No. 2 Oklahoma and No. 3 Texas A&M each had to stage escapes in the second round to stay alive in the 2016 NCAA Tournament. But on Thursday in Anaheim, the Sooners recovered from an early hole and buried the Aggies, 77-63, to move on to the Elite Eight.
After falling behind 13-6 by the first media timeout of the night, Oklahoma rallied in a big way in the first half. The Sooners tied the game at 18-18 by the second media timeout, then floored the Aggies with a 27-8 run into half that produced a double-digit lead they would never relinquish.
Here are three things to know from the Sooners' big win.
1. Buddy Hield no longer on fire, remains good. After two games of nearly molten shooting, Oklahoma's Wooden Award candidate cooled off against A&M. He got 17 points on 6-for-13 shooting, but made just two of seven threes, didn't lead the Sooners in scoring, and committed five turnovers. Yet he also led Oklahoma with 10 rebounds and dished three assists, and he didn't need to do a whole lot.
2. Oklahoma is more than just Hield. Jordan Woodard led all scorers with 22 points on the night, and got them on an exceptionally efficient 11 shots. ,Little-used freshman Christian James had 12 points off the bench. And two other Oklahoma starters scored in double figures. On a night when Hield was mortal, the Sooners were still nearly untouchable.
3. The Aggies only had one miracle in them. Texas A&M's insane comeback against Northern Iowa in the second round was the stuff of legend, and may be the signature achievement of every Aggie's career. It was also not to be repeated on this night: despite a run or two in the second half, A&M never cut Oklahoma's lead to fewer than 11 points after the 5:46 mark in the first half, with potential comeback kings Danuel House and Jalen Jones limited from the field.