West Virginia vs. Oklahoma Pick - Big 12 Tournament Game
Big 12 Tournament play is upon us, as the West Virginia Mountaineers (12-19, 4-14 Conf) will take on the Oklahoma Sooners (19-12, 7-11 Conf) on Wednesday night. The game will be played at a neutral location in Kansas City, MO at the Sprint Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 9 p.m., as the two teams split the season series 1-1. The Sooners are -6.5 over West Virginia in this game.
Teams Familiar With Each Other
The first matchup took place back on February 2nd when West Virginia came out on top 79-71. Brandon Knapper came off the bench to score a career-high 25 points, and Derek Culver scored 13 points and 14 rebounds in his first start for the Mountaineers. Wesley Harris added 13 points as well. Knapper had six of the eight free throws for the Mountaineers in the final 33 seconds. Culver had the other two as he and Knapper combined for West Virginia's final 16 points.
Brady Manek led the Sooners with 18 points, Aaron Calixte added 17, and Kristian Doolittle pulled 12 rebounds.
“Tough battle,” said Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger. “Obviously, it’s pretty clear that boards were the biggest difference. They had their way with us inside.”
Sooners Recent Winners
Oklahoma got their revenge on March 2nd, as they went on to win against WVU 92-80. Jamal Bieniemy was calm when the pressure was on. The freshman guard scored a season-high 22 points and made 8 of 10 free throws in the closing minutes to lead the Sooners. Oklahoma led by 13 when West Virginia coach Bob Huggins had his team start fouling Bieniemy intentionally, starting with 3:08 remaining. Bieniemy had only attempted 12 free throws all season before that game, with six makes. He missed two of his first three before making the next seven.
Huggins said West Virginia had a lot to do with Bienemy’s overall performance in the second meeting.
“When you throw it to him as much as we threw it to him during the stretch and you don’t get back on defense the way we didn’t get back on defense – which is inexcusable on our part – then you’re going to score,” Huggins said. “Then, we fouled him at the end because he is a 50 percent free-throw shooter on the year, and he made free throws.”
Calixte also had a season-high 22 points for Oklahoma. He made 8 of 11 shots and 3-5 3-pointers. Doolittle scored 15 points, and Manek added 14 for the Sooners, who shot a season-high 59 percent from the field as a team. Jermaine Haley scored a season-high 23 points, and Jordan McCabe added 18 for West Virginia.
The Sooners felt they were more prepared for West Virginia’s physical style of play this time around. They held Culver to nine points and nine rebounds, after scoring 13 points and 14 rebounds when they played the first time.
“I feel like this game we were more physical and more focused on boxing out,” Doolittle said. “First time you play somebody – scout team can only simulate so much of what the other team is going to do. We had a good game plan coming into this game, good emphasis on Culver.”
- Get more details: West Virginia at Oklahoma NCAAB Match-up
West Virginia vs Oklahoma Pick 03/13/2019
ESPN’s matchup predictor is giving Oklahoma a 79.7 percent chance to win in Wednesday’s matchup. Each team capped off the regular season with a loss. But with this being the third time these two teams will have faced off this year fans should be in for a good one. We like Oklahoma to win by nearly double digits.
Looking for more free tournament predictions from our handicapping team? Get Free NCAAB Picks each day throughout the College Basketball Tournament!