Mar 1, 2014; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners guard Isaiah Cousins (11) handles the ball against Texas Longhorns guard Javan Felix (3) during the second half at Lloyd Noble Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Texas, Oklahoma Need Home Wins To Stay In Hunt For Big 12's No. 2 Seed

Texas and Oklahoma finish off their home schedules on Wednesday night, both seeking wins to stay in position for the No. 2 seed heading into next week’s Big 12 Championship Tournament.

The Longhorns (21-8, 10-6) host TCU (9-19, 0-16) on Wednesday, while the Sooners, ranked 23rd this week in the Associated Press poll, entertain West Virginia (16-13, 8-8).

Oklahoma (21-8, 10-6) will be looking to even the score with the Mountaineers after losing to West Virginia by five points in overtime in Morgantown in early February. Texas, on the other hand, is seeking a sweep of the round-roin series with TCU this season, winning by five points at TCU, also in early February.

The Sooners and Mountaineers have played only six times in their history, with Oklahoma holding a 4-2 advantage, including a win in the only game played in Norman. OU is averaging 82.3 points per game, second best in the Big 12. The Sooners have scored 80 or more points in 17 of 29 games this season. They only reached the 80-point level seven times all of last season.

West Virginia boasts two of the conference’s top three scorers in Juwan Staton and Eron Harris, both of whom average 18 points per game. The Mountaineers also have a third starter in double figures in sophomore guard Terry Henderson.

The Sooners are No. 3 in the conference in three-point field-goal percentate (37.6 percent), and that percentage goes up to 41 percent when they are playing a home. OU is the only team in the Big 12 with at least six players who have made 20 or more three-point shots this season. As a team, the Sooners average almost nine made three-point shot a game, best in the Big 12.

Unlike Oklahoma and West Virginia, Texas and TCU have been met many time on the basketball court. Wednesday’s game will be the 166th meeting between these two former Southwest Conference rivals. Texas leads the all-time series 102-62, but the Longhorns have been dominant in games in Austin. Texas owns a 60-19 advantage over the Horned Frogs in games at the UT’s Frank Irwin Center. This season, Texas is 13-2 in home games and 7-1 at home against Big 12 teams.

The Longhorns have outrebounded 23 of their 29 opponents this season and have recorded double-digit rebounding margins in 10 of their 29 games. This is not a good formula for success if you are TCU, which ranks last in the Big 12 both in rebounding and in rebounding margin

With both Kansas State and Iowa State losing on the road this week, the previous four-way tie for second is now down to two teams, with Oklahoma and Texas hoping to hold serve at home on Wednesday and remain fixed in the the two spot with just one game remaining in the regular season. If the Sooners and Longhorns both win out and share the No. 2 spot in the final conference standings, Oklahoma would be awarded the No. 2 seed in the next week’s Big 12 Tournament after sweeping the season series with its Red River rival.

One other Big 12 game is scheduled on Wednesday, with Kansas (22-7, 13-3) hosting Texas Tech. Two weeks ago, the Jayhawks eeked out a one-point win over the Red Raiders in Lubbock on a game-winning second-chance basket by freshman sensation Andrew Wiggins.

My Picks:

Oklahoma 83, West Virginia 72

Texas 75, TCU 58

Kansas 81, Texas Tech 65



Tags: Big 12 Basketball Picks Oklahoma Sooners TCU Horned Frogs Texas Longhorns West Virginia Mountaineers

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