Oklahoma’s chances for a second-place finish in the Big 12 and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament took a big hit over the weekend, but there is still one week left in the regular season. The Sooners will try to bounce back when they host Baylor in a battle for third place in the conference on Tuesday.
Oklahoma got run over by Texas down the stretch on Saturday and gave up a lead en route to a 76-63 loss that dropped it into a three-way tie for third place with the Bears and the Longhorns, one game behind second-place West Virginia.
“It was kind of a blur, really,” Sooners coach Lon Kruger told reporters of Texas’ 25-5, game-ending run. “We turned it over a couple of times and they converted the other way. We missed a shot or two and didn’t have too many good possessions.”
Baylor has won three of its last four games, including wins over ranked teams Iowa State and Texas, and is looking to improve its own NCAA Tournament seeding with a strong finish.
“I want us to be playing better basketball towards the end of the season,” Bears coach Scott Drew told reporters after an 86-71 win at TCU on Saturday. “In some areas we are but other times, the coach is never happy. There are areas we have to work on and get better in.”
TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2
LINE: The overnight odds out of Nevada listed Oklahoma as a 8-point home favorite with the total set at 150 points. Sportsbooks opened with the Sooners as 7.5-point chalk.
POWER RANKINGS: Baylor (-13.25) – Oklahoma (-17.5) + home court (-3.0) = Oklahoma -7.25
WHAT SHARPS SAY: “Oklahoma returns home off a loss at Texas on Saturday. That loss was expected as I had a Best Bet on Texas in that game, so it’s easy to dismiss the result. The Sooners will now play their final home game of the season, and off a loss, we can expect a peak effort. Baylor has played much better on the road in conference play, and the Bears will be looking to avenge a 10-point home loss to Oklahoma earlier this season.” – Covers Expert Steve Merril.
WHAT BOOKS SAY: “Baylor looks to move up on Oklahoma in the Big 12 standings for third place in the conference Tuesday night in Oklahoma. Oklahoma won the first meeting 82-72. The Sooners easily covered the +1 spread in that game.” – Michael Stewart, CarbonGaming.ag.
ABOUT BAYLOR (21-8, 10-6 Big 12): The Bears have gone as sophomore Johnathan Motley has gone over the last five games. The 6-9 forward was held to 10 points in a loss to Texas Tech on Feb. 13 and managed just eight on 3-of-10 shooting against Kansas last week in another setback but went over 20 points in each of the team’s last three wins. Motley was at his most efficient with a 12-of-13 performance in a win at Texas on Feb. 20 and was nearly as sharp on Saturday, when he poured in 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting and added nine rebounds.
ABOUT OKLAHOMA (22-6, 10-6): The Sooners have their own prolific scorer in National Player of the Year candidate Buddy Hield, who buried four 3-pointers en route to 19 points in an 82-72 win at Baylor on Jan. 23. Hield recorded his ninth game with 30 or more points this season in a 33-point effort on Saturday but did not get quite enough help from his teammates in the 76-63 setback. “Buddy has been at the core of everything we’ve done all year,” Kruger told reporters. “Other guys have stepped up at different times, but we didn’t have enough of that (Saturday).”
* Over is 9-3 in the last 12 meetings in Oklahoma.
* Bears are 9-24-2 ATS in the last 35 meetings.
* Bears are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games following a SU win.
* Sooners are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 home games.