Posted by dnspewak on January 11th, 2013
As hoops junkies, it’s unfathomable to non-sports fans how many college basketball games we watch on a yearly basis. Thanks to the four-letter network, we’re plugged into our televisions and computers during every waking minute from November through March. As the days and years pass you by, though, you start to forget all the meaningless regular season games you watched on ESPN3. It’s impossible to remember everything, so to vividly remember a specific game, something wild must have happened. Austin Rivers would have needed to make a game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer. DeJuan Blair would have had to have flipped Hasheem Thabeet on national television. Kansas would have had to rally against a red-hot Kevin Durant. Point is, with so many games and so many seasons, we really only remember the special games.
Le’Bryan Nash Has Something to Prove This Weekend
For some reason, I have a vivid memory of January 26, 2009. Fifth-ranked Oklahoma was on the road in Stillwater, and the place was wild. If I remember correctly, a massive ice storm had crippled a portion of Oklahoma, which made the circumstances of the game even more epic. As has often been the case with Oklahoma State under Travis Ford, the Cowboys had absolutely no size and played a four-guard lineup. They were fast, athletic and, to put it bluntly, were playing their hearts out in a rivalry game against a much better opponent. Blake Griffin was on that OU team, for god’s sake. The Sooners escaped with an eight-point win at Gallagher-Iba Arena, but it wasn’t easy. I remember that was also the first game I noticed a little freshman named Keiton Page. That kid looked so out of place on the court, but according to the announcers, he used to average 50 points a game in high school. I would hear that story a million more time before he graduated, and it never got old. I remember watching the way Oklahoma State overcame its complete lack of size against an All-American, and I remember thinking, ‘this is college basketball, man.’ Bedlam! How can you not love it? In the regular season finale a few months later, Oklahoma won by four points at home behind 33 points from Blake Griffin. And less than a week later, the Cowboys shocked Oklahoma in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament, thanks to a couple of free throws by the venerable Byron Eaton in the final seconds. The Bedlam Series was in full swing. It meant something. Both teams made the NCAA Tournament that year, and the Sooners advanced to the Elite Eight.
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