Oklahoma-Oklahoma State: Big 12 Tournament Second Round (Mar. 12)

Shaun HartCorrespondent IMarch 12, 2009

No. 2 Oklahoma (27-4, 13-3) vs. No. 7 Oklahoma State (22-10, 9-7)

Thursday, March 12 at 7:00 p.m. EST

Spread: Oklahoma -4.5

Backcourt Advantage: Even

Oklahoma State comes into this game red-hot, while Oklahoma is trying to establish itself as a No. 1 seed for the NCAA tournament.

This will be a phenomenal game to watch, as both backcourts like to push the tempo and shoot the trifecta, which should make for a high-scoring, high-energy contest. Oklahoma State is the Big 12's highest scoring team this season, averaging 82.2 points per game, which is also fourth-best in the nation.

Willie Warren (14.7 PPG,) Austin Johnson (8.6 PPG, 3.9 APG,) and Tony Crocker (9.6 PPG) will be handling the rock for the Sooners against a highly talented and well-balanced Oklahoma State backcourt, featuring James Anderson (18.8 PPG,) Byron Eaton (14.4 PPG,) Terrel Harris (14.1 PPG,) and Obi Muonelo (12.6 PPG.)

The Cowboys' four guards combined for 55 points in their 81-67 first-round win over Iowa State.

Frontcourt Advantage: Oklahoma

Look for Blake Griffin (22.1 PPG, 10.6 RPG) to dominate inside against the Cowboys, who will have no match for him inside. Griffin put up 33 points and 14 boards in their regular season finale against OSU, an 82-78 win.

He was dominant in their first meeting as well, scoring 26 points and pulling down 19 rebounds in their 89-81 win in Stillwater. Griffin alone had more rebounds than OSU as the Sooners outrebounded the Cowboys 38-18 in that game.

As long as the Sooners feed Griffin early and often in this game, they should have no trouble disposing of the smaller, pesky Cowboys.

Momentum: Even

Oklahoma State has won seven of its last eight, including back-to-back wins over Texas and Kansas State until losing to the Sooners in the regular season finale.

The Cowboys should be a lock for the NCAA tournament, but coach Travis Ford won't let his team know that. The Cowboys want this game badly and would love nothing more than to seal their bid for the big dance by beating their in-state rival.

Oklahoma has won two of its last three after dropping back-to-back games while Griffin was out with a concussion. Griffin is back to full health and it showed in his dominant performance against Oklahoma State in their last game.

The Sooners are the stronger and more balanced team, but the Cowboys won't go down without a fight. Oklahoma was able to beat Oklahoma State in both regular season meetings, but only by eight and four points.

With a No. 1 seed on the line, look for the Sooners to prevail and win this game rather comfortably.

Shaun's Pick: Oklahoma -4.5

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