After earning winning a nail-biter against the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the Big 12/SEC Challenge, the Oklahoma Sooners return to Big 12 play as they face Lon Kruger’s alma mater and former team — the Kansas State Wildcats.
Take care of business. pic.twitter.com/42Hx6hNJJw— Oklahoma Basketball (@OU_MBBall) January 29, 2020
Oklahoma (13-6, 3-3) vs. Kansas State (8-11, 1-5): 7 p.m. CT at Bramlage Coliseum (Manhattan, Kan.)
TV/Live Stream: ESPN+ (This requires a subscription, which can be purchased here for $4.99/mo.)
Commentary: Mark Neely and Lance Blanks
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: Kansas State -1.5 (as of 5 p.m. CT)
About Kansas State
- The Wildcats are No. 88 in KenPom’s team efficiency ratings, sitting at No. 167 in adjusted offensive efficiency and No. 62 in adjusted defensive efficiency. As is typical of Bruce Weber-coached team, K-State is a slower-paced team and is No. 246 in adjusted tempo.
- K-State’s best win of the year came against then-No. 12 West Virginia in Manhattan by a score of 84-68 (1/18). However, that’s the Wildcat’s only win in Big 12 play, and they’ve lost 11 of their last 15 games overall.
- KSU is led in scoring by 6’5” senior Xavier Sneed, who is averaging 14.7 PPG while connecting on 39.3 percent of his FG attempts (33 percent from three-point range).
- In the first of two matchups on the season, OU topped Kansas State in Norman by a score of 66-61. K-State actually held a 61-54 lead with 3:45 left in the game, but the Sooners ended the game on a 12-0 run to clinch the victory.
- Early Bracketology: As of Tuesday, the Sooners were listed as a No. 9 seed in Jerry Palm’s updated bracketology while also sitting as a No. 11 seed in Joe Lunardi’s bracket. OU also sits at No. 46 in the NCAA NET Rankings, which are used to help determine the NCAA Tournament field.
- Kruger in Manhattan: As you might be aware, OU head coach Lon Kruger played for Kansas State from 1970-74, was named the Big Eight Player of the Year in both 1973 and 1974 and coached the Wildcats from 1986-90. Kruger led the Sooners to a victory in Manhattan during his first season at the helm of the program (2011-12), but OU has not won at Bramlage since, resulting in the long-running joke that Kruger is not allowed to beat his alma mater in Manhattan.
- Reaves in a shooting slump: Over Oklahoma’s last six games, junior Austin Reaves is 3/31 from three-point range, and his season average in the area has dropped to 23.6. Much of this has been due to shot selection, as Reaves often takes it upon himself to put a bit too much of the scoring load on his own shoulders. having said that, some of the looks have actually been solid, and he still isn’t connecting, so a big night would go an awfully long way for his own confidence and his team’s fortunes.
In recent years, a road win over any Big 12 team would seem like a luxury, but a road win against this particular Kansas State team is a bit more of a necessity. The Wildcats are legitimately bad, and OU isn’t going to receive the same strength of schedule boost from Big 12 play in 2020. Having said that, OU has proven that it can pull out these kinds of wins without playing particularly well, so I like their chances even if Reaves continues to stay cold.
Oklahoma 70, Kansas State 65
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