Big 12 College Basketball Picks: #6 Kansas Jayhawks at #3 Oklahoma Sooners

#6 Kansas Jayhawks at #3 Oklahoma Sooners
Saturday, February 13, 2016, 2:30 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Lloyd Noble Center – Norman, Oklahoma
Opening Line: Oklahoma -5
Current Line: Oklahoma -4 (-105)
Opening Total: 156
Current Total: 157
Opening Money Line: Oklahoma -200 / Kansas +170
Current Money Line: Oklahoma -180 / Kansas +160

Kansas and Oklahoma meet Saturday in Norman with first place in the Big 12 on the line.
Kansas and Oklahoma meet Saturday in Norman with first place in the Big 12 on the line.

The 20-3 Oklahoma Sooners host the 20-4 Kansas Jayhawks in a battle for first place in the Big 12. The two teams are 8-3 in conference and tied with West Virginia for first place. West Virginia hosts last place TCU Saturday. Both Oklahoma and Kansas are also in the top six nationally and are contenders for #1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament. Kansas is looking for at least a share of the Big 12 regular season title for an amazing 12th straight season.

Kansas leads the series 143-66 against Oklahoma including 50-42 in Norman. Kansas beat Oklahoma January 4 109-106 in triple overtime. That game is widely considered to be the best game in college basketball this season.

Kansas is coached by Bill Self. The Jayhawks lost to Michigan State in Chicago early in the season, and road losses at West Virginia, Oklahoma State and Iowa State. Kansas has won 4 straight games. Kansas has wins over UCLA and Vanderbilt in the Maui Invitational, home wins over Harvard, Oregon State, Montana, Baylor, Oklahoma in triple overtime, TCU, Texas, Kentucky, Kansas State and West Virginia 75-65 Tuesday night, plus road wins over San Diego State, Texas Tech, and TCU. Kansas is 13-8 ATS and the total is 7-14 this season. The Jayhawks were 7 point favorites against West Virginia and the total was 149.

Oklahoma is coached by Lon Kruger. The Sooners have road losses at Kansas, Iowa State and Kansas State. Oklahoma has won 5 of the last six games. The Sooners have neutral site wins over Villanova, Washington State, Hawaii and Harvard all in Hawaii. Oklahoma has road wins at Memphis, Oklahoma State, Baylor, and LSU, along with home wins over Wisconsin, Oral Roberts, Creighton, Iowa State, Kansas State, West Virginia, Texas Tech, TCU and Texas 63-60 Monday night. Oklahoma is 10-11 ATS and the total is 13-8 this season. The Sooners were 7.5 point favorites against Texas and the total was 147.5

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Kansas is out scoring teams 83-69 this season. The Jayhawks are #16 in scoring nationally. Kansas is shooting 49% from the field and 42.2% from 3 point range. The Jayhawks are #13 in field goal percentage and #4 in three point shooting nationally. Kansas makes 71.6% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 40.6% from the field and 33% from 3 point range. Kansas averages 38.4 rebounds a game and opponents average 30 per game. The Jayhawks average 16.3 assists, 12.4 turnovers, 7.1 steals and 4.1 blocks per game. Opponents average 11 assists, 14 turnovers, 6 steals and 3.6 blocks per game.

Forward Perry Ellis averages 16.9 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. Guard Wayne Selden, Jr. averages 14.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1 steal a game. Frank Mason III averages 13.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Devonte’ Graham averages 10.7 points, 3 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. Brannen Greene averages 6.7 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.1 assists. Six other players get significant time in the rotation.

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Oklahoma is outscoring teams 84-71 this season. The Sooners are #11 in scoring nationally. Oklahoma is shooting 47.3% from the field and 45.1% from three point range. The Sooners lead the nation in three point shooting. Oklahoma makes 72.8% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 40% from the field and 32.8% from three point range. Oklahoma averages 40.3 rebounds per game and opponents average 33 per game. The Sooners average 15.8 assists, 12.8 turnovers, 7.2 steals and 5.8 blocks per game. Opponents average 11 assists, 12.1 turnovers, 7.2 steals and 3.4 blocks per game.

Guard Buddy Hield is the consensus choice for national player of the year. He averages 25.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Isaiah Cousins averages 13.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Jordan Woodard averages 13.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.8 steals per game. Ryan Spangler averages 11 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 2 assists per game. Khadeem Lattin averages 6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game. Dinjiyl Walker and Dante Buford will also get minutes.

Kansas is 4-0 ATS overall, 9-2 after a cover, 6-2 in Saturday games, and 9-4 after a straight up win. The road team is 4-1 ATS in this series recently.

Oklahoma is 4-10 ATS overall, 2-5 against teams with winning road records, 3-8 after a straight up win, 5-14 against Big 12 teams, 2-6 at home, 2-7 against teams with winning records, and 1-6 in Saturday games. The over is 6-0 in the last six games and 6-1 in norman between the teams.

Oklahoma lives and dies by the three point shot. If they are falling they can beat any team in the country. If they aren’t then they can get beat like they did last week at Kansas State. The Sooners have played a lot of close games and that will help make them battled hardened in March. I think this will be yet another close game and I like Oklahoma to win at home.

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