(15) Oklahoma Sooners (-5, 133.5 o/u) vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys
The Big 12 tournament heats up today with in-state rivals No. 15 Oklahoma (21-9, 12-6 Big 12) and Oklahoma State (18-12, 8-10 Big 12) set to battle in the quarterfinals.
The victor will face the winner of Iowa State and Texas tomorrow (9:00 p.m. Eastern).
The Sooners have dominated the Cowboys of late, taking four in a row and seven of the last ten; (they’ve also covered the spread in nine of those ten). But the squad knows streaks are made to be broken.
“We [have] beat[en Oklahoma State] four times [in a row],” said Oklahoma star Buddy Hield. “Last time, we beat Baylor [four] times in a row, and they came and they really hit us. We can’t let that happen again, so we’ve got to learn from that experience and get after them.”
Oklahoma also enters the tourney as one of the hotter teams in the Big 12, winning nine of their last 11 overall, including an intense 75-73 triumph over No. 9 Kansas last time out. Hield, who had an off night, shooting just 6/20 from the field, came up clutch for the Sooners at the end. The junior guard tipped in the winning bucket with 0.2 seconds on the clock to give Oklahoma a signature win to close the regular season.
Oklahoma State, meanwhile, has seen their stock plummet over the last few weeks. Once ranked as high as No. 21 in the nation, the team lost five of six to close its Big 12 schedule. Their two matchups with the Sooners this year both went poorly, as well. When they met in Norman in mid-January, Oklahoma ran the Cowboys out of the building, 82-65. In the rematch later in the month, the Sooners outscored OK State 39-24 in the second half and waltzed to a 64-56 win.
“It’s the third time around with OU,” said Cowboys senior forward Michael Cobbins, who leads the team with 5.9 RPG. “We know what happened the first two times so [we’re] playing out there with a little chip on our shoulder.”
The Sooners are listed five-point favorites at the moment. Given the recent history between the team, coupled with the fact that the Cowboys are 4-10 ATS in their last 14 neutral site games, taking Oklahoma and laying the points looks like the better play.
(Photo credit: Ashlux at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)