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Oklahoma Sooners Basketball: Oklahoma vs. Baylor Preview & Game Thread

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The Sooners are looking to upset a top-10 team on the road for the second time this season.

Oklahoma has four games left in this dreary season, and two of those are against top-10 opponents. OU has also not defeated any of the remaining teams left on their schedule. With that in mind, the Sooners are ready to make it to the offseason. The rest of the season will be tough, and it starts tonight in Waco.

How to Watch

The Sooners and Bears will play tonight at 6:00 PM CT and will be televised on ESPN 2. If you cannot get to a television, you can also stream the game on Watch ESPN. Comment below to contribute to our game thread throughout the game.

3 Keys to OU Victory

Although it is a long shot for Oklahoma to upend Baylor, here are the keys for OU to pull off the upset:

  • Be efficient on offense: Oklahoma was held to its’ lowest score all season against the Bears in their last game, putting up only 50 points. Baylor is currently 14th in the country in opponent’s points per game.
  • Rebounds: Last game, Baylor grabbed 16 more rebounds than Oklahoma. Baylor is second in the country in opponent defensive rebounds. The Sooners need to lower the rebound deficit to compete in this one, and that’s a tall task.
  • Defend the rim: The Bears and Sooners have both blocked a lot of shots throughout the 2016-17 season. Oklahoma is currently ranked 43rd in the country while Baylor is 33rd in blocked shots per game. The Sooners have plenty of length are capable of defending the rim without fouling, and they’ll need to live up to that potential in order for this to be close.

Rematch

The Sooners’ last game against the Bears ended in their second-largest margin of defeat of the season, losing by 26 points in Norman. Only one player, Christian James, broke the double-digit mark in points for Oklahoma. Meanwhile, Baylor had three different players score in double-digits, with Johnathan Motley leading the scoring with 19 points. Oklahoma only managed to score 17 points in the first half, and trailed Baylor by 19 points at the halfway mark.

X-Factor

Oklahoma has had a bumpy season when it comes to reliability on leaders. Consistency has been a huge issue for this team, and it will need to be focused on in the off-season. However, for this matchup, the key player to Oklahoma’s success is Rashard Odomes. Odomes has managed to break some of Oklahoma’s droughts by attacking the rim, drawing a foul or grabbing rebounds and extending possessions.

For Baylor, Motley is the game-changer. He is the best player on the roster, and may cause Oklahoma some real troubles. The Sooners will need to double-team him when he gets the ball in the post and hope to create some turnovers.

Prediction

Although OU surprised us before with a win on the road against WVU, there is not as much potential for an upset in this instance. It will be a closer final score compared to last time, but Oklahoma will still lose by more than 10 points.

Baylor 74, Oklahoma 61