2016 NCAA Tournament
West Region – Regional Final
#2 Oklahoma Sooners vs #1 Oregon Ducks
Honda Center – Anaheim, California
Saturday, March 26, 2016, 6:09 pm Eastern, TV: CBS
Opening Line: Oregon pick
Current Line: Oregon -1 1/2
Opening Total: 151
Current Total: 151 1/2
Opening Money Line: Oklahoma -118 / Oregon -102
Current Money Line: Oregon -125 / Oklahoma +105
The first ticket to the Final Four next week in Houston will be punched from the West Region as the #2 seed Oklahoma Sooners take on the #1 seed Oregon Ducks in Anaheim Saturday night. Oklahoma is 28-7 and Oregon is 31-6 this season. The winner will face the South region champion either Kansas or Villanova. Oregon has won both meetings against Oklahoma but they haven’t played since 1940. Oregon beat Oklahoma in the first ever Final Four in 1939 en route to the school’s only national title.
Oklahoma is coached by Lon Kruger. The Sooners are making their ninth trip to the Elite Eight and looks for their fifth Final Four appearance and first since 2002. Oklahoma finished third in the Big 12 with a 12-6 record. The Sooners beat Iowa State in the Big 12 quarterfinals in Kansas City but lost to West Virginia in the semifinals.
Oklahoma had to work hard in an 82-68 first round victory over a game #15 CSU-Bakersfield. The Sooners also had a difficult second round game against #10 Virginia Commonwealth. Oklahoma led by double digits at halftime and held on for the 85-81 win in Oklahoma City. The Sooners trailed in the second half of both games last week. In the regional semifinal, Oklahoma closed the first half on a 39-13 run against the #3 seed Texas A&M Aggies and cruised to a 77-63 win Thursday night in Anaheim.
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. 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 13-20 ATS and the total is 15-18 this season. The Sooners were 2.5 point favorites against Texas A&M and the total was 145.
Oregon is coached by Dana Altman. Oregon won the Pac 12 regular season title outright at 14-4. The Ducks beat Washington in the Pac 12 quarterfinals, Arizona in the semifinals and Utah in the championship game. The Ducks beat #16 seed Holy Cross 91-52 in the first round and #8 seed St. Joseph’s 69-64 in the second round, both in Spokane. The Ducks pulled away in the second half of the regional semifinal against #4 seed Duke in an 82-68 win Thursday night. Oregon is making their 6th trip to the Elite Eight but hasn’t made it back to the Final Four since the aforementioned 1939 team.
The Ducks have road losses at UNLV, Boise State, Oregon State Colorado, California and Stanford. Oregon has a neutral site win over Navy in Hawaii, plus road wins over Utah, Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA, and USC. The Ducks have home wins over Baylor, Valparaiso, Arkansas State, Fresno State, UC-Irvine, Long Beach State, Alabama, Cal, Stanford, USC, UCLA, Colorado, Utah, Oregon State, Washington State, and Washington. Oregon is 21-13 ATS and the total is 15-19 this season. The Ducks were a 3 point favorite against Duke and the total was 155.5.
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Oklahoma is outscoring teams 81-71 this season. The Sooners are #18 in scoring nationally. Oklahoma is shooting 46% from the field and 42.5% from three point range. The Sooners are #2 in three point shooting nationally. Oklahoma makes 72.7% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 40.8% from the field and 33.9% from three point range. The Sooners are #39 nationally in field goal defense. Oklahoma averages 38.5 rebounds per game and opponents average 32.7 per game. The Sooners average 14.4 assists, 12.9 turnovers, 6.9 steals and 5.3 blocks per game. Opponents average 11 assists, 12.8 turnovers, 7.1 steals and 3.2 blocks per game.
Guard Buddy Hield is the favorite for national player of the year. He averages 25.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Isaiah Cousins averages 13.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Jordan Woodard averages 12.8 points, 3. rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.6 steals per game. Ryan Spangler averages 10.5 points, 9.3 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. Akolda Manyang will miss the third straight game after the death of his brother.
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Oregon is outscoring teams 79-69 this season. The Ducks are shooting 46.9% from the field and 34.7% from 3 point range. Oregon makes 71.5% from the free throw line. Opponents are shooting 42.2% from the field and 35.6% from 3 point range. Oregon averages 36.5 rebounds per game and opponents average 30.1 per game. Oregon averages 13.7 assists, 11.3 turnovers, 7.2 steals and 5.9 blocks per game. Opponents average 12.7 assists, 14 turnovers, 4.6 steals and 3.1 blocks per game.
Dillon Brooks averages 17 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Elgin Cook averages 14.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Tyler Dorsey averages 13.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2 assists per game. Chris Boucher averages 12 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3 blocks per game. Dwayne Benjamin averages 7.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game. Jordan Bell and Casey Benson will also get minutes in the rotation.
Oklahoma is 7-19 ATS overall, 2-6 after a cover, 5-17 against teams with winning records, 2-7 in NCAA Tournament games, 3-13 in Saturday games, 1-5 after a straight up win, in non-conference games and in neutral site games.
Oregon is 4-0 ATS against Big 12 teams, after a straight up win, 8-2 in NCAA Tournament games, 4-1 overall and in neutral site games, 6-2 in non-conference games, 12-4 against teams with winning records, and 53-24-3 after a cover.
The quartet of Hield, Cousins, Spangler and Woodard has started 103 straight games for Oklahoma. That is amazing in this era of one and done college players. Oregon has won 11 straight games. This should be a high scoring game as both teams like to run. Altman was an assistant to Kruger at Kansas State in the late 80’s and the two remain close friends. I think this will be a close game, but I like Oklahoma to pull off the mild upset.