Oklahoma is all but a lock for the NCAA Tournament field, but avoiding an upset is important for seeding.
— Oklahoma Basketball (@OU_MBBall) March 13, 2019
Oklahoma (19-12, 8-10 Big 12) vs. West Virginia (12-19, 4-14 Big 12): approx. 8:30 p.m. CT at Sprint Center (Kansas City, Mo.)
Commentary: Jon Sciambi, Robbie Hummel and Tara Petrolino
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Radio: Sooner Radio Network (107.7 FM The Franchise in Oklahoma City; KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa; Tune In Radio App) with Toby Rowland and Kevin Henry announcing
Line: Oklahoma -6.5 (as of 5:40 p.m. CT)
About West Virginia
- West Virginia has been decimated by injuries (Beetle Bolden, Sagaba Konate) and attrition this season, and the depth situation has been less than ideal as a result. This was readily apparent in Oklahoma’s victory over the Mountaineers earlier this month, as WVU came out punching but simply didn’t have the bodies or quality contributors to hang with the Sooners.
- With all of this team’s shortcomings, there’s no questioning this team’s effort, and that shows up in the rebounding department. WVU ranks third nationally in offensive rebounds per game at 14.2, and this advantage allowed them to steal a win against the Sooners back in early February.
- Freshman big man Derek Culver has been a bright spot, leading current contributors in scoring (12.1 PPG) and rebounding (10.2 RPG).
• Derek Culver finishes with a double-double
• Lamont West scores a game-high 16 points for WVU pic.twitter.com/LRLClquCrg
— WVU Basketball (@WVUhoops) February 19, 2019
- Bracketology – After grabbing the huge win over Kansas, a spot in the NCAA Tournament is essentially a foregone conclusion. As things currently stand, the Sooners are projected as a 9-seed in Joe Lunardi’s bracket as well as Jerry Palm’s, with both putting OU in Columbia, S.C. against UCF. A win would likely keep the Sooners on the No. 9 line, but an upset would likely move them back to a 10 and give them a slightly more difficult matchup. Fortunately, I don’t think any scenario could drop them all the way to play-in games in Dayton, so they’ve got that going for them.
- Kristian Doolittle continues to thrive – The Third Team All-Big 12 performer was one of the best players in the conference over the latter half of Big 12 play, scoring in double figures in each of OU’s last nine games while averaging 16.3 PPG and 7.7 RPG during the stretch. Having someone who is able to force the issue when the shots aren’t falling for Christian James or Brady Manek is invaluable and is likely what kept this team’s NCAA hopes alive during its darkest hours.
- Jamuni McNeace – According to Lon Kruger, Jamuni McNeace will continue to be limited during the Big 12 Tournament. The redshirt senior was averaging 3.5 blocks per game before December, but injuries have derailed the senior season of someone who looked to be one of the nation’s better rim protectors.
Source: Crimson and Cream Machine