College Basketball Pick
Kansas has won 12 straight regular season titles, but this year may be the year that streak ends. Although, that probably could have been said multiple other times in February during that streak. Oklahoma let the door open just a little bit after losing at Kansas State last weekend. Still, there are a number of teams challenging for the top spot and the Jayhawks remain one of them. However, this is probably their hardest Game of the year.
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Despite a loss at KSU, Oklahoma remains one of the best teams in the country and still hasn’t lost at home. That said, the Sooners haven’t exactly blown teams out in Norman, beating Iowa State by Four and West Virginia by two.
Kansas had some major road woes early in the Conference season, but having destroyed TCU last Saturday, those may be in the past. But, it has to be mentioned that the Jayhawks lost their three previous Conference road Games before that by double digits.
The last time these teams played was an instant three-overtime classic that saw Buddy Hield Score46 points in LAwrence and get applauded by the home crowd. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the same type of Game. At times, Hield is almost un-guardable due to his range and his teammates also being decent options on the offensive end. Hield hit eight threes in the first Game, but no one was talking about Jordan Woodard’s night shooting 6-of-9 from three for 27 points. Isaiah Cousins didn’t even make a three in that Game, but is a solid shooter from deep, as well.
Also in that Game, partly due to playing nearly 50 minutes, Ryan Spangler (14 points, 18 boards) and Khadeem LAttin (10 and 14) had nice numbers.
Neither one of these defenses played all that well and that’s shown in the 109-106 Scoreline. But again, it was 77-77 at the end of regulation so that played a part in big stats. Even though the big men for both teams were solid (Perry Ellis had 27 and 13), it was the backcOurts that stole the show.
Just like how the Sooners guards filled it up, Wayne Selden went for 21, Devonte’ Graham had 22 and Frank Mason finished with 15 points, 7 boards and 6 assists.
The main player that Oklahoma needs to focus on stopping is Perry Ellis. Most of that is on Spangler, but when Ellis is hitting shots outside of the arc, he’s one of the toughest players in the country to defend. If the Sooners can limit Ellis a bit more in this Game, that’d be enough to get the edge.
But in the backcOurt, it should once again be a fun battle. In that first Game neither Cousins (2-of-14) nor Mason (5-of-20) had good nights, and they can both change how this Game looks. However, those numbers are more outlandish for Cousins, who has been hitting about 50% of his shots for the past month, while Mason has regularly been around the 20-30% mark over the last few weeks.
The Jayhawks may have just taken down TCU on the road, but this will be a much tougher task. The Sooners get the nod considering they took Kansas to the brink at Allen Fieldhouse. Expect another back-to-back contest, with the home team winning again.