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Oklahoma vs. Florida Preview and Game Thread: Can the Sooners Take Down Another SEC Squad?

The Sooners have never lost a game in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.

NCAA Basketball: Oklahoma at Texas Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

If there is one thing that’s almost as good as watching OU win a game, it’s to see the SEC lose a game. OU is coming off a two-game losing streak, losing by a combined total of six points in the last two games. Can Lon and his crew disrupt the No. 25 team in the land, and bring some hope into this bleak time? Let's hope so.

How to watch

This one tips off at 1:00 PM CT and will be shown on ESPN! Make a ruckus in the stands or in the game thread in the comment section below.

Big 12 vs. SEC

The Big 12 and the SEC do not get along. At all. It may be due to some comments made by one of our very own. That animosity carries over from the field to the court. However, it isn't much of a competition. In the three years of this ongoing series, the Big 12 has won each one decisively. The records are the following: 7-3, 6-4 and 7-3. OU is 3-0 in these games, and two of them were against former Big 12 members (Missouri, Texas A&M). Last year's matchup featured perhaps the best two players in the country, with Buddy Hield and Ben Simmons squaring off. It was quite the epic finish, with Isaiah Cousins nailing the dagger with just seconds to spare, and Khadeem Lattin blocking the final shot of the game to beat LSU in Baton Rouge. Oklahoma will try to remain perfect in this Big 12/SEC challenge, as the BIG 12 looks to dominate once again.

What to know

This will only be the second time the Gator Nation and Sooner Nation will face one another in basketball. The first time resulted in a loss for the Sooners, but a win for Kruger, as he was the head coach of Florida at the time. It is apparent that things are a bit different now compared to 1995.

Neither of these teams are unbeatable. Statistically speaking, these are both pretty average squads. However, one category that both teams seem to be good at? Stealing the ball. This is one of the best aspects of OU's game, but Florida actually exceeds the Sooners in one of their best categories. Oklahoma is 44th in the country in steals per game, while Florida sits at 22nd, stealing the ball 8.2 times a game.

The Gators have won eight of their last 10 games, but have also lost two of their last three. One of these losses came to a team with a losing record (Vanderbilt). Yes, OU's 8-11 record is discouraging, but are they worse than a 9-10 Vanderbilt team? This could be a decent sign for Oklahoma.

Big players make big plays in big games

This Sooner team is better than their record, and I think we all know it. It is tiring to watch your team lose over and over, but how exciting has it been to see some of the youngest players make some of the biggest plays!? That's been the story as of late, as Kristian Doolittle and Kameron McGusty have been carving up defenses. As of three days ago, McGusty was leading the Big 12 freshman in scoring during conference games. Yes, that includes Josh Jackson. Doolittle is coming off a double-double, putting up a career-high 29 points and 10 rebounds. We cannot say this enough: The Future is BRIGHT for the Sooners.

The Gators have three players of their own averaging double digits scoring in KeVaughn Allen, Canyon Barry and Devin Robinson. John Egbunu isn't scoring the most (7.7 ppg), but he is also grabbing 6.7 rebounds per game. Oklahoma will be fortunate to play in front of their home crowd again, but if they cannot grab a win this time around there may not be much of a crowd to watch the games the rest of the season.

Prediction

Despite OU playing a ranked team on ESPN on a Saturday afternoon during the school semester, the crowd will be surprisingly (not really) empty. Oklahoma has shown bright flashes of who they could be and what they hope to grow past. This Gators team is a tall team, which may hurt the undersized OU squad. However, this will be close, and Oklahoma will escape.

Oklahoma 76 Florida 73