Big 12 College Basketball Picks: Texas Longhorns at #15 Oklahoma State Cowboys

Texas Longhorns at # 15 Oklahoma St Cowboys
Saturday, March 2, 2013, 4:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Gallagher-Iba Arena – Stillwater, Oklahoma
Opening Line: Oklahoma St -12
Current Line: Oklahoma St -12 1/2
Opening Total: 127
Current Total: 130 1/2
Opening Money Line: Oklahoma St -800 / Texas +600
Current Money Line: Oklahoma St -900 / Texas +650

Oklahoma St is a 12.5 point favorite at home against Texas. The Cowboys can still win the Big 12 title with some help.
Oklahoma St is a 12.5 point favorite at home against Texas. The Cowboys can still win the Big 12 title with some help.

The 21-6 Oklahoma State Cowboys are 11-4 in the Big 12 with 3 games to play in the regular season. They are a game behind Kansas and Kansas St for the conference lead. The Cowboys host the 13-15 Texas Longhorns Saturday. The Longhorns are 5-10 in the Big 12 in 8th place in the conference. They are a game behind West Virginia for seventh. Texas needs to finish above .500 to even be eligible for the NIT, CBI, or CIT tournaments.

Texas leads the series 45-37, but OSU is 18-13 in Stillwater. Oklahoma St has won 2 straight against Texas, but Texas has won 11 of the last 14. The Cowboys won in Stillwater February 9 72-59.  Oklahoma St hasn’t swept Texas in a season since 2004.

Texas is coached by Rick Barnes.  Texas has losses to Chamindade and USC in the Maui Invitational, to Georgetown in New York City, to UCLA in Houston, at Michigan St, Baylor, Iowa St, Oklahoma, Kansas St twice, Kansas twice West Virginia twice, and at Oklahoma St. Three of their losses were in overtime. The Longhorns have key wins over Fresno St, Mississippi St in Maui, North Carolina Rice, Texas Tech, TCU twice, Iowa St and Oklahoma 92-86 in overtime Wednesday. In the win over Oklahoma, Texas trailed by 22 points with just under 8 minutes to go. Texas is 14-11 ATS and the total is 11-11 this season.

Texas is outscoring teams 65.1-65 this season. The Longhorns are shooting 41.4% from the field and 28.3% from 3 point range. Texas makes 64.5% of their free throws. The Longhorns are 264th or worse in all three shooting categories out of 347 teams. The Longhorns average 37.4 rebounds per game, and they give up 33.5 per game. Texas opponents are shooting 37.7% from the field and 28.5% from 3 point range. The Longhorns are in the top 10 nationally in both categories. Texas averages 12 assists, 6 steals, 5 blocks and 16 turnovers.

Guard Myck Kabongo missed the first 23 games of the season with a suspension. He has played the last 5 games though. Kabongo averages 18.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.4 assists and a steal per game. Guard Sheldon McClellan averages 13.8 points, and 4.3 rebounds. Guard Julien Lewis averages 10.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. He is probable with an eye injury. Forward Ioannis Papapetrou averages 8.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.3 assists.  Guard Javan Felix averages 7.6 points, 3 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Forward Jonathan Holmes averages 6.6 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. He returned against Iowa St, after missing 5 games with a broken hand. Center Cameron Ridley averages 4.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game. Connor Lammert, DeMarcus Holland, and Prince Ibah will also get some time in the rotation. With Kabongo and Holmes back, Texas has their full rotation back for the first time this season.

Oklahoma St is coached by Travis Ford. The Cowboys have losses at Virginia Tech, Kansas St, Oklahoma and Baylor and at home to Gonzaga and Kansas.  OSU has wins over Akron, Tennessee, and North Carolina St in a tournament in Puerto Rico along with home wins over South Florida, Missouri St, TCU, West Virginia, Iowa St, Baylor and Oklahoma. The Cowboys have road wins at Kansas, Texas and Texas Tech, West Virginia, and TCU 64-47. The Cowboys are 14-11-1 ATS and the total is 8-12 this season.

Oklahoma St is outscoring teams 72-61 this season. OSU is shooting 44% from the field and 32.4% from 3 point range. The Cowboys are #37 in free throw shooting making 74% from the line. Oklahoma St averages 36.9 rebounds per game, and gives up 31.4 per game. Cowboy opponents are shooting 38.5% from the field and 32.1% from 3 point range. OSU is #20 in opponent’s field goal percentage. The Cowboys average 12 assists, 7 steals, 5 blocks, and 12 turnovers a game.

Guard Markel Brown averages 15.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1 steal per game. Guard Marcus Smart averages 14.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 2.9 steals per game. Guard-forward Le’Bryan Nash averages 13.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.9 assists. Guard Phil Forte averages 10.6 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 1.3 steals. Michael Cobbins averages 6.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game.  Kamari Murphy, Philip Jurick, and Kirby Gardner make up the rest of the rotation. Guard Jean-Paul Olukemi (knee) is out for the season.

Texas is 2-6 ATS after scoring 90 points or more, and 1-4 after a cover. The under is 11-3 in the last 14 games in this series, and 4-1 in Stillwater.

Oklahoma St is 5-1 ATS in Saturday games, 13-3 against teams with losing records, 35-16-2 against teams with losing road records, 2-5 after a cover, and 0-4 at home. The favorite is 7-2-1 in the last 10 meetings in this series.

After and emotional come from behind win over Oklahoma this week, Texas could be in for a little bit of a let down. Stillwater is a tough place to play, and Oklahoma St has to win this game to keep their chances of a Big 12 title alive. I like Oklahoma St to win and cover at home.

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