2016 NCAA Tournament
West Region – Regional Semifinal
#3 Texas A&M Aggies vs #2 Oklahoma Sooners
Honda Center – Anaheim, California
Thursday, March 24, 2016, 7:37 pm Eastern, TV: TBS
Opening Line: Oklahoma -1 1/2
Current Line: Oklahoma -2 1/2
Opening Total: 145
Current Total: 146 1/2
Opening Money Line: Oklahoma -125 / TAMU +105
Current Money Line: Oklahoma -150 / TAMU +130
This battle between former Big 12 rivals in the West Regional Semifinals came within less than a minute of not happening. The #3 Texas A&M Aggies trailed #11 Northern Iowa Sunday night by 12 points with 44 seconds left. The Aggies would close regulation on a 14-2 run to stunningly send the game into overtime and the Aggies would go on to win 92-88 in double overtime. Texas A&M who is 28-8 this season, will now face the 27-7 Oklahoma Sooners who are the #2 seed in the region Thursday night in Anaheim. The winner between the Sooners and Aggies will play either the #1 seed Oregon or #4 Duke in the regional final Saturday. The West is the only region where all four top seeds made the sweet 16.
Oklahoma leads the series against Texas A&M 31-10. The two were conference rivals until Texas A&M left for the SEC in 2012. Oklahoma won the last meeting 64-52 in Oklahoma City in 2013.
Texas A&M is coached by Billy Kennedy. The Aggies tied for the SEC regular season title with Kentucky at 13-5. Texas A&M beat Florida in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament and LSU in the semifinals in Nashville. The Aggies lost to Kentucky 82-77 in overtime in the SEC Championship game, which snapped an eight game winning streak for A&M. Texas A&M beat #14 seed Green Bay 92-65 in the first round before the miracle comeback against Northern Iowa in the second round with both games in Oklahoma City. The Aggies are in the NCAA Tournament for the 13th time and have advanced to the Sweet 16 for the fourth time.
Texas A&M has a neutral site loss to Syracuse in the Bahamas, road losses to Arizona State, Arkansas, Vanderbilt, Alabama and LSU, plus a home loss to South Carolina. The Aggies have neutral site wins over Texas and Gonzaga in the Bahamas, plus road wins over Mississippi State, Tennessee, Georgia, Missouri and Auburn. Texas A&M has home wins over Texas A&M-CC, UNC-Asheville, Florida-Gulf Coast, Kansas State, Baylor, Cal Poly, Arkansas, Florida, LSU, Missouri, Iowa State, Ole Miss, Kentucky, Mississippi State, and Vanderbilt. TAMU is 16-13-2 ATS and the total is 14-17 this season. The Aggies were 7 point favorites against Northern Iowa and the total was 129.5.
Oklahoma is coached by Lon Kruger. The Sooners are making their 30th trip to the tournament including four straight seasons with 10 sweet 16 appearances. 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 69-67 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 Sunday in Oklahoma City. The Sooners trailed in the second half of both games last week.
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 12-20 ATS and the total is 15-17 this season. The Sooners were 6 point favorites against VCU and the total was 147.
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Texas A&M is outscoring teams 77-66 this season. The Aggies are #43 in points allowed nationally. Texas A&M is shooting 45.2% from the field and 34.5% from 3 point range. The Aggies make 67.6% from the free throw line. Opponents are shooting 40.5% from the field and 33% from 3 point range. The Aggies average 39.4 rebounds per game and opponents average 30.8. Texas A&M averages 16.6 assists, 12.1 turnovers, 7.1 steals and 3.6 blocks per game. Opponents averages 13.1 assists, 14.4 turnovers, 5.4 steals and 3.5 blocks per game.
Danuel House averages 15.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game. Jalen Jones averages 15.4 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. Tyler Davis averages 11.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. Alex Caruso averages 8.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals per game. Admon Gilder averages 7.1 points, 2.3 rebounds 1.4 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Tonny Trocha-Morelos, D.J. Hogg, and Anthony Collins will also get time in the rotation.
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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 second straight game after the death of his brother.
Texas A&M is 3-0-1 ATS against Big 12 teams, 4-1-1 in non-conference games, 6-2 against teams with winning records and overall, 5-2 after a straight up win, 17-8-2 after failing to cover, 1-4 in Thursday games, and 0-8 after scoring more than 90 points. The Aggies went 6-2 ATS in the last 8 games against the Sooners and were favored in each of those contests.
Oklahoma is 6-1 ATS against SEC teams, 7-20 after failing to cover and overall, 4-17 against teams with winning records, 1-7 in non-conference games, 0-5 after a straight up win, in non-conference games and in neutral site games. The under is 11-3 in this series recently.
Texas A&M already has wins over Texas, Kansas State, Baylor and Iowa State, and looks to complete the sweep against former Big 12 rivals. Buddy Hield is a special player but will find it tough going against the Aggies’ defense. If Hield, gets help from his supporting cast then Oklahoma has a much better shot of winning this game. I think the Sooners get it done and pull out a close game.