College Basketball Big 12 Semifinals: Oklahoma Sooners vs West Virginia Mountaineers

2016 Big 12 Tournament – Semifinals
#3 Oklahoma Sooners vs #2 West Virginia Mountaineers
Sprint Center – Kansas City, Missouri
Friday, March 11, 2016, 9:30 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN2
Opening Line: West Virginia pick
Current Line: West Virginia -1
Opening Total: 149
Current Total: 147
Opening Money Line: West Virginia -119 / Oklahoma -101
Current Money Line: West Virginia -120 / Oklahoma +100

West Virginia faces Oklahoma in the Big 12 semifinals Friday night.
West Virginia faces Oklahoma in the Big 12 semifinals Friday night.

Two top ten ranked teams met in the Big 12 semifinals Friday night in Kansas City as the 25-7 West Virginia Mountaineers take on the 25-6 Oklahoma Sooners. West Virginia is the #2 seed in the tournament with a 13-5 conference record. The Mountaineers beat the #10 seed TCU Horned Frogs 86-66 in the quarterfinals Thursday. Oklahoma is the #3 seed in the tournament with a 12-6 conference record. The Sooners beat #6 seed Iowa State 79-76 in the quarterfinals. The winner between Oklahoma and West Virginia will play either the #5 seed Baylor or #1 seed Kansas in the championship game Saturday. Oklahoma and West Virginia will both likely be top three seeds in the NCAA tournament regardless of who wins this game.

Oklahoma leads the series 8-3 against West Virginia and won both meetings this season. The Sooners won 70-68 on a tip-in at the buzzer in Norman January 16 and 76-62 in Morgantown February 20. The teams are 1-1 in neutral site games against each other.

Oklahoma is coached by Lon Kruger. The Sooners have road losses at Kansas in triple overtime, Iowa State, Kansas State, Texas Tech and Texas, plus a home loss to Kansas. Oklahoma has won three straight games, but has gone 6-4 down the stretch. 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, LSU, West Virginia and TCU, along with home wins over Wisconsin, Oral Roberts, Creighton, Iowa State, Kansas State, West Virginia, Texas Tech, TCU, Texas, Oklahoma State and Baylor. Oklahoma is 12-17 ATS and the total is 13-16 this season. The Sooners were 4.5 point favorites against Iowa State and the total was 159.

West Virginia is coached by Bob Huggins. The Mountaineers lost to Virginia in the Jimmy V Classic in New York. West Virginia has home losses to Texas and Oklahoma, plus road losses to Oklahoma, Florida, Texas and Kansas.  WVU has won five straight games. The Mountaineers have home wins over James Madison, Richmond, San Diego State, Louisiana-Monroe, Marshall, Oklahoma State Kansas, Kansas State, Baylor, TCU, Iowa State, and Texas Tech, plus road wins at Virginia Tech, Kansas State, TCU, Texas Tech, Iowa State, Oklahoma State and Baylor. West Virginia is 19-10 ATS and the total is 13-15-1 this season. The Mountaineers were 15.5 point favorites against TCU and the total was 141.5.

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Oklahoma is outscoring teams 81-70 this season. The Sooners are #22 in scoring nationally. Oklahoma is shooting 45.8% from the field and 43% from three point range. The Sooners are #2 in three point shooting nationally. Oklahoma makes 72.7% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 40.3% from the field and 33.4% from three point range. The Sooners are #39 nationally in field goal defense. Oklahoma averages 39.3 rebounds per game and opponents average 32.7 per game. The Sooners average 14.9 assists, 12.7 turnovers, 6.9 steals and 5.2 blocks per game. Opponents average 10.6 assists, 12.5 turnovers, 7 steals and 3.3 blocks per game.

Guard Buddy Hield is one of the favorites for national player of the year. He averages 25.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Isaiah Cousins averages 13 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Jordan Woodard averages 12.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.6 steals per game. Ryan Spangler averages 10.8 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game. Khadeem Lattin averages 5.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game. Dinjiyl Walker and Dante Buford will also get minutes.

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West Virginia is outscoring teams 80-66 this season. The Mountaineers are #31 in scoring and #47 in points allowed nationally. West Virginia is shooting 45.4% from the field and 32.9% from 3 point range. WVU makes 66.6% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 42.3% from the field and 31.8% from 3 point range. West Virginia averages 39.7 rebounds per game and opponents average 28.3. The Mountaineers are #32 in rebounding and #21 in rebounds allowed nationally. WVU averages 14.9 assists, 13.8 turnovers, 9.8 steals and 2.7 blocks per game. Opponents average 10.4 assists, 18 turnovers, 6.8 steals and 3.7 blocks per game.

Jaysean Paige averages 14.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Forward Devin Williams averages 12.9 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game. Jevon Carter averages 12.7 points, 2.8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals per game. Daxter Miles, Jr. averages 9.8 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Tarik Phillip averages 9.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Jonathan Holton averages 9.3 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1 steal per game. Three other players get significant time in the rotation.

Oklahoma is 7-20 ATS against Big 12 teams, 1-5 after a straight up win, 1-6 after failing to cover, 1-8 against teams with winning records, 0-4 in Friday games and overall. The under is 4-1 in this series recently. The Sooners have covered 7 of the last 10 games against the Mountaineers.

West Virginia is 5-0 ATS overall and against Big 12 teams, 4-0 after a win and a cover. The favorite is 5-2 ATS in this series recently.

Oklahoma won both meetings in the regular season. Both were competitive. Even in the 14 point win in Morgantown a few weeks ago was close until Oklahoma pulled away late. I think this will be a similar game to the contest in Norman, and I like the Sooners to win another close game.

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