Matchup: Texas Tech Red Raiders 18-5 (7-3) at Oklahoma Sooners 13-10 (3-7)
Where to Watch: ESPNU 8pm CT
Money line: Texas Tech -2.5 O/U 128
After a solid three day break in between games, Texas Tech is heading to Norman to face off against the Oklahoma Sooners. Both teams are currently on different paths as the Red Raiders are on a three game win streak while the Sooners are on a three game losing streak.
Although the Sooners record isn’t great right now, they can still find a way into the NCAA tournament with a nice stretch of wins to close out the season. Although they don’t have a win against a currently ranked team on their resume, they have still beaten solid teams in Florida, Arkansas and Iowa State. They will likely have to get some road wins down the stretch as well to help their case, but it’s not impossible with the way the Big 12 has been this year.
They have relied heavily on transfer Tanner Groves in the scoring department as well as Umoja Gibson. Those are the only two guys averaging double-digit ppg for the Sooners who haven’t been lighting it up on offense much this year. Jalen Hill is a guy that Tech will look to box out most of the game as he’s their best rebounder besides Groves.
They’re also not a threat from deep, as most of their scoring comes from inside the arc. With Groves being a big man that they rely on heavy, this could play right into Tech’s hand as they will likely look to take him away and force the Sooners to shoot the from deep more often than they’d like to.
TJ Shannon and Adonis Arms are going to be game-time decisions as they’re both still dealing with injuries. I’d expect Clarence Nadolny and Mylik Wilson to have bigger roles this game handling the ball and being able to get some key buckets if both of those guys are out. Kevin Obanor will also be a key guy for us as he will likely be matched up with Groves outside of the paint as well as providing some offense for us.
The key to this game will be shutting down Groves and forcing them to beat us with their shooting, which as I mentioned isn’t a real threat. We are capable of stopping them on the defensive end and if we can knock down shots at a nice rate this should be an manageable win.
My prediction for the score is Tech winning 74-63 and easily covering the spread. Our defense will just be too much and we will be able to take advantage of mismatches on the defensive end as well.