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Tonight's tilt vital to fading Sooners' Big 12 title chances

Sooner rather than later, Oklahoma basketball needs to kick it into high gear if the Sooners still have Big 12 title aspirations.

There may be no better time than tonight at 6 p.m. on ESPN when the 12th-ranked Sooners (14-4, 4-3 Big 12) meet 13-time reigning Big 12 champion and No. 5 Kansas (16-3, 6-1 Big 12) in Norman.

You'd think being crowned conference champions 13 years straight would have to end sometime, right? Wrong. Or at least, that's where we are currently headed. Title No. 14 could be next in line should Kansas take down Oklahoma tonight.

When Kansas hit a few bumps on the road with back-to-back losses to Washington and Arizona State followed by a one-point win over lowly Nebraska in early December, many thought unlucky number 13 would bid adieu the Jayhawks' chokehold on the Big 12.

Wrong again.

For the sake of the Big 12, Oklahoma needs to do its conference counterparts a favor and close the growing gap on Kansas with a win tonight. Otherwise, 14 seems inevitable.

After a disappointing 0-2 week, falling twice on the road  at Kansas State and Oklahoma State  that seems a bit much to ask of the Sooners. Returning home to the Lloyd Noble Center should do wonders, though.

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