The University of Oklahoma is more commonly known as a ‘football school’ and to be sure it’s still the dominant sport at the school today. The Sooner basketball program is a solid second, however, and has become a perennial contender in the Big 12 and a team to be reckoned with nationally. Like many traditional ‘football schools’, Oklahoma has been playing basketball for a long time but have only recently started to compete on a high level.
The Sooners first played a collegiate basketball game in 1908 and more often than not had a decent team over the subsequent 70 or so years. The school’s athletic priorities at that point were crystal clear–in fact, the Sooners’ basketball program’s first head coach was OU football coach Bennie Owen.
The 1980’s were the time that many traditional ‘football schools’ started to take basketball seriously and such was the case with Oklahoma. In 1980, Billy Tubbs was hired as head coach and transformed the Sooners into a top team nationally. He was a capable ‘game coach’ but did an excellent job recruiting talent to the school attracting a number of players that would go on to play in the NBA. Tubbs resigned in 1994–ironically, he cited the second rate status of the basketball program at a ‘football school’ as his reason for leaving.
The current coach of the Sooners is Lon Kruger, who had previously coached the NBA Atlanta Hawks and top college programs like UNLV and Kansas State, among others. Kruger was brought in not only for his coaching ability but his reputation for running a ‘clean program’–that was important to OU since his predecessors Jeff Capel and Kelvin Sampson had run into problems with the NCAA that had resulted in sanctions against the program.
Since 1975, the Oklahoma basketball team has played their home games in the 12,000 seat capacity Lloyd Noble Center. The facility is less than twenty minutes from downtown Oklahoma City and is used not only for athletics but conferences and concerts. A number of big acts have performed at the Noble Center including Guns ‘n’ Roses, Motley Crue, Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra. Before the Noble Center opened the Sooners played at 5000 seat McCasland Field House which opened in 1928 and still is in use by the Oklahoma wrestling and gymnastics teams. The older venue also has an impressive concert resume including performances in the 1960 by Sinatra and Jimi Hendrix.
Billy Tubbs might have complained about OU’s status as a ‘football school’ but ironically that’s a big reason why Sooner hoop fans have no problem finding games on television. Oklahoma sports fans are some of the most passionate in the country and count among their ranks a number of high profile celebrities including actress Olivia Munn and legendary pro wrestling announcer Jim Ross (who ends his weekly Internet column with the iconic ‘Boomer Sooner’). Oklahoma is one of the most popular basketball programs to feature on television and networks like ESPN show as many games as possible. The Big 12 also syndicates the games to a variety of other networks. Both ESPN and the Big 12 offer Internet platforms that allow fans to watch OU basketball games online.
The most convenient option for most Sooner fans is to watch Oklahoma basketball online free of charge via one of many live streams. These live streams are easy to find–in fact, there are a number of Internet sites including Wiziwig, SportsStream, Stream2U and First Row Sports. These sites change their addresses often and new sites are always coming online so it’s worth doing a Google search for the most up to date information. These sites provide a wide array of sports and games from the US and around the world. You can also choose from different streaming speeds to locate one that will work most effectively with your personal Internet setup. Within a couple of minutes you’ll be watching your Oklahoma Sooners basketball live stream.
Don’t forget that you don’t have to watch OU basketball games online using your computer (although with the right monitor this is a very enjoyable experience). Many streams work with tablets like the iPad or smartphones. In addition, you can use a Roku, Google Chromecast or other streaming device to watch the Oklahoma Sooners basketball live stream on your TV. Once you know where to find live streaming information you’ll never miss a game again!