forward Kristian Doolittle (21) looks to pass after diving for the ball during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma forward Kristian Doolittle (21) looks to pass after diving for the ball during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-1477e6781e3669ce452dfd2095744cd4.jpg" alt="Photo - The Oklahoma bench celebrates after Oklahoma's Jamal Bieniemy (24) made a 3-pointer over West Virginia's Miles McBride (4) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="The Oklahoma bench celebrates after Oklahoma's Jamal Bieniemy (24) made a 3-pointer over West Virginia's Miles McBride (4) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>The Oklahoma bench celebrates after Oklahoma's Jamal Bieniemy (24) made a 3-pointer over West Virginia's Miles McBride (4) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-e9cd021be39425f27b94acc2e04194da.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma's Austin Reaves (12), Brady Manek (35) and Jamal Bieniemy (24) celebrate during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma's Austin Reaves (12), Brady Manek (35) and Jamal Bieniemy (24) celebrate during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma's Austin Reaves (12), Brady Manek (35) and Jamal Bieniemy (24) celebrate during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-1e1f975c6c27f550abfe919f66947248.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma's Austin Reaves (12) is fouled by West Virginia's Jordan McCabe (5) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma's Austin Reaves (12) is fouled by West Virginia's Jordan McCabe (5) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma's Austin Reaves (12) is fouled by West Virginia's Jordan McCabe (5) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-728a40b122d6bfd8d4947f8f8e7334d6.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma's Kristian Doolittle (21) and Jamal Bieniemy (24) hug after an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma's Kristian Doolittle (21) and Jamal Bieniemy (24) hug after an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma's Kristian Doolittle (21) and Jamal Bieniemy (24) hug after an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-febefcfce76d9b77859328a3941d674b.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma's Kristian Doolittle (21) passes the ball as West Virginia's Chase Harler (14) defends during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma's Kristian Doolittle (21) passes the ball as West Virginia's Chase Harler (14) defends during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma's Kristian Doolittle (21) passes the ball as West Virginia's Chase Harler (14) defends during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-67f05082cdef1dfd4f3f0cf27b0321b2.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma's De'Vion Harmon (11) celebrates after an Oklahoma basket during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma's De'Vion Harmon (11) celebrates after an Oklahoma basket during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma's De'Vion Harmon (11) celebrates after an Oklahoma basket during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-8c7fb38f3fdc6e90795739625e41fc09.jpg" alt="Photo - West Virginia coach Bob Huggins shouts during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="West Virginia coach Bob Huggins shouts during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>West Virginia coach Bob Huggins shouts during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-15e296c8c04a3d8e5b2877933288e648.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger stands beside his team during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger stands beside his team during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger stands beside his team during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-8e96ac9c1d03a72443275e0083494f07.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma's De'Vion Harmon (11) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma's De'Vion Harmon (11) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma's De'Vion Harmon (11) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-920ef3edcec22a3d18545469394a3388.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma's Brady Manek (35) dunks over West Virginia's Miles McBride (4) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma's Brady Manek (35) dunks over West Virginia's Miles McBride (4) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma's Brady Manek (35) dunks over West Virginia's Miles McBride (4) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-902f92a57ab30ceef141d97ef75bb1ee.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma's Kristian Doolittle (21) blocks the shot of West Virginia's Miles McBride (4) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma's Kristian Doolittle (21) blocks the shot of West Virginia's Miles McBride (4) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma's Kristian Doolittle (21) blocks the shot of West Virginia's Miles McBride (4) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-b600edf43c1e9de36e7c168c87bf904f.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma's Alondes Williams (15) tries to get past West Virginia's Jordan McCabe (5) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma's Alondes Williams (15) tries to get past West Virginia's Jordan McCabe (5) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma's Alondes Williams (15) tries to get past West Virginia's Jordan McCabe (5) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-9ad82ec2abb3717e969cd70d83bdb3f2.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma's Austin Reaves (12) calls a timeout as West Virginia's Miles McBride (4) knocks the ball away during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma's Austin Reaves (12) calls a timeout as West Virginia's Miles McBride (4) knocks the ball away during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma's Austin Reaves (12) calls a timeout as West Virginia's Miles McBride (4) knocks the ball away during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-48845113f78b0415a8c7a7c05b2213ef.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma's Kristian Doolittle (21) shoots over West Virginia's Derek Culver (1) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma's Kristian Doolittle (21) shoots over West Virginia's Derek Culver (1) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma's Kristian Doolittle (21) shoots over West Virginia's Derek Culver (1) during an NCAA mens college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.,Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Oklahoma won 69-59. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure>
Berry Tramel

Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,... Read more ›

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