March 26th, 1988
Oklahoma vs. Villanova
NCAA Tournament Southwest Regional Final
Hoping to make OU’s 3rd Men’s Final Four appearance in school history, the Sooners were facing a foe that was no stranger to tournament success. Villanova, just 3 years removed from winning the title, was looking to get back to the Final Four for the second time in 4 years.
The Sooners were led up front by Stacey King and Harvey Grant, having averaged 43 points and 19 rebounds per game. Backed by the duo of Mookie Blaylock and Ricky Grace, combining for 32 points a game.
Villanova tried to slow down the high-octane Sooners and actually led 38-31 at halftime. The Sooners tightened their defense and held the Wildcats to just 19 points in the second half. Still, Villanova only trailed by 3, 57-54, with just under 5 minutes to go. A missed Wildcats free throw, followed by a Stacey King slam dunk moments later, seemed to open the floodgates and break Villanova’s will as OU pulled away on route to a 78-59 victory and a spot in the Final Four.
Southwest Regional Most Outstanding Player, Stacey King, finished with 28 points and 11 rebounds.
OU would head to the Final Four where they would defeat Arizona, lead by All-American Sean Elliot and Steve Kerr, eventually losing in the title game to Kansas.