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Oklahoma Sooners Basketball vs. Iowa State: Preview, Thread & How to Watch

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The Sooners will look to right the ship after a disastrous week. Unfortunately, they’ll have to do so against a talented Iowa State team.

NCAA Basketball: Baylor at Oklahoma Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

If you didn’t watch any Oklahoma Sooners basketball last week, consider yourself lucky. Last week was one that OU will look to quickly put in the rearview mirror following a 30-point home loss to Baylor and a clunker at last-place West Virginia. Lon Kruger’s squad will have a chance to redeem itself and get back on the right track tonight. Unfortunately, the opportunity comes against the talented Iowa State Cyclones, who have won five of their last six games.

Oklahoma (15-7, 3-6 Big 12) vs. No. 17 Iowa State (17-5, 6-3 Big 12): 8 p.m. CT at Lloyd Noble Center (Norman, OK)

TV: ESPN2

Commentary: Kevin Connors and Chris Spatula

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: Iowa State -2.5 (as of 3:30 p.m. CT)

About Iowa State

  • The Cyclones got off to a slow start in Big 12 play but bounced back to win five of their last six games. The lone loss came at Kansas by a score of 80-76.
  • Iowa State leads the Big 12 in scoring offense, averaging 79.0 points per game and boasts the best turnover margin in the league at +3.2 per game. Senior guard Marial Shayok is currently second in the conference in scoring at 19.2 PPG.
  • ESPN’s Joe Lunardi currently has Iowa State projected as a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Storylines

  • Christian James looks to bounce back - OU’s leading scorer had quite a rough couple games last week and has rarely been sharp since the beginning of January. James, who averages 16.0 PPG, scored just 18 points total on an abysmal 3-19 shooting from the field and 1-11 from three over the last two games. He obviously has the potential to carry a large chunk of the scoring load, and the Sooners desperately need that to happen. Unfortunately, James appears to be inside of his own head at the moment and has been hesitant to fire away on what have appeared to be good looks for him.
  • Sooners need to slow the game down - OU’s offense has been inconsistent, to say the least, as of late. Iowa State is one of the best offensive teams in the country and is capable of scoring in a hurry, so the Sooners need to slow the game down and work for better looks than they did the last two games. In short, OU will probably need to make this a bit of a dull affair — while still being somewhat efficient on offense — in order to come out on top.
  • NCAA Tournament implications - The Sooners appear to still be in position to make the NCAA Tournament field (Lunardi currently has them as an 8-seed), but they have obviously been trending heavily in the wrong direction. A win over the No. 17 team in the country would be a massive boost to OU’s resume. However, with this team playing Iowa State and Texas Tech before facing both Baylor and TCU on the road, the chances of OU dancing in March could be all but gone by late February. On the other hand, this team will still be in a decent position if they can steal two of those games.

Prediction

Trying to predict this team’s level of is like trying to predict the weather, but I actually think the Sooners come out strong tonight and muddy things up just enough to give themselves a chance.

OU 74 Iowa State 69