The NCAA Tournament opens on Tuesday night, but don’t forget about the NIT Tournament. There are two First Four matchups, with Texas A&M CC and Texas Southern meeting, and then Indiana and Wyoming in the late game.
There NIT Tournament is in full swing with nine games on the schedule. Some teams really aren’t going to want to be in the NIT. Motivation isn’t going to be a strong suit for some schools. Texas A&M has to be at the top of that list.
The Aggies made it to the championship game in the SEC Tournament. While they didn’t play well in a 65-50 loss, the Aggies believed they did enough to get an out-large bid. Nope. Off to the NIT for a date with Alcorn State.
??? ??? ??????? ?? ??? ?
? Missouri State
? March 15
⏰ 6 PM
? Lloyd Noble Center pic.twitter.com/oYmQQcaeqC
— Oklahoma Basketball (@OU_MBBall) March 14, 2022
As I said, the NCAA committee was going to do everything in their power to find an excuse to put the Michigan Wolverines in the NCAA Tournament. Texas A&M isn’t as good for business as Michigan is during March Madness.
After going 18-15 through the regular season, this team can’t be surprising for Oklahoma, though. The Sooners knew they didn’t do enough to get into the NCAA Tournament. They did have some good wins.
Oklahoma won two straight games as an underdog against Kansas State to finish the regular season, 78-71, and Baylor, 72-67 in the Big 12 Tournament.
They just missed out versus Texas Tech in the next round, but covered the 7.5-point spread in a 56-55 loss. Their four-game losing streak came to an end in that matchup.
Tough one for Oklahoma, though I don’t see them completely disinterested in the NIT. Missouri State is no slouch, but had to win the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.
They were a point away from going to the championship, though they lost in overtime, 79-78. Both teams are coming off tough losses going into this one. Overall, Missouri State finished at 23-10.
Head below for our free Missouri State vs. Oklahoma prediction on March 15 in the NIT Tournament.
Missouri State Bears vs. Oklahoma Sooners Betting Odds and Team Statistics:
The following odds are courtesy of BetOnline:
|Missouri State Bears||+6 (-110)||OFF||Over 138.5 (-105)|
|Oklahoma Sooners||-6 (-110)||OFF||Under 138.5 (-115)|
|Team Data||Missouri State Bears||Oklahoma Sooners|
|Points Per Game||77.8||68.8|
|Points Against Per Game||68.3||64.9|
|Field Goal %||48.5||47.7|
|Three Point %||37.9||33.6|
Missouri State vs. Oklahoma Prediction:
Keep in mind that the NIT Tournament is a home-based event. There is no neutral floor until the tournament moves to Madison Square Garden for the Final Four.
Oklahoma will host Missouri State at Lloyd Noble Center on their campus at the University of Oklahoma. That’s a nice lift to a team that went 11-5 at home this season.
If they are interested and bring the defensive intensity, Oklahoma is going to be in a good spot in the first round of the NIT. This season, the Sooners had one of the better defenses in the Big 12.
They are touch to crack when the defense is on point. This isn’t the same run and spray team that the Sooners had when Buddy Hield was a Sooner years back.
Oklahoma is 51st in the NCAA with 64.9 points against per game. The Sooners have allowed 63 points per game and a 41.3% field goal percentage against through their previous five outings.
Home court advantage should help them versus Missouri State. This season, the Sooners have allowed 60.6 points per game and a 40.6% field goal percentage at home.
I’m not confident that Missouri State will be prepared for the defensive pressure on the road.
Missouri State Bears vs. Oklahoma Sooners Betting Trends:
- 22-9 ATS in their previous 31 games on the road
- 1-5 ATS in their previous six games
- 2-9-1 ATS in their previous 12 games as an underdog
- 0-6 ATS in their previous six games on a Tuesday
- 1-4 ATS in their previous five games in March
- 5-0 ATS in their previous five games
- 5-1 ATS in their previous six games in March
- 13-5 overall in their previous 18 games as a betting favorite
- 0-3-1 ATS in their previous four games after a loss
- OVER is 5-1 in their previous six games after covering the spread
Oklahoma doesn’t score a ton of points, but they are efficient from the field. The Sooners are 27th in the NCAA, with a field goal percentage of 47.7%.
They’re scoring just 68.8 points per game, but it works when the Sooners make the most out of their trips, and they are playing defense.
Missouri State is scoring 77.8 points per game for 35th, but this is a Missouri Valley schedule. On the road, they regressed to 73.7 points a game.
As an underdog against better competition, the Bears have notched 68 points per game while conceding 74.3 points per game. This looks like another instance where Missouri State doesn’t look so hot versus a better opponent.
Oklahoma knew they had to win the Big 12 Tournament for a spot in the NCAA Tournament, so I can’t see this being a huge letdown. There should be a little motivation to play well in front of the home crowd.
I’m on the Sooners to edge ahead in the second half to win and cover.