Clash of the Titans!

#3 UConn, led by Emeka Okafor and Ben Gordon, challenges the #9 Sooners at the LNC tonight, and seeks to avenge last years 69-67 win that propelled the Sooners through the Big XII and into March madness.

Can Sooner freshman Kevin Bookout handle Emeka Okafor and the front line of the third ranked Connecticut Huskies? Can Hollis Price and company stop UConns' leading scorer, (22ppg) Ben Gordon? We'll know tonight as the Sooners get their first big match of the year at home. Oklahoma's only losses have come to fourth ranked Alabama in New York and to Mississippi State (#7), in New Orleans. The Huskies come into Norman with an undefeated record (8-0) and a somewhat "Billy Tubbs-like," cocky attitude. "I don't think there's anything wrong with a little good old fashioned hostility, I think it's good for everybody," says Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun. UConns' current scoring average of over 90 ppg also reminds one of the Billy Tubbs era. "They have great shooters," says OU's Kelvin Sampson, "If you're going to stop UConn, you'd better be able to guard Okafor, Gordon and 'the Brown family." (Referring to freshman forward Denham Brown and senior Justin Brown, who backs Okafor). About last years' two point loss to the Sooners, Gordon says "We're looking forward to Tuesday, we want to make up for last year." If the Sooners are to win, they must counter with the toughness that has become their trademark under Sampson and the scoring that has been inconsistant early with this years' team. Senior Ebe Ere leads Oklahoma with 18 ppg, but scored 21 last week against Michigan State, and has always performed best when the television light come on. It was Eres' jump shot with 16.4 seconds left last year that gave the Sooners the win on UConn's floor.

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