Men’s preview: No. 12 Texas at No. 9 Oklahoma
No. 12 Texas at No. 9 Oklahoma, Tipoff time TBD, Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.
TV/radio: ESPN2/104.9 The Horn
About the series: Oklahoma leads 57-41 and has won three of the last four meetings. UT’s Kai Jones had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Horns on Jan. 26 in Austin as the Sooners won 80-79. Texas was without three players and coach Shaka Smart for that matchup due to COVID-19 protocols.
About the Longhorns: Smart’s club moved back up one notch to No. 12 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll this week after getting two key victories. Saturday’s win against TCU was an impressive effort as it appeared Texas was getting back on track. “You could kind of feel the last couple of days that we’re in mid-February,” Smart said. “There’s a little bit of heaviness, a little bit of fatigue physically, a little bit mentally. And I told the guys that’s understandable.” Smart said the players must summon incredible focus on each other and the task at hand. ... The weather may play havoc on this entire week, though. First this game was scheduled for Tuesday, then pushed back one day. UT was then scheduled to fly north and play Iowa State on Thursday. That game has been postponed.
About the Sooners: In typical Kruger speak, OU won a “heck of a ballgame” in double overtime at West Virginia on Saturday. Reaves had 28 points and was 10-for-20 shooting as OU captured a critical 91-90 win. This was just his second game back after missing two games due to COVID-19 protocols. Four other players also finished in double figures, including Gibson (19 points) and Harmon (13 points). OU was 11-for-32 from 3-point range and minus-five in rebounding margin. However, they held the Mountaineers to 8-of-21 shooting in the extra periods. ... The Sooners had lost three of their last four on the road. Kruger’s club is still on an impressive tear, having won seven of its last eight games, including five against ranked opponents. That helped the Sooners climb back into the top 10 when the AP Top 25 poll was released Monday.