After nearly pulling off a big upset at No. 1 Baylor, the Oklahoma Sooners will take a break from conference play as they take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. The game will also be played at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City — the first of two OU games to be played at the home of the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2020.
Oklahoma (12-6, 3-3 Big 12) vs. Mississippi (12-6, 3-3 SEC): 1 p.m. CT at Chesapeake Energy Arena (Oklahoma City, Okla.)
Tickets: Fans can purchase them from our friends at StubHub. Find them here!
Commentary: Chuckie Kempf and Dan Dakich
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
About Mississippi State
- In non-conference play, Mississippi State dropped close ones to Villanova as well as solid mid-major opponents Louisiana Tech (No. 65 KenPom) and New Mexico State (No. 96 KenPom). After dropping its first three SEC games to Auburn, Alabama and LSU, the Bulldogs have won three straight against Missouri, Georgia and Arkansas.
- The Bulldogs are No. 53 in the NCAA NET Rankings — the rankings used to select and seed NCAA Tournament teams. Additionally, MSU ranks No. 41 nationally in the KenPom ratings, sitting at No. 19 in adjusted offensive efficiency and and No. 83 in adjusted defensive efficiency.
- MSU is led by 6’10” sophomore Reggie Perry, who is leading the team with 16.9 PPG and 10.3 RPG.
- Early Bracketology: According to the updated bracketology from ESPN’s Joe Lunardi, Oklahoma is a No. 11 seed. In his previous update prior to the TCU win and the narrow Baylor loss, OU was also a No. 11 seed but was participating in one of the play-in games. In Jerry Palm’s most recent update (prior to the Baylor game), Oklahoma was slotted as a No. 7 seed. Following the loss in Waco, Oklahoma actually moved up two spots to No. 47 in the NCAA NET Rankings.
- Can Manek keep it going? In Saturday’s convincing win over TCU, junior forward Brady Manek had a career night, scoring 31 points on 10/15 shooting and 7/9 from deep. He then stayed hot against Baylor, scoring while again shooting over 50 percent from the field (7/13) and staying hot from three-point range (4/8). Entering the season, one of the biggest keys to OU’s success was for Manek to become more consistent offensively, and while it’s not reasonable to expect him to stay this hot with his shot, it’ll certainly be a good sign if he can at least put together another solid performance.
- Can Doolittle and Reaves bounce back? While Manek was superb against Baylor, the rest of the team struggled mightily offensively. That includes Austin Reaves and Kristian Doolittle, who went 3/17 and 4/14 from the field, respectively. Reaves’ shooting struggles have been lingering for a bit, as he has connected on only three of his 27 three-point attempts over the last five games.
These are two fairly evenly-matched teams, but I’ll take the Sooners in front of a friendly crowd and less cowbell.
Oklahoma 75, Mississippi State 70