The Edmond Sun

March 4, 2013

Sooner Sports Minute: Sooners get Big 12 Conference lift

By John Shinn
CNHI News Service

NORMAN — The victory over Iowa State did more than right Oklahoma’s ship after the collapse against Texas earlier in the week. The lifted the Sooners 10-6 in Big 12 Conference play with two games left.

The win guaranteed OU of a winning record in conference play for the first time in since 2009.

“It's a good start,” OU coach Lon Kruger said. “This group from last spring had an objective of making progress and big strides. And they've done that. It doesn't happen without their commitment and their investment.

“We said back in October this is a process. We've gotta work. We can't be too satisfied until it's all over. We've got another couple weeks with that same speech. We don't say too much different to them from one week to the next. We have to improve our habits. It just doesn't change.”

Here’s why the winning conference record is important: since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, every Sooner team with a winning conference record has been selected for the field.

Here are the records of those teams at the end of the regular season, conference record and NCAA Tournament seeds for those teams:

1984-85: 25-5, 13-1 Big 8, No. 1 seed

1985-86: 24-7, 8-6 Big 8, No.4 seed

1986-87: 22-8, 9-5 Big 8, No. 6 seed

1987-88: 27-3, 12-2 Big 8, No. 1 seed

1988-89: 26-4, 12-2 Big 8, No. 1 seed

1989-90: 23-4, 11-3 Big 8, No. 1 seed

1991-92: 20-7, 8-6 Big 8, No. 4 seed

1994-95: 21-7, 9-5 Big 8, No. 4 seed

1995-96: 17-11, 8-6 Big 8, No. 10 seed

1996-97: 17-9, 9-7 Big 12, No. 11 seed

1997-98: 20-9, 11-5 Big 12, No. 10 seed

1998-99: 20-9, 11-5 Big 12, No. 13 seed

1999-2000: 24-5, 12-4 Big 12, No. 3 seed

2000-01: 23-8, 12-4 Big 12, No. 4 seed

2001-02: 24-4, 13-3 Big 12, No. 2 seed

2002-03: 21-6, 12-4 Big 12, No. 1 seed

2004-05: 23-6, 12-4 Big 12, No. 3 seed

2005-06: 20-8, 11-5 Big 12, No. 6 seed

2007-08: 21-10, 9-7 Big 12, No. 6 seed

2008-09: 27-4, 13-3 Big 12, No. 2 seed