NCAA Basketball: Oklahoma/Oklahoma State Preview, Odds and Prediction - 03/01/2021

by Big Al Staff

The Big Monday doubleheader on ESPN concludes at 9 PM ET with a rematch between two Big 12 teams tied in the conference standings jockeying for NCAA tournament seeding.

Bedlam Part 1 took place on Saturday in Norman, where Oklahoma State upset Oklahoma in overtime, 94-90,  as a 6.5-point underdog. Cade Cunningham scored a career-high 40 points and added 11 rebounds. The freshman phenom leads the team with a 19.8 points-per-game average. The 6’8 point guard will likely be the number one pick in the June NBA draft.

Avery Anderson III added 15 points. The sophomore guard is second on the team with a 10.2 points-per-game scoring average. Bryce Williams contributed another 15 points to improve upon his 7.7 points-per-game scoring average.

Oklahoma State, 16-6, have high-profile victories against Texas, Kansas, Arkansas, Texas Tech, and these Sooners. The Cowboys moved into a tie for fourth place with Oklahoma with a 9-6 record n the Big 12 with losses to Baylor, West Virginia, Texas, and Kansas. Two conference losses to TCU dog their resume.

The Cowboys are 75th nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency at kenpom. Their 51.4% shooting mark inside the arc is 104th. They rank 20th at kenpom in adjusted defensive efficiency. Their opponent's effective field goal percentage of 46.4% ranks 29th nationally.

Last year’s leading scorer, Isaac Likekely, is questionable with a hand injury after not playing over the weekend. His 33 minutes played last Monday against Texas Tech is the only time he has taken the court since February 8th. The 6’5  junior point guard has a 9.8 points-per-game scoring average. He is contributing 6.9 rebounds-per-game and 3.7 assists-per-game.

Oklahoma got a career-high 23 points from De’Vian Harmon. The sophomore is second on the team with a 13.0 points-per-game scoring average. Austin Reaves added 22 points, eight assists, and six rebounds. The senior leads the team with 17.5 points-per-game, 5.6 rebounds-per-game, and 5.1 assists-per-game averages.

The Sooners are ranked seventh by the Associated Press with a 14-7 record. Lon Kruger’s team has high-profile victories against Kansas, Texas, West Virginia (twice), and Alabama in non-conference play. Six of their losses are against teams ranked in the top-54 at kenpom: Baylor, Kansas, Texas Tech (twice), Oklahoma State, and Xavier. A setback to Kansas State that ranks 183rd at kenpom is the lone blemish on their resume.

Kruger has over 70% of the production return last year's 19-12 team. Oklahoma is 35th nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency and 39th in defense at kenpom. The Sooners have been tough to score on inside the arc, with opponents making only 44.9% of their 2-point shots. But Oklahoma is allowing opposing shooters to convert 35.4% of their 3-pointers, 259th in the nation. The Sooners make the most of their scoring opportunities, with Reeves running the point. Oklahoma only turns the ball over in 15.5% of their possessions, ranking 16th nationally.

BookMaker lists the Sooners as a 1.5-point road favorite with the total set at 142 for Bedlam Part 2 tonight.

Computer prediction:  Oklahoma 73 Oklahoma State 70

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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