Oklahoma Sooners at Kansas State Wildcats – NCAAM February 23

No. 7 Oklahoma (14-5, 9-4) at Kansas State (6-18, 2-13)

  • Time: 6PM PST | 8PM CST | 9PM EST
  • Location: Bramlage Coliseum, Manhattan, KS
  • TV: ESPN2

Opening Tip

The Sooners continue to be one of the hottest teams in the nation as they have won eight out of their last nine games despite three postponements due to covid issues in opponents’ programs.

Meanwhile, it has been a tough year for coach Bruce Weber as he has worked on the rebuild of the Kansas State Wildcats’ fortunes with one of the nation’s youngest basketball teams. According to kenpom.com, Kansas State is 335th in experience as the Wildcats as the squad has an average of 1.02 years experience per player.

Kansas State ended a 13-game losing streak on Saturday with a 62-54 win at TCU.

Oklahoma has not won in the Octagon of Doom since 2012; however, the Sooners defeated the Wildcats, 76-50, in Norman on Jan. 19. A 13-0 run over the last five minutes of the first half spelled doom with out the octagon for K-State. The Sooners then went on a 50-20 tear over the last 21 minutes of the game as De’Vion Harmon led OU with 16 points.

Vs. The Spread

Oklahoma:

  • The Sooners are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 11 of Oklahoma’s last 16 outings
  • OU is 1-4 ATS in it’s last five vs. the Wildcats

Kansas State:

  • K-State is 4-1 ATS in it’s last 5 games
  • The UNDER has been the play in 4 of the Wildcats’ last 5 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 4 of the last 5 between OU and K-State

Last Time Out

Oklahoma took it’s first win over Iowa State, 66-56, as in was the Sooners first win in Hilton coliseum since 2011. Austin Reeves had his fifth 20-point game of the season with 20 points and five boards. OU led by 21 before the Cyclones stormed back and took a one-point lead midway through the second half. Oklahoma then hit a 16-4 sprint to slam the door once and for all.

Kansas State went on a 16-3 run to end the game as the Wildcats passed TCU, 62-54, as the ‘W’ ended a 13-game losing streak and gave the Wildcats their first win in 2021. Mike McGuril had a game-high 16 points and a career high of nine rebounds. Freshmen Nigel Pack and Selton Miguel spurred the Kansas State run as Pack hit a jumper with 1:22 to play to give the Wildcats a 58-53 lead and the separation it needed for the win.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Oklahoma -10.5 (-108) -600 O 131 (-110)
Kansas State +10.5 (-112) +460 U 131 (-110)

Advantage, Oklahoma

Oklahoma Sooners LogoThe Sooners continue to thrive as they have hit three straight road games for the first time in Big 12 play since 1996. Austin Reeves continues to play at an amazing level in February with 21.3 points, 7.4 rebounds and 5.3 assists in this month alone. He is a matchup issue as he joins Illinois guard Ayo Dosunmu as the only players in D-1 hoops to average at least 16.5 points, grab 5.5 rebounds, and spray 5.0 assists on the season.

The Sooners are going to see a Kansas State defense that allows opponents to shoot 38.3 percent from long distance. Oklahoma has made only 29.8 percent of it’s three-pointer in it’s last four games. Watch for Umoja Gibson (10.4 ppg, 44.7% -3) to get looks early as he leads the Sooners with 46 made triples.

Key Sooners Stat:

De’Vion Harmon (12.4 ppg, 46.6%-FG) has scored in double figures in eight of the Sooners’ last nine games as he will pose a tough matchup for the youth of the Wildcats’ guards. Don’t be surprised if Mike McGuriel gets switched on Harmon if he accentuates the offense early with consistency. He is second on the team in assists (38) behind Reeves (88) and he gets to the rim as well with consistency.

X-Factor:

Elijah Harkless (7.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg) has averaged 11.7 points per game over his last six outings and he has also picked it up on the glass with an average of eight boards per night in his last three.

Advantage, Kansas State

Kansas State Wildcats LogoThe youthfulness of the Wildcats has given the players on this team lots of opportunities to learn from in-game experiences. Coach Bruce Weber noted on Saturday that the players and the team have improved although it has not been seen in the win column. Navigating Oklahoma’s defense is a chore as Harkless, Gibson, and Harmon are disrupters as all have accrued over 20 steals this season. Pack (12.3 ppg) and McGuriel (11.5 mpg) have to navigate carefully. They are OU’s two best ball handlers and combined for 95 of Kansas State’s 159 made threes.

Key Wildcats Stat:

Davion Bradford and Antonio Gordon must give the Wildcats a presence in the paint with their athleticism against Oklahoma’s Brady Manek and Jalen Hill. Bradford makes 60.7 percent of his shots while Gordon continues to thrive as the Wildcats’ leading rebounder with 5.7 per game. Neither gives Kansas State rim-protection which will be important vs. the Sooners’ driving guards and Manek’s post up potential.

X-Factor:

DaJuan Gordon is a do-everything type of player who could have a break out game and carry the Wildcats. He is one of six guards in the Top 15 in the Big 12 in rebounding at 5.4 per game and his 9.2 points per night is third on the team.

Winner: Oklahoma (-10.5) 74, Kansas State 61

The Bets
Oklahoma Sooners -10.5
-108
Oklahoma Sooners
-600
OVER 131
-110
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.