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Oklahoma Sooners Basketball at West Virginia: Preview, Thread & How to Watch

Oklahoma just grabbed a much-needed win against Texas Tech, but an improbable win in Morgantown would all but ensure an NCAA Tournament bid.

Oklahoma v West Virginia

After grabbing a much-needed win against Texas Tech, the Oklahoma Sooners are looking to pull out an improbable upset as they face the No. 20 West Virginia Mountaineers in Morgantown.

Oklahoma (17-11, 7-8) vs. No. 20 West Virginia (19-9, 7-8): 3 p.m. CT at WVU Coliseum (Morgantown, W.Va.)

TV: ESPN2

Commentary: Mark Neely and Bryndon Manzer

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 Tom Dore and Kevin Henry announcing

Line: West Virginia -8 (as of 11 a.m. CT)

About West Virginia

  • Entering Saturday, CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm slots the Mountaineers as a No. 5 seed, while ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has them as a No. 7 seed. WVU also sits at No. 17 in the NCAA NET Rankings, which are the selection committee’s tool for picking the teams and seeding the field.
  • In Ken Pomeroy’s team efficiency ratings, WVU sits at No. 10 nationally. The Mountaineers sit at No. 77 in adjusted offensive efficiency but rank No. 2 in adjusted defensive efficiency.
  • The ‘Eers are quite large in the paint, with starters Derek Culver and Oscar Tshiebwe standing at 6’10” and 6’9” while weighing in at 255 and 258 pounds, respectively. The freshman Tshiebwe leads the team in both scoring (11.1 PPG) and rebounding (9.1 RPG), while Culver contributes 10.5 PPG and 8.6 RPG of his own.

Three Things

  • Battle in the Paint: In the first matchup between these two, West Virginia was unable to take full advantage of the size discrepancy down low. This was due to an uncharacteristic number of misses on close attempts, which obviously irked Bob Huggins. Granted, Oklahoma did an admirable job holding its own inside en route to the 69-59 win, but I wouldn’t expect things to be quite as fortuitous for the Sooners this time around.
  • Bracketology: Following the win over No. 22 Texas Tech, CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm has the Sooners as a No. 10 seed, while ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has OU as one of his “Last Four In” (which would put the Sooners in Dayton). There are a few scenarios that would result in Oklahoma making the Big Dance, but a win today over the No. 17 NET team would all but ensure a bid for the Sooners. With a loss, wins over Texas and TCU to close out the regular season would get the job done, as well. However, if Oklahoma loses to West Virginia and splits the last two, OU will be firmly on the bubble entering the Big 12 Tournament.
  • Doolittle Post-Surgery: Despite breaking his nose in last Saturday’s Bedlam game and having surgery, senior forward Kristian Doolittle is still expected to start in Morgantown. In his last six games, he’s averaged 20.3 points and 8.7 rebounds while recording three double-doubles. This comes after a five-game stretch in which he failed to reach double-figures scoring.

Prediction

West Virginia 70, Oklahoma 58