Big 12 Quarterfinal Hoops Preview

Sooners Illustrated breaks down the Big 12 Tournament second round matchup between the Sooners and Texas Longhorns in Kansas City, Mo.

Overview:

For the second straight night, the Sooners will play their third game of the season against a Big 12 South Division rival, this time in the form of Red River rival Texas. OU is 0-2 this season against the Longhorns and neither have really been close. The Longhorns won the first contest 66-46 in Austin and then won in a 68-52 decision in Norman. But the stakes are upped in this one and it's always very difficult to beat someone three times in the same season.

Sooner Notes:

--OU leads the all-time series 47-31 and is 4-2 against the Longhorns in the Big 12 Tournament.

--The Sooners are now 4-2 at the Sprint Center, with their latest victory last night against Baylor, along with a win in the 2008 Big 12 Tournament and pair of wins in the 2009 NCAA Tourney but a loss in the 2008 and 2010 Big 12 Tourney.

--Free throws have been a tell-tale stat, as they are averaging 28 attempts in their six conference wins, but just 15.6 in their 11 setbacks.

--Guard Cade Davis leads the team with 14.1 points per game, while also bringing down five boards per contest.

--Forward Andrew Fitzgerald and Steven Pledger also average double figures, scoring 12.6 and 11.0 points per game, respectively.

Looking at the Longhorns:

--They are the No. 10 team in the nation in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Polls.

--The Longhorns are led by forward Jordan Hamilton, who averages 18.5 points per game.

--Three other scorers also average double figures, with forwards Tristan Thompson and Gary Johnson and guard Cory Joseph managing 13.5, 12.0 and 10.5 points per contest, respectively.

--After starting 11-0, they went 2-3 in their final five to lose the conference race to Kansas by just a game despite having the tiebreaker.

Projected Starters:

OU:

F Andrew Fitzgerald (6-8, 231, So., 12.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg)

G Steven Pledger (6-4, 212, So., 11.0 ppg. 2.1 rpg)

G Carl Blair (6-2, 209, So., 7.5 ppg, 4.6 apg)

G Cameron Clark (6-6, 189, Fr., 9.5 ppg, 4.6 rpg)

G Cade Davis (6-5, 209, Sr., 14.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg)

UT:

F Gary Johnson (6-6, 238, Sr.,12.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg)

F Tristan Thompson (6-8, 225, Fr., 13.5 ppg. 7.7 rpg)

G/F Jordan Hamilton (6-7, 220, So., 18.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg)

G Dogus Balbay (6-1, 175, Sr., 4.5 ppg, 2.4 apg)

G Cory Joseph (6-3, 185, Fr., 10.5 ppg, 3.0 apg)

Sooners Illustrated's Take:

If the Sooners roll out the performance they had yesterday, they can beat anyone in the league. They were firing on all cylinders and playing with great energy. But Texas presents a much more formidable challenge, and even though it's very tough to defeat the same team three times in the same season, it's just hard to see the Sooners advancing in this game.

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