The Horns' nine game winning streak came to an end last night in Norman 82-72 on national TV. Oklahoma put together what was by far their best game of the season in putting away a Texas team that didn't play all that badly.
ESPN brought their "Gameday" crew to Norman for the game, which only added to the energy and hype in Norman on Saturday night. Every chair in the Lloyd Noble Center was fitted with a white t-shirt for the attendees to wear, which meant 13,000+ white-clad, illiterate fans screaming for the Sooners, or, more appropriately, -against- the Longhorns.
Some notes from the game:
*Lamarcus Aldridge had his coming out party last night. That's an odd thing to say for someone who has played as well as Aldridge has this year, but he took his game to a new level last night, completely dominating the Sooners and, until he picked up his fourth foul with nine minutes remaining, the game. At one point Brad Nessler made a Tim Duncan comparison, and though the thought had never occurred to me, it worked. Aldridge was silky smooth and fundamentally perfect last night, hitting whatever shot he needed to. If Aldridge stays for four years, he may wind up as good a collegiate player as Duncan was. Scary.
*Aldridge and Tucker played very well last night, but Brad Buckman and Daniel Gibson were terrible. Don't be fooled by Gibson's 23 points. He was just 6-17 from the floor, missed several key free throws, and never got in to a good rhythm until the final minutes when it was too late. Buckman, meanwhile, looked lost. He kept trying, over and over, to no avail, to go around and through Kevin Bookout. The beastly Sooner forward is like a big brick wall, only dumber, but Buckman kept trying to double-move him to the basket. But Bookout just stood there and Buckman kept turning it over or missing shots. Not his finest effort, to be sure.
*Tarrell Everett just killed us. He hit 10-15 shots for 25 points, with 8 assists, and even made the key play of the game, a banked in three pointer off of a missed OU alley-oop. It was a weird play and pretty much symbolized the night for Oklahoma. Everything went their way last night, but they do deserve credit. They had their best game of the year against the best team they've played this year.
*To give you an idea of what kind of night it was for OU, they shot a ridiculous 54% from the field, and if one banked three pointer wasn't enough... they made TWO. There's something to be said for home court advantage.
*Miss America was awarded last week, and she is a freaking Sooner. Doesn't make much sense considering she's beautiful, has all her teeth, and she speaks well. In 30 seconds on TV, she had better sideline presence than ESPN's Erin Andrews. On a side note, she said she'll be traveling 20,000 miles a month as Miss America. Think about how much that is for a moment. Good God. Hardly seems worth it.
*With a few minutes remaining and OU having the game in hand, the crowd started the popular "Over-Rated!" chant. I've never understood this chant. Here you are, winning what is supposed to be a huge win for you, and you're trying to diminish the qualifications of your opponent? Why cheapen the quality of your win? Shouldn't you be chanting "Under-Rated!" about YOUR team? This seems backward to me, though in Oklahoma's case, appropriate. If you watched the game, or have ever been to Dallas for the football game, you know very well that Sooner fans barely qualify as cheering -for- their team. Almost all of their energy, clothing, and insignia are directed at being -against- Texas. The upside down Horns is beyond stupid; it's pathetic.
*There was a funny moment where the camera showed the ESPN GameDay set a few minutes before halftime. Reese Davis and Digger Phelps are clearly laughing and joking about something, and Jay Bilas is standing over on the edge of the set, looking awkward and left out of the camaraderie. Bilas has always struck me as that nerdy guy that couldn't really fit in, so it was such a classic shot. Every other Duke nerd player like him winds up an assistant for Coach K, but not Bilas. I don't think he's ever fit in anywhere.
*All in all, this was not a bad loss for the Horns. It was a frustrating game, because we could have won if we'd played just a little bit better, but there's not much cause for concern here. Oklahoma just played a little bit better and had a few more breaks than we did. If you're going to lose, last night's game was the way you want to do it. I actually finished the game being more impressed by Texas than I was beforehand, to give you an idea of what kind of game it was. If Aldridge plays that well, and keeps getting better this season, we're going to be a team no one wants to play in March.