So this is becoming kind of a thing. Last week we looked at the Big 12 basketball players we hated most; this week we look at our favorite Bedlam basketball memories.
First up, OKC Dave…
2/13/02: OSU wins 79-72 in OT. This is the game featured in Dan Wetzel’s great column. This was my last year as a student at OSU, so it carries a little extra nostalgia for me. I loved those Vic/Melvin/Ivan teams because they played well above their ability level, especially on defense. As a fan, they pulled you in and made you feel a part of the team.
This game was the perfect example. We held the #4 team in the country to 22-67 shooting (32.8%), including 2-11 from Hollis Price (thank you Melvin!). The game featured technical fouls on Quannas White and Cheyne Gadsen that got the true sellout crowd rocking.
Ivan sealed the victory with a run-through steal and slam. How does it get any better than that? Eddie put it best: “I’ve coached a lot of basketball games, but I don’t think you will ever see a game where two teams played any harder than that.”
I was 12. Dad and I took our usual seats, 3 rows from the top of Old Gallagher. Dad split season tickets with his friend, but we won the coin toss. I wanted Bedlam, so here we were. Anytime people ask me how loud Old Gallgher was, I refer to this exact game.
The Sooners and senior Ryan Minor, who OSU fans despised, came to town. (Had Gary Ward offered Damon Minor in baseball Ryan would’ve gone to OSU, but I digress).
The crowd was especially venomous to Minor in pre-game (Minor was shown on TV the previous game crying due to “injury”, even though he played today). Before tip-off, the student section unveiled a 10-15 foot sign that read: “CRYIN’ RYAN” and followed that up with a “CRY-IN-RY-AN… clap-clap…clap-clap-clap” chant.
Needless to say, that low-hanging roof in GIA was ready to pop. It was the perfect the storm. OSU proceeded to run OU out of the gym, leading by 30 throughout. I can’t even exaggerate this: It was ear-popping loud for the entire game. You couldn’t hear yourself scream, let alone ask Dad how awesome this was (or how badly Brett Robisch was working Ernie Abercrombie in the post).
OSU won going away and it will forever be known as The Cryin’ Ryan game.
Nothing beats John Lucas and I-Mac lifting up one giant middle finger so big all the Sooners 90 miles south of Stillwater would see it.
With a ten point lead and only six seconds left in the game, Lucas gets the in-bounds pass as the entire Sooners team is standing lifeless, pushes it up the floor and sends up a lob for the Warrior to throw down OU’s throat.
It wasn’t a dagger. It was dropping a two-ton wrecking ball on top of a limp body without a pulse.
After the dunk the ESPN commentator said “I’m not sure the Sooners are happy with that last basket.” Hell no they weren’t and that’s the point. This is Bedlam. Screw sportsmanship. I miss the hate that used to fuel this rivalry. I don’t want to see a great basketball game tomorrow. Give me Smart and Markel in the sequel of Lucas & I-Mac.
I have a lot of great Bedlam memories but one really stands taller than all the others.
Neither team was ranked in the 1998 version of Bedlam in Norman, but that mattered little.
And my goodness, I hated those late 90s OU teams. Tim Heskett, Eduardo Najera, Renzi Stone, Ryan Humphrey…the list goes on and on. These two teams (OSU and OU) were actually just young versions of teams that would a few years later go on to have a lot of tournament success1.
Anyway, OSU trailed by 12 in the second half but actually held a two-point lead with 50 seconds left and the ball. Eddie called a timeout.
Every OSU fan alive had this exchange during the TO: “anybody but Gottlieb.”
We had no idea what was coming.
OU was in a full court press so Desmond faked a move towards the ball and went back door the length of the court. Brett Robisch put it in his breadbasket and Desmond almost tore the goal from its stanchion (drawing an intentional foul in the process) to seal the deal.
I’ll let some people who were there take you home (from the Tulsa World)…
Eddie: I told Sean we had two special scoring plays where we do that very thing. I said ‘Golly, I wish we had called that play.’ Lo and behold if he didn’t take off and John Elway throws a perfect strike.
Robisch: He was so open. I just had to put it out there. Baseball is my first love. I was a pitcher. I had to make that play.
Desmond: I knew they were going to pressure big-time. So I just decided to make a back cut. Brett was able to run the baeline and go to the second option. Brett made a good pass. That took a lot of heart to make that pass at a time like that.
- OU made the Sweet 16 in ’99 and OSU made the Elite 8 in ’00. ↩