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Oklahoma Sooners Basketball vs. Florida (Battle 4 Atlantis): Preview, Thread & How to Watch

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Oklahoma tips off the Battle 4 Atlantis at 11 a.m. CT.

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NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Basketball Media Day Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

After starting the 2018-19 season at 3-0, the Oklahoma Sooners are in the Bahamas as they open play in the Battle 4 Atlantis against the Florida Gators.

Oklahoma vs. Florida: 11 a.m. at Imperial Arena (Paradise Island, Bahamas)


Commentary: Jon Sciambi and Dan Dakich

Live Stream: WatchESPN

Radio: Sooner Radio Network (KRXO 107.7 FM “The Franchise” in Oklahoma City; KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa)

Line: Florida -2.5

About the Gators

  • Florida is off to a 2-1 start, which includes an 81-60 loss to Florida State in the opener. The Gators have since picked up wins over Charleston Southern (76-46) and La Salle (82-69).
  • The Gators were picked to finish fifth in the SEC Preseason Media Poll behind Kentucky, Tennessee, Auburn and Mississippi State. They’re currently No. 27 in the KenPom rankings, with an adjusted defensive rating sitting at No. 13.
  • Florida has had a different leading scorer in each of its three contests, but senior guard Jalen Hudson currently leads the team in PPG at 12.0.
  • Oklahoma has faced Florida on two previous occasions, with each involving Lon Kruger. UF ran roughshod over OU with an 82-54 win in Norman in January of 2017. In the other meeting, Kruger’s Gators grabbed an overtime win against Kelvin Sampson’s Sooners in the 1995 All-College Classic (Oklahoma City).

Battle 4 Atlantis

  • Other teams in the field include Stanford, Wisconsin, Butler, Dayton, Middle Tennessee State and Virginia.
  • If the Sooners top Florida, they will play the winner of the Stanford-Wisconsin on Thanksgiving Day at 12:30 p.m. CT on ESPN or ESPN2. If OU falls to the Gators, the Sooners will tip at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN2 or ESPNU against the loser.
  • The championship game will be played Friday at 1 p.m. and be televised by ESPN. Each team is guaranteed three games, and the full bracket/schedule can be found here.

Three Storylines

  • Larry from the Prairie - Brady Manek averaged 5.2 rebounds per contest during his freshman season, but his average currently sits at 11.3 through the first three games of his sophomore season. His added weight and physicality are paying off on both ends of the court, and his offensive game also seems to be coming into its own as he becomes more than just a three-point shooter.
  • Christian’s hot start - Christian James is off to a hot start with 22.7 PPG, although he did cool down a bit against Wofford as he went 0-4 from deep. To his credit, James kept his head up and found other ways to score and help his team, totaling 15 points, five rebounds and three assists in the win.
  • Defense - Oklahoma held a sharp-shooting Wofford team to 64 points and just over 37 percent shooting (31.3 percent from three), and the Sooners currently rank 49th out of 353 teams in KenPom’s adjusted defensive rating. It’s certainly early, and the Sooners haven’t faced a high major before today, but the early defensive returns are promising. The effort on that end has been terrific — a stark contrast to what we often saw in 2017-18.