Oklahoma Sooners (7-2) at Creighton Bluejays(8-2): 7:30 p.m. CT at CHI Health Center Omaha (Omaha, Neb., 18,560)
Commentary: Kevin Kugler and Bill Raftery
Live Stream: FoxSportsGo
Radio: Sooner Radio Network (107.7 FM The Franchise in Oklahoma City; KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa; Tune In Radio App) with Toby Rowland and Kevin Henry announcing
Line: Creighton -3.5 (as of 6:20 p.m. CT)
- Creighton’s three starting backcourt players — Marcus Zegarowski, Ty-Shon Alexander and Mitch Ballock — are averaging 19.4, 17.1 and 12.5 PPG, respectively, while also each shooting over 40 percent from three-point range.
- The Bluejays already have a marquee win on the resumé — a 83-76 victory over Texas Tech in the Las Vegas Invitational. Their two losses have come at the hands of now-No. 14 Michigan and currently-undefeated San Diego State.
- Creighton currently sits at No. 56 nationally in the NCAA’s NET Rankings and No. 53 in KenPom’s efficiency ratings.
- Interior play: One of Oklahoma’s biggest weaknesses from recent years reared its ugly head once again in the loss to Wichita State, as the Sooners were manhandled inside from start to finish. Offensively, things never came east around the rim. Additionally, the Shockers were able out-rebound the Sooners by a margin of 17, collecting 13 offensive rebounds in the process. While Brady Manek is obviously an offensive asset with his ability to stretch the floor, he simply has to be more physical in the paint in spite of his slender frame. He’s never going to be the kind of guy who has his way with opponents in the post, but he at least needs to at least hold his own in order for this not to become a major issue once again. Unfortunately, that might just be too much to ask at his point.
- Conference Challenge: This game is a part of the newly-formed Big East-Big 12 Battle, which features marquee non-conference games in December for all 10 teams in each conference. The Big East currently holds a 4-2 advantage.
- Lack of turnovers: This team has some glaring issues, but turnovers are not one of them. The 10.0 turnover-per-game average ranks third nationally, which has kept them in a lot of games that could have otherwise slipped away. For instance, Oklahoma was out-rebounded by 17 and only shot 37.3 percent from the field, but the fact that they only turned it over seven times allowed things to stay close. It’s a testament to the abilities of De’Vion Harmon and Jamal Bieniemy, who haven’t necessarily lit up the stat sheet every night but have done a wonderful job of taking care of the basketball.
Prediction: Creighton 81, Oklahoma 77