College Basketball Pick
Somewhat hidden in the Big 12/SEC challenge is this Game, which features the No. 1 team in the country against who many believe to be the No. 1 player in the country. This Game isn’t getting more attention mainly because LSU has seven losses and doesn’t look like a Tournament team. Still, plenty of people will want to see how Ben Simmons performs on a stage against a team like Oklahoma.
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The Tigers have seven losses and are lost in the mix in the SEC standings. They failed to get any solid non-Conference wins, although a win here would change that. Combine that with their previous win against Kentucky and they become a play-in team. LSU has been a much different team at home in Conference play, winning all Four contests (including the Kentucky Game) and if they can play to that level, who knows what will happen here.
The best news for the Sooners is that their Schedule lightened up for once leading up to this Game after they took out Texas Tech on Tuesday. Playing on the road shouldn’t faze this group though as they already won at West Virginia and Baylor, while taking Kansas and Iowa State down to the wire.
LSU hasn’t played great defense this year and that’ll be a problem against this Oklahoma team that can Scorein bunches. The Sooners already have three guys who have made at least 30 three pointers, including player of the year candidate Buddy Hield, who is shooting a ridiculous 52% from deep. And then there’s Jordan Woodard who’s at 54% from three.
Oklahoma has an abundance of shooters with point guard Isaiah Cousins included, but all three of those guys can also create shots on their own, they aren’t just spot-up shooters. In addition, Ryan Spangler is a stretch-Four that’s averaging 10 boards per Game. The Sooners have size as well with Khadeem LAttin and Dante Buford, so that’s not an issue either.
Even already having played Kentucky, this Oklahoma squad should be a different and harder task. The Sooners are in form and will be hard to take down.
As usual, Ben Simmons is the key for the Tigers and it’ll be interesting to see how OU defends him. They’ll likely put Ryan Spangler on him, but Hield may see some time on him as well. If that’s the case, that means LAttin and Buford would draw Craig Victor, who’s taking nearly 11 shots per Game. But the way LSU wins Games is via a better backcOurt with guys like Keith Hornsby, Tim Quarterman and Antonio Blakeney. The problem is that the Sooners probably have a better backcOurt.
LSU usually plays up in bigger Games like this, especially at home, and they’ll be definitely put up a fight here. However, will that be enough against this run-and-gun Oklahoma squad? Ben Simmons needs to have a big Game, otherwise, every other spot on the floor will likely be outplayed for LSU.
Predicted ScoreOklahoma 96 LSU 79