#12 Oklahoma vs #14 West Virginia Road to March Madness

#12 Oklahoma vs #14 West Virginia Road to March Madness | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Written by on February 11, 2021

Very important game in the Big 12 on Saturday as No. 12 Oklahoma visits No. 14 West Virginia. Neither is going to catch No. 2 Baylor for the regular-season title but can improve their potential seeding for the conference tournament – if there is one. The Mountaineers will be favored on the NCAAB odds.

How to Bet Oklahoma at West Virginia NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

Last Meeting

On Jan. 2, Oklahoma hosted West Virginia and won 75-71 when the Sooners were unranked and WVU was No. 9. Umoja Gibson made eight 3-pointers and scored a season-high 29 points, and Oklahoma recovered after blowing an 18-point halftime lead. With the score tied at 60, Austin Reaves knocked down a long 2-point jumper and then a 3-pointer – his only one of the game, in nine attempts – with 3:40 left, giving Oklahoma the lead for good. The Sooners have won three straight and four of five against the Mountaineers, including a season sweep in 2019-20.

Why Bet on Oklahoma? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

OU (12-5) beat Iowa State 79-72 on Saturday. The Sooners led 40-36 at halftime. Iowa State tied it at 53 on a 3-pointer by Bolton with just over 11 minutes to play, but Oklahoma’s Kur Kuath threw down a two-handed jam on a lob from Austin Reaves. Iowa State led 58-57 before the Sooners went on an 11-0 run that included seven points by Jalen Hill and put Oklahoma in control for good. Iowa State made 16 of 31 3-pointers, but just 11 of 40 shots inside the arc. Oklahoma shot 21 free throws to Iowa State’s two. Three Iowa State players fouled out — Bolton, Javan Johnson and Jalen Coleman-Lands. Reaves, who had missed the previous two games in COVID protocols, had 16 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Brady Manek, who returned to the starting lineup for the first time since being out with COVID-19, had nine points and a career-high 15 rebounds. Manek has sunk 214 triples in school history and trails only Buddy Hield (349), Terry Evans (259), Steven Pledger (249), Hollis Price (241) and fifth-place Tim Heskett (215). Since being inserted into OU’s starting lineup on Jan. 9, Elijah Harkless is averaging 2.7 steals per game – the fourth-most among major-conference players during that span. The Sooners rank second in the Big 12 in steals (7.9) and third in assists (14.0). Since halftime of OU’s game at Baylor on Jan. 6 the Sooners have outscored their opponents in 12 of their 15 halves of basketball. The Sooners are 8-0 when scoring at least 78 points. Oklahoma is averaging 80.8 points per game in victories and 63.2 in losses.

Why Bet on West Virginia? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

WVU (14-5) upset No. 7 Texas Tech 82-71 in Lubbock on Tuesday. West Virginia won its third consecutive game and ended a four-game skid in Lubbock 15 days after a thrilling 88-87 win at home over Texas Tech when Miles McBride hit the go-ahead jumper in the final seconds. It was West Virginia’s first road win over a Top-10 ranked opponent since defeating No. 6 Virginia in Charlottesville in 2016. “I thought it was a classic example of the team that made the more mistakes lost the game,” Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said. “That was us. Untimely, costly mistakes throughout the game.” Beard lost his temper with 23 seconds left and his team trailing 77-71 by arguing Kevin McCullar’s foul on West Virginia’s Deuce McBride. Beard thought McBride called timeout before McCullar fouled him, and got back-to-back technical fouls complaining about it. A total of 49 fouls were called on both teams, resulting in 59 free throws. West Virginia only trailed for 1:42 of tonight’s game despite being without its third-leading scorer Taz Sherman, who was a late scratch because of a groin injury suffered in practice. WVU got a career-high 26 points from emergency replacement Sean McNeil. He hit eight-of-11 overall including five-of-seven from 3. His biggest triple of the night came with 4:05 left and West Virginia leading by only two. On the season, West Virginia ranks 11th in points per possession, thanks to having three sharpshooting 3-point marksmen (McBride, McNeil, Sherman). The team’s five losses have come against good teams for the most part: Gonzaga, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Florida. West Virginia played better against Gonzaga this season than any other power-conference opponent.

Expert Prediction

  • West Virginia 79, Oklahoma 77
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