Oklahoma Sooners (14-2) at Kansas State Wildcats (12-5)
The winning streak is up to three straight games after last night’s win. We backed the Kansas Jayhawks in the very hostile territory of Morgantown, West Virginia as they played the Mountaineers. It was an absolute thriller of a game as predicted. Kansas was down double digits all night long and used a big 12-0 run late to catch up to and eventually pass the Mountaineers for the win. It was a shocking upset as the Jayhawks hadn’t won in Morgantown in four years before this one.
As I said in my pick yesterday, Bill Self and Kansas have won 13 straight Big -12 titles for a reason, they always seem to figure out how to win big games like this. With the win the Jayhawks have put the rest of the Big-12 on notice, they aren’t giving up their historic streak just yet. Today we will stay in the Big-12 conference and highlight a matchup between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Kansas State Wildcats.
The Oklahoma Sooners will travel to Manhattan, Kansas Tuesday night for a Big-12 showdown with the Kansas State Wildcats. The Sooners had a huge week last week, defeating two very good teams in Texas Tech and TCU. The Sooners are the number four ranked team in the land at 14-2 and have won twelve of their last thirteen games.
Kansas State is feeling the pain of playing in the nation’s best conference this season and has struggled in league play after having a great start to the year in the non-conference. The Sooners are -2-point road favorites. The game total over-under is set at 164 points. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:00 PM PST from Bramlage Coliseum.
The Oklahoma Sooners find themselves back inside the top five and are still my pick to win the national championship this year. I just don’t know how you can slow them down and I expect them to win the Big-12 title this season, ending the Kansas Jayhawks 13-year streak of conference titles.
You need to look no further than last week to see just how good this team is this year. They beat a Texas Tech team this week by double digits. The same Red Raider team that beat Kansas, that beat Baylor, that beat West Virginia. Nobody in the Big-12 has been able to touch Texas Tech, the Sooners handled them with relative ease. Oklahoma followed that up in their next game by dropping a hundo on a very good and ranked TCU Horned Frogs team.
If there was any doubt about how Trae Young would hold up in league play, that has gone out the window as the freshman superstar is flourishing and is running away with the national player of the year award. Young is leading the nation in scoring and assists, something that no player in the history of college basketball has ever done. Young blew up against TCU, dropping 43 points, 11 boards, and 7 assists.
Trae Young is college basketball at its finest, and he and his Sooner teammates are must-see TV. They will need another big effort from Young tonight on the road against a very game K-State team if they want to keep pace with Kansas for the Big-12 title.
Kansas State came out of the non-conference part of the schedule looking like they might contend in an elite Big-12 this season. Those dreams were quickly dispelled as the Cats have started out 2-3 in league play. It hasn’t been all bad for K-State, they lost on the road at Kansas, on the road at Texas Tech, and against West Virginia at home. Nothing to be ashamed of in those losses. But alas, that is the Big-12 this year, and it’s not going to get an easier. Case in point, tonight’s game against the Oklahoma Sooners.
The Wildcats have been in every game they have played this year. They have had chances to beat Arizona State, Kansas, and West Virginia. But at some point, they need to win these types of games if they want an at-large bid into the NCAA tournament.
You don’t hear your name called on Selection Sunday for trying hard and keeping games close, you gotta win a couple of them. Right now, the two best wins on the Wildcats resume are against Oklahoma State and Iowa State, two teams firmly on the bubble. They could boost their resume in a big way tonight at home against Oklahoma.
Road games in the Big-12 are brutal this year. There just are no easy wins for any teams. But if there were a game that a team like Oklahoma can bank on winning, it would be one like this against a K-State team that is just not quite on the level of the rest of the league this season.
It’s not to say the Wildcats aren’t good, they are actually quite good, and could contend to win some of the other leagues around the country. But this year, in this stacked of a Big-12, they don’t stand much of a chance.
I see this game being a very close one, K-State hasn’t got blown out all year playing against teams on a similar level as the Sooners, and I don’t see them starting that tonight at home. But down the stretch, Trae Young is just going to be too much.
If you watched that TCU game last week you know this kid just isn’t going to let his team lose. He hit shot after shot, dagger after dagger, and willed his team to the victory. I see something similar going down tonight. You can pencil the freshman in for 35 points and 11 dimes as the Sooners pull away late for the win and the cover. Give me the Oklahoma Sooner on the road laying -2-points.