Oklahoma Sooners (12-1) at West Virginia Mountaineers (13-1)
We dropped last night’s game when we backed Northwestern on the road against Penn State getting six points. The Wildcats came out flat and got down early and just never really put up much of a fight. I am not ready to say that Penn State is a tournament team quite yet, but I am ready to say that Northwestern will not be hearing their name called on Selection Sunday. It looks like it’s back to heartbreak for the Wildcats after reaching the NCAA tournament last year for the first time in school history. Today I will be breaking down a huge matchup in the Big 12 between title contenders Oklahoma and West Virginia.
The Oklahoma Sooners will travel to Morgantown to face the West Virginia Mountaineers Saturday night in a blockbuster matchup. This is as good as it gets in college basketball. Two top ten teams that are undefeated in conference battling it out in primetime. The Sooners come into this game at 12-1 and ranked number seven in the country, they have won ten straight games.
The Mountaineers will look to protect their home court and are 13-1 and ranked number six in the land. After losing their first game of the season to Texas A&M, the Mountaineers have now reeled off thirteen straight wins. The Mountaineers will be -4.5-point home favorites. The game total over-under is set at 173.5 points. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:15 PM PST from WVU Coliseum in Morgantown.
The Oklahoma Sooners are the most fun team to watch in college basketball this season. They lead the nation in scoring at over 96 points a game and regularly eclipse the century mark. If you haven’t watched Boomer Sooner play this year, you are truly missing out, this is a fun brand of basketball, and we are in for a treat tonight.
The Sooners are led by super freshman Trae Young. When you think back of all the legendary college players over the years, the Magic Johnsons the Larry Birds the Michael Jordans, Trae Young has a chance to do something this year that no player in NCAA history has EVER done. That is lead the nation in points and assist in the same season.
Right now, Young is doing just that at 29 points and almost 11 assists a game. Young has a lot of Steph Curry in him with a lightning fast release and deadly accuracy. As soon as Young crosses the timeline you have to be ready for him to jack it up in your face and nail it.
The Sooners 12-1 record is one that is dotted with great wins. They beat Oregon, USC, Northwestern, Wichita State, and TCU. A who’s who of college basketball talent, they have played a brutal schedule, and not only have they survived, they have thrived. Tonight, they will face what might be their toughest challenge yet, the West Virginia Mountaineers.
If you are sleeping on West Virginia, you need to wake up! This team is absolutely the real deal, and they sport one of the best defenses in the country. They have shut down some very talented teams enroot to their 13-1 record, including wins against Oklahoma State, Kansas State, and Long Beach State. The Mountaineers are allowing less than 65 points a game and the most anybody has dropped on them in a game is 79.
West Virginia is led by one of, if not the, best on-ball perimeter defenders in the country, in Jevon Carter. Carter will be tasked with trying to slow down the explosive Young today. Whoever wins that matchup will very likely also win the game.
To say this a matchup of contrasting styles would be an understatement. You have the best offensive team in the country against what might be the best defensive team in the country. One likes to run and gun and hoist up shots from the outside, the other likes to take the air out of the ball and shut you down. Whichever team dictates the pace will win this game. If the score ends up in the sixties, there is no chance West Virginia loses. If this score ends up in a first team to a hundred wins shootout, the Sooners will come away with the victory.
I said very early on in the season that the Kansas Jayhawk’s reign atop the Big 12 was coming to an end this year. These two teams were the major reason why. Both of these squads are Final Four caliber teams, and I could not be more excited to watch how this one plays out. This line opened at West Virginia -3-points and has been moving their direction ever since. The line now stands at West Virginia -4.5.
Before this line posted, I really thought it would come in at close to even. The Sooners are a very public team and with Trae Young leading the way, are getting a lot of national attention. I would have jumped all over West Virginia at home if it opened where I thought it was going to. It didn’t. It opened at three and continues to move as the public, and the sharps, seem to all be backing West Virginia. Not me.
This reminds me of the Arizona and Arizona State game a couple of weekends ago. A very similar matchup, with a similar line move. I liked Arizona early, and the line move convinced me to jump on the other side, and that is what I am doing here. There is just no scenario where I think Oklahoma is 4.5 points worse than anybody right now, even on the road.
They played at Wichita State in a true road game, one of the absolute toughest places to play in the country, and won. They played against an undefeated TCU team last week, on the road, and won. This team is not at all scared of going into hostile environments and competing. Trae Young is the best player in the country, and I am inclined to think he is going to torch Jevon Carter tonight. Carter is physical and likes to swarm on defense, but I don’t think he has ever seen anything quite like Trae Young before and this feels like a thirty-point night for the freshman.
This is must-see TV today. The entire Big 12 is in action, and there are great matchups up and down the board in conference today. I know what my Saturday afternoon looks like, and so should you! Sit back, relax, and watch what should be a masterpiece of a game tonight in Morgantown. Give me the Oklahoma Sooners +4.5 points tonight!