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In what many believe to be the best conference in the country, there are no breaks in the Big 12 schedule. TCU had to follow up back-to-back home losses with back-to-back road games this week and the first one was a double OT loss to Texas. Coming of its loss at West Virginia, Oklahoma returns home, already beating Texas Tech by 10 points and now facing a TCU team it only beat by one point in the first meeting in need of a win.

Nothing is easy and that’s the case in this one. Trae Young remains the talking point for every Sooners game and that will be the case going forward. He had his worst game of the season in Saturday’s loss and still managed 29 points, four boards and five assists. When these teams met a couple weeks ago, Young dropped 39 points and 14 assists with 18 free throws. Clearly, something has to change for the Horned Frogs if they want to recover from that previous loss.

The problem is that they’ve given no reason to believe they can stop Young. TCU has been subpar all season on the defensive side, giving up an effective field percentage of 52.4 (235th in nation) and rarely forcing turnovers. Jaylen Fisher and Alex Robinson form a solid backcourt, but they don’t have the length or quickness to stop Young and that was seen in the previous meeting. The hope for TCU is that someone like Kameron McGusty doesn’t go off for 22 points like he did in that first meeting, his season high. Even if McGusty doesn’t catch fire, Christian James has produced at a consistent rate this season and Brady Manek has shown he can make shots, as well. The only way for TCU to steal a win is if Oklahoma’s role players are kept in check because at this point, Young is close to a lock to go for 30 points every game.

But as seen in that last matchup, Oklahoma’s defense has some issues as well and they by no means dominated. The Sooners rate better defensively, but still don’t stand out in any area and TCU’s offense actually rates better in a lot of areas. The Frogs are just as good in terms of adjusted offensive efficiency and shoot better from three-point land.

Because of that, TCU is a reasonable team to back due to its depth of scoring options. Four different players reached 14 points in that first meeting and Vladimir Brodziansky was close behind with 12. Maybe most surprising from that game was two of TCU’s starters and regular top scorers, JD Miller and Jaylen Fisher, combined for only 32 minutes and six points. Nothing went right for Fisher, who failed to score even though he’s averaging 12 points per game. Senior guard Kenrich Williams could be the player that gets TCU over the hump after going for 22 points, nine boards and six assists in that first one. His size at 6-7 gave Oklahoma a number of problems on the defensive end.

This game is expected to be similar in terms of pace with both teams running plenty and that should result in another close game. The problem is that Oklahoma still hasn’t lost at home and it’d be hard to back this TCU team to be the first one that knocks them off in Norman.

Our Pick - Oklahoma  -6


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