The Oklahoma Sooners did all that they could in a tough match against the No.1 team in the nation, Michigan State, but ultimately lost in the end.
The Michigan State Spartans were simply too much to handle, and despite making it to the championship of the Coaches Vs. Cancer Classic, the Sooners fell short.
The tournament was held in Brooklyn and concluded on Saturday night, when the top-ranked Spartans defeated the Oklahoma Sooners with a final score of 87-76.
The Sooners jumped ahead to an early led, but then fell behind by as many as 18, only to make a comeback and get within four points twice in the final four minutes of the game.
The Spartans defeated Virginia Tech to the get to the championship, while Oklahoma was forced to stage a comeback against Seton Hall in their semifinal.
Although they won, it was another disappointing victory for Tom Izzo's Spartans. MSU was ranked No.2 coming into the season, and recently defeated Kentucky in order to move up to the No.1 spot.
Keith Appling, who earned the title of tournament MVP through his performance, finally ended the Spartans' 6:17 scoring drought with a three-point play with 10:01 to go. Oklahoma continued to attempt to win the game, but Appling came up with enough big plays down the stretch to keep the Spartans at No. 1 for at least one more week.
— Chris Yates (@CPY87) November 25, 2013
Michigan State 87, Oklahoma 76: Shaky Spartans Hold On to Win Tournament #MichiganStateUniversity
— Yee Throop (@YeeThroopGJQF) November 24, 2013
Oklahoma, who is now 4-1, put up quite a fight, and only losing by 11 is in an accomplishment in some cases when playing the No.1 team in the nation. The game allowed for their star player Cameron Clark to have a career-high with 32 points, allowing them to stay in the game.
Despite the efforts of Oklahoma and attempting to pull off a miracle, the veteran point guard, Keith Appling, scored 27 points, and eight of those points came in the final 3:04 of the game, after Oklahoma made it 75-71. The Spartans also got help from their young stars Gary Harris, who had 21 points, and Branden Dawson, who gave MSU 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Michigan State, Ohio State, and Oklahoma State are the only programs that have their basketball and football programs in the top 15.
— Awss Saied (@AwssSaied) November 24, 2013
He certainly knows what it is like to play in big games, and important situations, and after the game Appling said "When I got back in there after sitting with my third foul I got more aggressive and was able to get the momentum shifted back our way."
The Oklahoma Sooners just could not defeat the Spartans, despite their best efforts. The Spartans will remain at the No.1 spot for at least another week, in what is shaping up to be an exciting season already.
Final: No. 1 Michigan State 87, Oklahoma 76. Keith Appling was sensational down the stretch & scored 20 of his 27 points in the 2nd half.
— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) November 24, 2013
Espn rated Kentucky as the #1 Backcourt in the Country..... I think its between Oregon, Oklahoma State, Michigan St, & Louisville
— highly_ANTicipated (@G_nationAnt) November 24, 2013
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