College Basketball Pick
It seems like Oklahoma is in a heavyweight matchup every week and that mainly shows how good the Big 12 is this year. On Saturday, the Sooners travel to Baylor for another Top 25 matchup.
The Sooners opened the Conference slate with a win over Iowa State then went to three overtimes in a loss at Kansas. Recently, they took down West Virginia at the buzzer and then fell to Iowa State this past Monday.
Baylor’s Schedule hasn’t been as difficult, but that’s not to say the Bears aren’t one of the top teams in the country. They fell big at Kansas, but also won in Ames, usually a place close to impossible to win.
Much like the Oklahoma-Iowa State matchup earlier this week, this Game will have loads of scoring. The way to beat the current No. 1 team in the country is by stopping Buddy Hield. Obviously, that isn’t easy to do as he’s averaging 26 points per Game and shooting above 50% from deep. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of defense Baylor plays in this Game. While the Bears play zone, they mix it up depending on the opponent and considering Oklahoma has multiple shooters in addition to Hield, we could see something a little different here.
The Sooners aren’t a deep squad with Four guys averaging at least 30 minutes per Game, but those Four all have experience and can score. OUtside of Hield, Jordan Woodard and Isaiah Cousins are dynamic players on the perimeter that can also take it to the hole. Ryan Spangler is a stretch-Four that can also play the five spot, which creates all kinds of matchup issues.
Baylor may not have the same type of offense with a guy like Hield to fill it up, but the Bears work together as a team and lead the nation with 21 assists per Game. It also helps that they have a bench that can be effective as they scored 26 points at Texas Tech last weekend. The Bears have lengthy players in Taurean Prince and Johnathan Motley that could give the Sooners some issues. Rico Gathers is a handful down low as well and that’ll be Khadeem LAttin’s main role, stopping the bruiser.
For the Bears to win this Game, they’ll need a smart performance from Lester Medford as he’s what makes them tick. He only averages 9.0 points per Game, but he’s also at 7.0 assists and only 1.9 turnovers per Game. This team is at its best when Medford is on his Game. At Iowa State, Medford hit Four threes en route to 16 points and 11 assists.
Oklahoma entered the week as the No. 1 team and now could easily lose both of its Games this week. That’s part Big 12 and part how up for grabs this season is going to be in college basketball. There isn’t one team that can run away from the group and that’ll be the case the rest of the way. But at the end of the day, these are two teams that should be alive in the second week of the NCAA Tournament.
Check Back Saturday for a Score Prediction Oklahoma 88 Baylor 76