MBB | Sooners host Cowboys - Preview

Mark D. Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Both teams ranked for the first time since 2005

Who: Oklahoma Sooners (16-4, 5-2 Big 12) at Oklahoma State Cowboys (16-3, 4-2 Big 12)
When:  p.m. - Saturday, January 25th
Where: Lloyd Noble Center
TV: ESPN - Big Monday

For the first time since 2005 the Oklahoma Sooners and the Oklahoma State Cowboys meet ranked. Both teams moved up in this week's AP rankings, raising the stakes even higher.

Oklahoma reported last week that they've already sold out tonight's game.

Oklahoma is coming off a big 74-65 win over the Texas Tech Red Raiders, and moved into a tie for second place in the Big 12 Conference. Senior Cameron Clark and Sophomore Buddy Hield have been doing really well for the Sooners lately. Hield has been the leading scorer for the Sooners over last couple of games.

"This group is growing," Sooners coach Lon Kruger said. "We're still learning. We're still growing. But we've done a good job finishing ball games."

For the Cowboys, they survived a scare from West Virginia Mountaineers. The Cowboys had to deal with draft phenom, Marcus Smart having one of his worst games of his collegiate career. He finished with just four points on 1-of-7 shooting. The Cowboys won, moved up in the rankings and help set up this huge game we're about to see tonight.

Smart, a consensus top 5 draft pick isn't the only real threat Oklahoma State will throw at the Sooners tonight. Le`Bryan Nash and Markel Brown can score in bunches for the Cowboys. Nash is a late to second round pick in the latest DraftExpress.com projections. Brown is as well.

That's not counting Phil Forte, who can drain it from deep from the bench and a straight dead eye from the chairty stripe. Stevie Clark, a top 100 high school prospect out of Douglass high school in Oklahoma City. He's had some off the court issues but has seemed to have resolved them. He had 10 points in the win off the bench versus West Virginia.

"It's Bedlam," Nash said after Saturday's win. "It don't get no better than this. It's two good teams. We're going into their house. We really want to win. We've got to give it to Oklahoma, they've got some good wins, and it's going to be tough."

Rich DeCray gives his key to tonight's game.

Oklahoma needs to find a way to drain the three ball tonight. If they are missing like they did in the first half against Baylor Bears, the Cowboys have the potential to run the Sooners out of the building. This offense that Lon Kruger runs is predicated on using the three-point shot to open up some scoring in the paint. Even against Baylor, the three-point attempts allowed the paint to be expanded due to the 2-3 zone that Baylor threw at them.

A quick start for the Sooners, getting a sold out LLoyd Noble involved could be instrumental for the Sooners upsetting the No. 8 ranked Cowboys. However, if the Sooners come out and lay an egg, it could mean a long night. One thing we can count on is the experience Oklahoma has already dealt with here in the Big 12. They played Kansas Jayhawks and the Iowa St. Cyclones, who were ranked in the top 15, at home. So, they're getting accustomed to playing really good teams.

Make sure you visit Cowboys Ride For Free for their view of tonight's Bedlam contest.

Bedlam has happened 224 times in this history of the two schools. Oklahoma owns the 129-95 advantage over the time frame. Last season, the two schools split, and won on their home floors. Oklahoma State won, and rushed the court after the overtime victory. As stated, the Cowboys haven't won in Norman since 2004 and the Sooners are a lifetime 81-26 versus the Cowboys. Oklahoma has won 12 of the last 13 in Norman.

A limited amount of standing room only tickets can be purchased at the box office for $15.00 starting at 6:30pm

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