#24 Oklahoma vs #5 Texas

#24 Oklahoma vs #5 Texas | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Written by on January 25, 2021

No. 5 Texas is battling No. 2 Baylor for the Big 12 regular-season title, and the Longhorns should be able to take care of business at home against bitter rival and No. 24 Oklahoma on Tuesday night as UT is a 4-point favorite on the NCAAB odds.

How to Bet Oklahoma at Texas NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

  • When: Tuesday, 7 PM ET
  • Where: Frank Erwin Center
  • TV: ESPN2
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio:com; Longhorn Radio Network
  • Opening NCAAB Lines: Texas -4 (total 143)

Last Meeting

The rivals split last season, with the game in Austin finishing 72-62 in favor of the Sooners. Kristian Doolittle (no longer at OU scored 22 points and Oklahoma pulled away from Texas late to snap a four-game skid in Austin. The Sooners seized control with an 11-2 run that built a 61-53 lead with just over five minutes to play. After a 4-of-4 start in the early minutes from long range, the Longhorns made just four their next 25 attempts. Texas was in control late in the first half with a nine-point lead. That’s when the offense stalled.

Why Bet on Oklahoma? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Oklahoma won its third in a row Saturday, upsetting then-No. 9 Kansas 75-68 – that got OU ranked. A 9-2 run by Oklahoma broke open what had been a one-possession game and Austin Reaves’ first basket (after starting with seven misses) put the Sooners ahead 60-54 with 5:53 left.

Kansas pulled within 63-60 when Ochai Agbaji split a pair of free throws with 3:40 left, but Reaves and Umoja Gibson each followed with a driving layup to make it 67-60 and Kansas came no closer than four points the rest of the way.

“Big-time battle,” Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said. “Both teams, I thought, fought like crazy. Buckets were hard to come by, at times, on both ends of the floor. Again, just proud of our guys. A game that could have gone either way. Guys hung in there, got a little bit of a margin there late, made free throws late and did a good job to close it out.”

De’Vion Harmon led the Sooners with 22 points. Junior guard Elijah Harkless was been named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Week on Monday. The transfer from Cal State Northridge fueled the Sooners to a 2-0 week as the team’s defensive catalyst. The 6-3 guard led the conference in steals (six), rebounds (20) and rebounds per game (10.0). He made his presence known throughout the stat sheet, also averaging 7.5 points, 4.5 assists and 50% shooting.

Harkless opened the week by becoming the first major conference player to produce 13 rebounds, six assists and three steals in a game this season. His 13 boards in a 26-point win over K-State tied a career high and marked his first game of double-digit rebounds as a Sooner.

Much of the Sooners’ recent success has come from introducing a four-guard lineup that features Harkless in the starting five. Since adding Harkless to the starting lineup, Oklahoma has gone 3-1 with the lone loss coming to Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse. During that four-game stretch, the Sooners are winning the turnover battle 63 to 32 while holding opponents to 41.1% shooting (27.6% from 3).

Why Bet on Texas? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Texas didn’t play last week after having both games postponed – coach Shaka Smart has tested positive for COVID. Texas is 11-2 overall, 5-1 in the Big 12 and in the mix for a 1-seed in the NCAA tournament. The Longhorns are still scheduled to play Oklahoma on Tuesday before the beginning of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge that starts this Saturday.

It’s unclear whether this game will be impacted by Smart’s positive test, and the school hasn’t announced who will take over as interim head coach if Smart is forced to miss games. The Longhorns’ associate head coach is K.T. Turner, who spent seven seasons at SMU before moving to Texas last offseason.

In their most recent game, a win over Kansas State, the Longhorns had just eight available scholarship players as Greg Brown, Brock Cunningham and Kai Jones were not available for the game. It is thought all three will play here.

Senior G Matt Coleman III is in his fourth year as the starting point guard. He has played and started 114 of a possible 115 games (missed the TCU contest on Feb. 19, 2020 with a bruised right heel). Coleman has reached double figures in scoring 65 times and topped the 20-point mark 10 times.

Texas is to 260-54 at the Erwin Center in the last 19 seasons (dating back to the start of the 2002-03 season). UT is 69-28 at home during the Smart era (6-2 this season). Texas is converting 37.4-percent from behind the arc in Big 12 play.

Texas is 3-2 against AP ranked opponents. UT has scored the opening points and led from start-to-finish in five of its victories. UT has posted four wins by at least 20 points. The Longhorns also are 4-1 in games decided by three points or less.

Expert Prediction
  • Texas 72, Oklahoma 68

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