7:00 p.m. ET – No. 24 Oklahoma at No.5 Texas (-4.5) O/U:143
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Oklahoma||+4 (-105)||+170||O 143 (-105)|
|Texas||-4 (-115)||-195||U 143 (-115)|
Oklahoma (9-4) travels to Austin to take on 11-2 Texas in a rare Top 25 basketball edition of one of the nation’s best football rivalries being taken to the hardwood. The Sooners are fresh off an upset win against Kansas, beating them 75-68 in Norman last Saturday afternoon. The Longhorns rebounded from their first conference loss of the season with an 82-67 victory over Kansas State back on Jan. 16 before COVID-19 issues within the programs at Iowa State and TCU forced those contests to be postponed. Now COVID has struck at the Longhorns’ inner cicle as well, as Coach Shaka Smart will be forced to become a spectator in quarantine away from the team following his own positive COVID test.
The unquestioned leader of the Longhorns also has undoubtedly the best story in college basketball. Andrew Jones averages a team-high 14.4 points per game and is its emotional leader as well. On Jan. 9, the redshirt junior hit a game-winning 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds left to lift Texas to a 72-70 win over then-No. 14 West Virginia. It came three years to the day from when Smart informed his Longhorns’ teammates of Jones’ leukemia diagnosis. Now healthy again, Jones not only is a force on offense but also a catalyst who anchors the Texas defense that has been a large part of its success this season. The Sooners are led by Andrew Reaves, who is the team leader in points, rebounds and assists. Reaves ranks third in the conference with 5.2 assists per game.
Texas is 4-1 in one-possession games this season and only 3-6 against the spread as a favorite. Oklahoma 8-4-1 against the spread this season to go along with a 3-1 record as an underdog. The absence of Smart cannot be overstated, considering this has all the makings of a close game down the stretch. Coach Lon Kruger’s Oklahoma squad does a good job of guarding in the half-court without fouling, which will force Texas to knock down its outside shots to win this game. This has all the makings of a great game where the team who has the ball last wins, so take Oklahoma and the 4.5 points in a battle that could go either way.