#12 Oklahoma (12-5, 7-4) will travel to Morganstown to take on #14 West Virginia (14-5, 7-3) in a battle for second place in the Big 12. Baylor currently sits in first place with a record of 9-0 in conference play.
The Sooners bounced back from a loss to Texas Tech by defeating Iowa State 79-72. The Mountaineers are riding a three-game winning streak propelling them into second place all alone with victories over Iowa State, Kansas and Texas Tech.
Oklahoma Betting Preview
Oklahoma has six of their last seven, including a road win over Texas, to skyrocket up the polls and the conference standings. Oklahoma is currently projected as the first number five seed by bracketmatrix.com, but a win over West Virginia would most likely move them to a four seed.
Austin Reaves leads the Sooners in scoring (15.8), rebounding (5.3) and assists (5.3). Reaves has done a good job of getting to the free throw line and taking advantage when he does, shooting 87.4% from the charity stripe.
The hottest player for Oklahoma is arguably Umoja Gibson. Gibson has scored in double figures in five straight games, including a 18-point performance against Iowa State. Gibson has been excellent from three-point range shooting 44.3% on the season.
Oklahoma is ranked 23rd by Kenpom. The offense is ranked 29th in efficiency while the defense ranks 28th. The Sooners are one of the best teams in the nation at taking care of the basketball, with a turnover percentage of only 15.5% which ranks 13th in the nation.
West Virginia Betting Preview
The Mountaineers have won five straight Big 12 games after falling to 2-3. West Virginia has found another gear offensively averaging 83.4 points over their last five games.
When you think of a Bob Huggins coached team you do not think of an offensive juggernaut but this West Virginia team has become exactly that. If this team can find their defense from last season they are going to be dangerous in March.
Miles McBride leads the Mountaineers in scoring (16.2), assists (4.5) and steals (1.8). McBride is shooting 44.3% from three-point range and 20 and 31 points in the last two games.
Derek Culver is the team’s second leading scorer at 14.3 points per game and leads the team in rebounding (10.2) and blocks (.9). Culver has scored in double figures in five-straight games and has improved his free throw percentage after knocking down 14 of 17 against Florida.
Kenpom has West Virginia as the 16th ranked team in the country. The offense ranks 10th in efficiency while the defense has fallen off of late at 52nd.
Mybookie has West Virginia as a 2.5-point favorite. The total is set at 145 points.
Free Betting Pick
Oklahoma will want to keep this game at a slow tempo and take advantage of West Virginia’s lack of shooting proficiency. The Mountaineers rank 206th in the nation with an effective field goal percentage of only 49.1%.
West Virginia uses elite offensive rebounding to make up for their lack of shooting. If Kur Kuath and Brady Manek can keep Culver off the glass, the Sooners have a real chance at coming away with a huge road victory.
I am expecting a little bit of a let down from West Virginia after a battle with Texas Tech early in the week. The Mountaineers poor shooting comes back to haunt them in a home loss to Oklahoma behind big games of Gibson and De’Vion Harmon.
Oklahoma 73, West Virginia 71
Spooky Express Free Betting Pick: Oklahoma +2.5