Surging Sooners climbing onto postseason bubble

Monday, February 12th 2007, 7:46 pm

By: News On 6

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ After a couple weeks on the job, Oklahoma basketball coach Jeff Capel figured he had already bottomed out.

Former coach Kelvin Sampson's messy departure amid an NCAA investigation left the program on probation.

The Sooners' top three players -- Taj Gray, Kevin Bookout and Terrell Everett -- had finished their careers.

Then three high-level recruits secured by Sampson suddenly backed out of verbal commitments.

The ones who stuck around are suddenly turning heads.

The Sooners, picked ninth in the Big 12 preseason coaches poll, have won four in a row and are 15-8 overall.

Their 6-4 mark in conference play puts them 5th, not far behind NCAA bubble teams Texas and Kansas State.

OU has the Longhorns and the Wildcats left on its schedule, along with road games against Missouri and Iowa State and home games against 6th-ranked Texas A&M and 9th-ranked Kansas.

The Sooners have reached the postseason 25 consecutive seasons, the longest streak in Division I basketball.

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