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TENNESSEE VS OKLAHOMA ST
1ST ROUND NCAA TOURNEY
The Oklahoma State Cowboys quelled all doubts about their chances of making the NCAA Tournament with a win over rival Oklahoma in the Big XVII Tournament. The win was symbolic of how far the team has come, because they weren’t able to beat Blake Griffin and Co. the first two times around. Awarded the 8 seed in the NCAA Tournament, they will have to face the 9 seed Volunteers of Tennessee in the first round.
Tennessee finished fourth in what most experts believe was a very weak SEC. They ended the season with a record of 22-11, and a 7-5 road record. The best wins of the year for the Volunteers came against Florida, South Carolina, Marquette, and Auburn. They lost games to the likes of Alabama, Arkansas, and Temple, so that makes you wonder. The Volunteers made a nice little run through the SEC Tournament, but had to settle for second to a determined Mississippi State team. Tennessee is 5-5 in their last ten games ATS.
The “Cardiac Cowboys” as Oklahoma State has come to be known, have pulled off a few comebacks this year. They trailed by as many as 14 in the second half of their win over Texas Tech. I think being able to come from behind is a great ability for a team, and knowing that Oklahoma State can do that upgrades them in my opinion. Oklahoma State’s best wins this year were over Rhode Island, Texas, and Oklahoma. Some were worried about this team when they dropped six games in an eight game stretch, but they rallied down the stretch of the season and only lost two more games after that. The Cowboys are an amazing 9-1 in their last ten games ATS!
James Anderson is unequivocally the leader of the Oklahoma State Cowboys. The 6-6 sophomore is averaging 18.6 PPG and is connection from 41% at three point range. His best game of the year was when he went wild and dropped 37 points on Oklahoma. His best help will come from Byron Eaton, Terrel Harris, and Obio Muonelo. Eaton is the second leading scorer at 14.1 PPG, but his 5.5 APG seems just as important. The senior can catch fire as he proved with 25 points against Kansas State. Harris is averaging 13.8 PPG, 1.9 APG, 4.8 RPG, and 1.8 SPG. The senior will be pivotal to an Oklahoma State victory. Obi Muonelo, try saying that five times fast! The junior is great on the boards with 7.3 RPG, and he is getting 12.6 PPG.
Tennessee has several good players, but they find their leader in Tyler Smith. The 6-7 forward is leading the team in scoring with 17.2 PPG, and can grab a board or two at 5.2 RPG. The junior dropped a 31 point bomb in the Volunteer’s win over Vanderbilt. The Volunteer’s are a deep team and can rely on up to 7 players. Wayne Chism is very dependable with 13.8 PPG, and 8.1 RPG. The junior had 26 points and 11 rebounds in Tennessee’s win over Marquette. Scotty Hopson is a freshman but is already getting 9.2 PPG, 1.4 APG, and 2.8 RPG. If he keeps improving, he will be a great asset to Tennessee when and if they make a run through this Tournament.
The line is pretty even, but Tennessee is currently a 2 point favorite. They are going to need a big game from Smith if they wish to advance to the second round. I really like Oklahoma State’s chances. They have been very hot lately, as their 9-1 ATS record suggests. James Anderson is going to have a big game and lead his Cowboys past this Tennessee Volunteer team. Regardless of who you like, check back to Bettorsworld.com for latest NCAA Tournament information!
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