Oklahoma State is clinging to the NCAA Tournament bubble, but the Cowboys can say goodbye to their chances if they can’t survive a challenge from Oklahoma on Wednesday. Oklahoma State is a 1.5-point favorite, with the over/under 135.5 points for this Big 12 Tournament game.
Let’s make predictions for Wednesday’s matchup and break down why the Sooners can win this game.
Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State Prediction
The Cowboys have two wins over Oklahoma this season. The Big 12 has been way too much of a mess for such evenly matched teams to have a lopsided 3-0 season series. Oklahoma State is playing its worst basketball of the season when urgency is supposed to be at its highest, losing five of six to end the regular season.
The Cowboys did rebound and beat Texas Tech last weekend, but the defense fell apart during the five-game losing streak and there aren’t enough signs it’s ready to bounce back against two capable scorers in Grant Sherfield and Tanner Groves. This time, the Sooners – with wins over Kansas State, Iowa State, and TCU in their last six games – get the better of Oklahoma State.
Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State Prediction: Oklahoma +1.5
Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State Odds
Oklahoma State enters as a 1.5-point favorite, sitting at -125 on the moneyline. The over/under is 135.5 points.
The Big 12 Tournament is going to be full of close lines now that the best conference in America is playing neutral-site games. This one’s close for a reason, with two flawed but capable in-state rivals doing battle. Will Oklahoma State be feeling the pressure of the bubble?
Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State Key Matchups
Here are some key matchups that could decide Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State.
Grant Sherfield vs. Oklahoma State Three-Point Defense
Neither of these teams have strong offenses, but Oklahoma would be nowhere without the scoring of Nevada transfer Grant Sherfield. Sherfield is averaging 16.1 points per game, shooting an efficient 40.3% from three-point range even as defenses put their focus on him.
There have been some inconsistent moments from Sherfield lately – he shot just 22% over a three-game stretch in late February and early March, only bouncing back in the final game of the season with 20 points. Sherfield made four threes in a matchup with Oklahoma State in January and will be needed again.
The Cowboys have been successful at defending the three this season, holding opponents to 32% from beyond the arc, but the team’s defense has fallen off badly in recent weeks – a big factor in my Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State prediction. If Sherfield can break through against this defense, Oklahoma should have the offensive advantage.
Moussa Cisse vs. Oklahoma Frontcourt
Oklahoma State doesn’t have a scorer anything like Sherfield, but it does have an advantage in the size department. The Cowboys are a strong rebounding team and rank 16th in the nation with five blocks per game.
Moussa Cisse is at the forefront of that. The 6’10” center is averaging eight rebounds and two blocks per game. He started the season with double-digit rebounds in nine of his first 12 games. While he hasn’t been able to keep up that pace, big men matter in March and Cisse can stand out against a small Oklahoma frontcourt. In fact, his season-high 18 points came against the Sooners in February.
Oklahoma only has two solid rebounders and not much shot-blocking, so Cisse has a chance to do damage.