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Oklahoma Sooners Basketball vs. Vanderbilt (Big 12/SEC Challenge): Preview, Thread & How to Watch

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After a crucial come-from-behind win in Stillwater, the Sooners return home for a break from conference play.

NCAA Basketball: Texas Christian at Oklahoma Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

After a dramatic, come-from-behind win against Oklahoma State in Stillwater, the Oklahoma Sooners (14-5, 3-4) get a brief reprieve from conference play as they host the Vanderbilt Commodores (9-9, 0-6) in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.

Oklahoma (14-5, 3-4 Big 12) vs. Vanderbilt (9-9, 0-6): 3 p.m. CT at Lloyd Noble (Norman, Okla.)

TV: ESPN2

Commentary: Doug Sherman and Sean Farnham

Live Stream: WatchESPN

Radio: Sooner Radio Network (KRXO 107.7 FM “The Franchise” in Oklahoma City; KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa), Toby Rowland and Kevin Henry announcing

Line: Oklahoma -9.5 (as of 10 a.m. CT)

About Vanderbilt

  • The Commodores are 0-6 in SEC play, but they gave No. 1 Tennessee all they could handle this past Wednesday in Nashville as they took the Vols to overtime. In non-conference play, Vandy’s best win came in the form of an 81-65 win over Arizona State.
  • Vandy is 98th in the KenPom rankings, sitting at 107th in offensive efficiency, 106th in defensive efficiency and 163rd in tempo. The ‘Dores are also 84th in the NCAA’s NET Rankings.
  • Elite point guard recruit Darius Garland thrived in the team’s first five games before suffering a season-ending meniscus injury. Fellow freshman Simisola Shittu now leads the way, averaging 13.4 PPG, 7.5 RPG. Sophomore guard Saben Lee and freshman forward Aaron Nesmith are also averaging double-figures for this young team.

Storylines

  • Bieniemy’s arrival - In only his second career start, freshman point guard Jamal Bieniemy put together one of the most impressive Bedlam performances in recent memory as he scored 17 points on 6/6 shooting without turning it over. In fact, Bieniemy has gone 95 straight minutes of court time without committing a turnover, as he has provided a steady hand for a team that was beginning to really struggle offensively. If he can sustain his confidence and continue to improve as the season progresses, this team could find itself well within the NCAA Tournament field.
  • A chance to go on a run? - Things were looking somewhat bleak prior to OU’s 19-point comeback win, and the Bedlam victory doesn’t exactly have this team out of the woods. Having said that, the schedule sets up for a decent run, as OU plays four of its next five in Norman. After today’s game against Vandy, the Sooners host Baylor and play at a struggling West Virginia before welcoming Iowa State and Texas Tech for consecutive games. All four of those conference contests are tough to predict, but they’re also very winnable games that would look fantastic (other than WVU, which is a win that certainly wouldn’t be taken for granted) on an NCAA Tournament resumé.
  • Big 12/SEC Challenge - In the first three years of the non-conference challenge, OU claimed wins over Missouri, Texas A&M and LSU. However, the Sooners have dropped the last two to Florida and Alabama. As a whole, the Big 12 lost the challenge for the first time in 2018 by a tally of 6-4. Below is the schedule for 2019, with the first few games already in progress.

SEC/Big 12 Challenge Schedule (CT)

Alabama at Baylor - 11 a.m. - ESPNU

Iowa State at Ole Miss - 11 a.m. - ESPN

Florida at TCU - 11 a.m. - ESPN2

South Carolina at Oklahoma State - 1 p.m. - ESPNU

Texas at Georgia - 1 p.m. - ESPN2

Kansas State at Texas A&M - 1 p.m. - ESPN

West Virginia at Tennessee - 3 p.m. - ESPN

Vanderbilt at Oklahoma - 3 p.m. - ESPN2

Arkansas at Texas Tech - 5 p.m. - ESPN2

Kansas at Kentucky - 5 p.m. - ESPN