#12 Oklahoma State vs #10 West Virginia Big 12 Tournament

#12 Oklahoma State vs #10 West Virginia Big 12 Tournament | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Written by on March 10, 2021

Oklahoma State  has the best freshman in the country in Cade Cunningham, but it’s not clear if he will be available for the Cowboys in their Big 12 Tournament opener against West Virginia on Thursday. OSU is the No. 5 seed and the Mountaineers the No. 4.  WVU is +700 on the NCAAB odds to win this tournament and OSU +1000.

How to Bet Oklahoma State vs. West Virginia NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

Last Meeting

These schools split two close games this season and just played on Saturday at West Virginia, with the Cowboys upsetting the Mountaineers 85-80 despite playing without superstar freshman Cade Cunningham.

Why Bet on Oklahoma State? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Oklahoma State (18-7) enters having won six of seven following that 85-80 win at West Virginia on Saturday. Sophomore Avery Anderson III scored a career-high 31 points in the upset. The Cowboys made up for the loss of two starters by finding holes in the defense for easy layups, shooting 58% from the floor and outhustling West Virginia for rebounds.

Oklahoma State was without star freshman Cade Cunningham, who injured his left ankle late in a loss to No. 3 Baylor last Thursday. Isaac Likekele also sat out for the sixth time in seven games with a hand injury. It’s not yet known if either will play here.

Oklahoma State picked up its eighth N.E.T. Quad 1 victory and its seventh win over a ranked opponent. The victory improved Mike Boynton’s career record to 69-56 overall and gave the fourth-year head coach his 15th career top-25 win.

The Cowboys finished the regular season with 11 Big 12 wins in 2020-21, which is just the second 10-plus victory season by OSU since 2005 and the most league wins by the Cowboys since 2013.

Cunningham was named Big 12 Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year. Cunningham joined Cowboy legend Marcus Smart (2012-13), Kansas State’s Michael Beasley (2007-08) and Texas’ Kevin Durant (2006-07) as the only players in league history to win Big 12 Player and Freshman of the Year in the same season.

Cunningham, a nine-time Big 12 weekly award winner, finished the regular season as the league’s top scorer in both overall (19.7) and conference (20.1) games and is on the national ballot for the John R. Wooden Award. Only four other power conference players over the last 20 seasons can match Cunningham’s all-around stat line of 19.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.0 blocks per game.

Why Bet on West Virginia? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

WVU (18-8) was looking to lock up a No. 2 seed in the Big 12 Tournament win a win Saturday over Oklahoma State and get coach Bob Huggins his 900th career victory but came up short. The Cowboys got most of their scoring near the basket where they outscored the Mountaineers 50-30 in the paint. Oklahoma State had a 38-29 edge on the glass and forced West Virginia into turning the ball over 10 times in the second half.

“They got anything they wanted,” Huggins said. “We had no bounce. This team lives and dies by making jump shots. We don’t have drivers. We have guys that can make shots and we didn’t make any”

Senior guard Taz Sherman led WVU with 20 points on seven-of-15 shooting. Derek Culver contributed 14 points coming off the bench, including his 1,000th career point at WVU. He now shows 1,006 in 83 career games. Freshman Jalen Bridges, coming off a career-high 22 points and 12 rebounds last Thursday TCU, failed to score in 26 minutes of action.

The loss dropped WVU to the No. 4 seed in the Big 12 Tournament. Culver was named first-team All-Big 12. Culver, a junior from Youngstown, Ohio, averaged 14.8 points and 9.8 rebounds per game this season while also leading the conference in total rebounds (255) and double-doubles (11).

Sophomore Miles “Deuce” McBride landed on the All-Big 12 Second Team after leading the Mountaineers in scoring this season, averaging 15.4 points per game. He also led the team in assists (121) and steals (46). Both McBride and Culver are in the Top 10 in the Big 12 in scoring. Senior forward Gabe Osabuohien was named to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team. Osabuohien led the Mountaineers in pass deflections and charges taken for the second season in a row.

Expert Prediction

  • West Virginia 77, Oklahoma State 75

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