Oklahoma would like to prove it belongs among the nation's elite, and a win over TCU could help the inconsistent Sooners climb in the rankings.
The No. 25 Sooners look to build on one of their most impressive victories of the season Wednesday night by continuing their dominance of the Horned Frogs in Norman.Oklahoma (14-4, 3-2 Big 12) cracked the Top 25 last week for the first time since November 2009 following an 87-82 victory over then-No. 9 Iowa State on Jan. 11.The stay seemed as if it would be brief after a 72-66 loss at Kansas State on Jan. 14. However, the team followed that by overcoming an eight-point halftime deficit for a 66-64 victory over then-No. 12 Baylor, ending the Bears' 13-game home winning streak.Oklahoma, which has alternated wins and losses for six games, will now try to avoid another letdown.The Sooners are 12-2 all-time against TCU (9-8, 0-5), winning all six meetings in Norman by an average of 28.7 points. They eased to a 75-48 victory in the most recent matchup there Feb. 11, holding the Horned Frogs to 11 points in the first half and 30.2 percent shooting -- including 5 for 21 from long range.Oklahoma, though, settled for a split of the season series, falling 70-67 on the road March 9 after missing all 16 attempts from beyond the arc.Buddy Hield accounted for five of those errant 3s and shot 5 of 14 overall to finish with 10 points. The sophomore guard was much better from long range Saturday, hitting four 3s and scoring all 19 of his points in the second half."I'm always a confident shooter, and my teammates are always encouraging me," said Hield, who was 7 of 11 in the second half after going 0 for 3 in the first. "I got a little spurt going, but it's all thanks to my teammates finding me in open spots, giving me that confidence to make shots."Hield's success from behind the arc can go a long way for the Sooners, particularly within the conference. He's making 40.2 percent in their wins compared to 28.0 in defeats, and he's gone 14 for 30 from 3-point range while averaging 21.0 points in Big 12 wins.Cameron Clark leads Oklahoma with 17.1 points per game, but he's managing 13.6 over the past five -- all in league play. His inconsistent stretch includes a pair of 1-for-9 efforts, but he improved against Baylor, going 5 of 9 for 14 points.The Horned Frogs are trying to snap a five-game slide in which they've been outscored by an average of 18.4 points. They're having their own problems shooting the ball over the last two games, hitting just 25.0 percent overall and going 5 for 35 from 3-point range.Those issues continued Saturday, when they fell 60-49 at home to Texas Tech, converting 10 of 49 field goals and 3 of 21 3-pointers."You don't want to bring much attention to it other than the fact that you always talk about it in practice," coach Trent Johnson said. "Shoot shots from the framework offense and move forward."Kyan Anderson leads TCU with 14.6 points per game, but he's totaled 15 while going 3 for 20 from the floor over the past two games. The guard went 4 for 19 and finished with 11 points in the last visit to Norman.