The losing skid has reached five games, and the Oklahoma Sooners will have to find a way to steal a win at TCU in order to end it on Saturday.
Oklahoma (15-10, 3-9 Big 12) at TCU (17-7, 5-6 Big 12): 11 a.m. CT at Ed & Rae Schollmaier Arena (Ft. Worth, Texas)
Commentary: Mark Neely and Reid Gettys
Live Stream: WatchESPN
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: TCU -5.5 (as of 8:30 a.m. CT)
- Since last month’s OU win in Norman, TCU has gone 5-4 (4-4 vs. Big 12) and was able to pick up a very impressive win at Hilton Coliseum. In their most recent outing, the Frogs took Kansas to overtime but ultimately fell short in Ft. Worth by a score of 82-77.
- ESPN’s Joe Lunardi currently has TCU as a 9-seed playing in Charleston, S.C., while CBS’ Jerry Palm has the Frogs as an 8-seed playing in Salt Lake City. They currently sit at No. 34 in the NCAA’s NET Rankings.
- In the first meeting, forward Kouat Noi went off for 30 points and connected on eight of his 12 three-point attempts. With the exception of TCU’s loss at K-State (which he missed), he’s scored in double figures in every game since and is currently the squad’s second-leading scorer at 14.8 PPG. The team’s leading scorer at 15.2 PPG is Desmond Bane, who scored nine points on 3-13 shooting against OU last month.
- Jamuni McNeace - After originally not being expected to play against TCU on account of his sore foot, Oklahoma’s center is now considered a game-time decision. McNeace obviously hasn’t been the same since injuring his ankle back in December, but at the very least his presence allows Lon Kruger much more flexibility with his lineups.
- Three-pointers and free throws - Deep shooting hasn’t always been the primary issue during this five-game losing streak, but it was certainly a large part of the equation in Monday’s 59-53 loss at Baylor as the Sooners went 3-16. Going 8-15 from the free-throw line didn’t help either, and the late misses from Brady Manek and Christian James proved incredibly costly. In Big 12 play, the Sooners are shooting 29.7 percent (9th in the Big 12) from deep and 68.9 percent (5th) from the charity stripe.
- Bubble - With a five-game losing streak and a 3-9 Big 12 record, the Sooners are somehow still included in the ESPN and CBS brackets, as Joe Lunardi and Jerry Palm each have OU in the “Last Four In” category. The Sooners are not a NCAA Tournament-calibur team by any stretch of the imagination, bit they are still aided by a great strength of schedule and remaining opportunities for quality wins. They’ll still have to steal some wins down the stretch in order to make the field, and it’s tough to see this team’s potential to do so at this point. An NIT bid is far more realistic, and even that isn’t guaranteed.