Sampson's Sooners will play Nebraska

See inside for pregame notes and quotes previewing Friday's Big 12 quarterfinal matchup between third-seeded Oklahoma (20-7) and sixth-seeded Nebraska (18-12). Tip-off is set for 8:20 p.m. at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. Kelvin Sampson is 17-6 in Big 12 Tournament games. (AP Photo/Ty Russell)

The Matchup
Oklahoma (20-7) vs. Nebraska (18-12) -- 8:20 p.m. (CST) -- Dallas, Texas -- American Airlines Center (19,200)

The game will be televised by ESPN Plus (Cox 11 in OKC/Cox 12 in Tulsa). To listen the game online, click the 'Listen Online' link below and then click the top picture on the page. The game will not be televised.

Listen Online

The Matchup
Oklahoma will get a shot at revenge Friday night against the Huskers, who beat the Sooners, 59-58, in the first Big 12 game of the season on January 7 in Lincoln.

The Sooners, playing without then-injured Michael Neal, blew a 10-point second half lead in the loss. However, Husker guard Joe McCray, who scored 12 points, including the game-winning 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds left, is no longer on the team. Senior guard Jason Dourisseau led the Huskers with 17 points.

Oklahoma had a chance to win it at the end, but Terrell Everett's driving layup attempt rimmed out at the buzzer.

Nebraska advanced to tonight's quarterfinal matchup with a 71-64 first round win over Missouri late Thursday night. Dourisseau led the Huskers with 20 points, while center Aleks Maric chipped in 19 points and eight rebounds.

The winner of tonight's matchup advances to Saturday's semifinal against the Oklahoma State-Kansas winner. Tip-off for Saturday's game is set for 3:20 p.m. OU leads the all-time series against Nebraska 102-79.

OU in the Big 12 Tourney
Oklahoma's record in the Big 12 Tourney is 17-6, which is the best in the league. Kansas is second at 16-6. The Sooners are also tied with the Jayhawks for the most Big 12 Tournament titles (three).

OU leads the Big 12 schools in title game appearances (five). The Sooners won the tournament title in 2001, '02 and '03. They lost to Texas in the quarterfinals in '04 and to Texas Tech last season in the semifinals.

Sampson on the state of his Sooners heading into Big 12 play
"Well, obviously we didn't finish off the regular season very good. But, you know, there was some messages being sent to our starters about the way we're starting games and finishing games.

"I thought for a while there in the second half (against Texas) that Taj and Kevin were starting to play better. But the reason I benched them was not because they weren't playing good at that time, it's because of the way we started the game, the way we ended the first half and started the second half.

"In the last regular season game when you're down 16 or 17, that's a great time to say, "You know what fellas? It's not about, now we're going to start playing in the second half. It's a 40 minute game.'

"There was a stretch there where we played Baylor at home, Kansas on the road and Oklahoma State on on the road where I thought we came out ready to play for the entire 40 minutes.

"You go back to the Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech games, we played five minutes here and we played five minutes there. We've talked about not necesarily how we played the Texas game, but the way we prepared and got mentally ready to play, and playing hard and competing for 40 minutes.

"In our film room, we have pictures of all of our former teams. There's a team up there had Eric Martin, Michael Johnson, Eduardo (Najera), Ryan Humphrey, Tim Heskett and that bunch. And I said, 'How do you think that team beat Arizona when we were a 13-seed and they were a 4-seed? We didn't because we had better players, but because we out-competed them.'

"And that's the thing that I get upset with this team about, is that we tend to play soft against teams that we should be beating more soundly. We don't out-compete people. We look at certain teams and say, 'You know what? We'll just kinda play.' The message that was sent the second half was more along those lines. Nothing else.

"Kevin Bookout, Taj Gray, Terrell Everett — we will go as that trio goes for this team. They have to set the tone with effort, playing intelligently and really, really competing hard. I think if those three guys will do that, the rest of them will follow. I think we can win a lot of games from now on.

"That game (loss at Texas) had nothing to do with seeding. It had everything to do with momentum going into the tournament.

"Two weeks ago, Texas loses to Oklahoma State by 21 and it looked like it could've been 30. A week ago, Kansas loses to Texas by 25 and it looked could've been 30. We lose by 24 and it looked like it could've been 30.

"We'll do the same thing Texas and Kansas did. We're no different, but we're no different in the sense that we have a lot of pride. We understand what our program stands for and we'll bounce back. We'll do the same thing the other two teams did."

Oklahoma Projected Starters:
F -- 21 --Taj Gray -- 6-9, 238, Sr. -- 14.4 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 1.5 bpg
F -- 34 --Kevin Bookout -- 6-8, 270, Sr. -- 11.1 ppg, 6.8 rbg
G -- 15 --David Godbold -- 6-5, 217, So. -- 5.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg
G -- 3 -- Terrell Everett -- 6-4, 188, Sr. -- 12.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 6.6 apg
G -- 2 --Michael Neal -- 6-3, 191, Jr. -- 13.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg

Off the Bench
F -- 24 --Nate Carter -- 6-6, 220, Jr. -- 6.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg
G -- 20 -- Austin Johnson -- 6-3, 168, Fr. -- 2.9 ppg, 2.1, rpg, 1.8 apg
F -- 32 --Taylor Griffin -- 6-7, 232, Fr. -- 3.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg
C -- 30 --Longar Longar -- 6-7, 232, Fr. -- 2.1 ppg, 2.0 rpg

More on the Sooners
Roster | 2005 Stats | 2005 Schedule/Results

Nebraska Projected Starters:
C -- 21 --Aleks Maric -- 6-11, 265, So. -- 10.9 ppg, 8.3 rpg
C -- 11 --Wes Wilkinson -- 6-11, 245, Sr. -- 12.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg
G -- 1 --Jason Dourisseau -- 6-6, 200, Sr. -- 10.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg
G -- 3 -- Charles Richardson -- 5-9, 160, Jr. -- 4.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 3.2 apg
G -- 31 --Jamel White -- 6-11, 265, So. -- 8.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg,

Off the Bench
G -- 4 --Marcus Perry -- 6-2, 185, Jr. -- 3.7 ppg, 0.8 rpg
G -- 10 --Marcus Walker -- 6-2, 165, Fr. -- 5.8 ppg, 0.9 rpg, 2.3 apg
F -- 00 -- B.J. Walker -- 6-9, 240, Jr. -- 4.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg

More on the Cornhuskers
Roster | 2005 Stats | 2005 Schedule/Results

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