The Sooners and Buffaloes will meet for the final time in the regular season as members of the Big 12 Conference, as CU is poised to head to the Pac-10 after the year. OU brings a 9-9 record, including a 1-3 Big 12 mark, into the contest, while CU is 14-5 overall and 3-1 in the conference. The Sooners won their first game of conference play in their most recent outing against Texas Tech, while the ‘Buffs dropped their first one of the year against Nebraska the other night.
--The Sooners have an 87-49 series advantage, including an overwhelming 46-12 mark in Norman. But the Buffaloes won the latest outing last year in Boulder 77-67.
--OU has won 23 straight against the ‘Buffs in Norman, a streak that dates back to Feb. 9, 1980.
--The Sooners are 9-1 at home this year, but a miserable 0-8 on the road, making for their .500 record.
--Forward Andrew Fitzgerald leads the team with 14.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, and he's scored at least 17 in three of OU's four Big 12 games.
--Assist turnover ratio is key, as indicative by point guard Carl Blair's production. In the nine wins, he has 40 assists to only 15 turnovers. In the nine losses, he has only 29 assists to 34 turnovers.
--Freshmen and sophomores have accounted for 70 percent of OU's scoring this year.
Looking at the Buffs:
--So far, they've exceeded expectations, defeating a pair of ranked teams in Missouri and Kansas State as well as Oklahoma State to go to 3-0 before falling in their latest game. They were picked to finish ninth, but are currently tied for third after their 3-1 start.
--They're one of the most efficient offensive teams in the league, hitting 49 percent of their shots to rank second in the league.
--A pair of ‘Buffs, guards Alec Burks and Cory Higgins, rank in the top 10 in the Big 12 in scoring ast part of that effort. Burks ranks second with 19.8 points per game, while Higgins is ninth at 16.2.
--But the ‘Buffs struggle on the defensive side of the ball, allowing 71.6 points per game, the second most in the league.
--First year coach Tad Boyle, who came from Northern Colorado, has excelled out of the gates this year on his way to a 14-5 and has some experience coaching at Lloyd Noble Center, where his squad lost just 80-79 a year ago.
F Andrew Fitzgerald (6-8, 231, So., 14.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg)
G Steven Pledger (6-4, 212, So, 11.2 ppg. 2.3 rpg)
G Carl Blair (6-2, 209, So., 6.4 ppg, 4.3 apg)
G Cameron Clark (6-6, 189, Fr., 9.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg)
G Cade Davis (6-5, 209, Sr., 13.2 ppg, 5.0 rpg)
F Austin Default (6-9, 225, Jr., 8.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg)
G Nate Tomlinson (6-3, 190, Jr., 2.9 ppg. 2.6 apg)
G Marcus Relphorde (6-7, 220, Sr., 11.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg)
G Alec Burks (6-6, 195, So., 19.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg)
G Cory Higgins (6-5, 180, Sr., 16.2 ppg, 3.5 rpg)
Sooners Illustrated's Take:
There aren't a whole lot of other very realistic opportunities for the Sooners to get victories in the conference, but this is certainly one, regardless of how well the 'Buffs have performed so far. Any Saturday on the home floor spells recipe for a good chance at victory. The Sooners finally have a little bit of confidence after taking it to Texas Tech the other night, and that will show early for sure. They also haven't lost a game to the ‘Buffs at home in nearly 31 years. That said, SI thinks the Sooners narrowly get it done for their last victory in a while.