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Instant Classic: KU v OU, January 4, 2016

Were we pro Dick Vitale in 2016?

Oklahoma v Kansas Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

For the 159th time, KU faces OU on the basketball court this Saturday. KU has won 4 straight and 30 of the last 40 games dating back to the turn of the millennium. In other words, KU has dominated this matchup for a while now. Will KU continue their domination of the Sooners Saturday? I don’t know. OU is not very good this season, but KU is headed to Norman with a team that is thin on backups and inconsistent in the win column. I do know that seven years ago in Allen Fieldhouse they played and it was a classic.

On January 4, 2016, there was a true split in the polls on who the best team in the land was that week. The AP poll had KU in the top spot followed by OU. The Coach’s poll had the two teams flipped. It was an ESPN Big Monday matchup of the #1 and #2 teams in the country, but who was #1 and who was #2 was up in the air. ESPN sent Dick Vitale and Brent Musburger to call the game. Of course, the setting was perfect because it was in Allen Fieldhouse. OU was led by Buddy Hield, a National Payer of the Year candidate, on the court and former K-State player and coach Lon Kruger on the bench. KU was led by their three-guard offense with Wayne Seldon, Frank Mason, and Devonte Graham. Perry Ellis played in the middle hitting buckets from both inside and outside. When the triple-overtime classic was done, the AP story on the game led with this from Perry Ellis:

Perry Ellis is a man of few words, and nobody would have blamed him if Monday night’s instant classic between top-ranked Kansas and No. 2 Oklahoma had rendered the senior forward speechless.

Instead, Ellis perfectly described how the Jayhawks pulled it off: “Just heart.”

Ellis has 27 points and 13 rebounds on the night to lead all KU scorers. Seldon, Graham, and Mason had 21, 20, and 15 respectively. For OU, Buddy Hield was next to impossible to stop scoring 46 points and tying the mark for most points scored by an opponent in Allen Fieldhouse. K-State’s Mike Wroblewski scored the same way back in 1962.

SportsCenter highlights with Scott Van Pelt are below

KU would go to win both the regular season Big 12 title and the Big 12 post-season tournament title. The Sooners would finish third in the regular season behind KU and West Virginia. The Sooners would lose in the conference semifinals to the Mountainers

In the NCAA Tournament that season KU would land the overall #1 seed, but would fall to eventual champion Villanova in the Elite Eight. On the other hand, OU went into the tournament as a #2 seed and advanced to the Final Four by beating the #1 seed in their region Oregon. They ended up losing their National Semifinal game to Villanova. The Sooners did bring home some individual hardware that season as Buddy Hield was named National Player of the Year for 2016.

But on the night of January 4, 2016, both teams put on a show that was probably the game of the season.

If you want to see what it was like, here is the whole thing: