Oklahoma-TCU Preview


Thanks to a late-season barrage from 3-point range, surging Oklahoma has its sights set on wrapping up the second seed in the Big 12 tournament.

TCU has a more modest goal in mind as it looks to avoid a dubious distinction in the regular-season finale.

The 23rd-ranked Sooners seek their fifth win in six games Saturday when they visit the Horned Frogs, who are on the verge of becoming the third team to go winless in Big 12 play.

After dropping three of four in early February, Oklahoma (22-8, 11-6) has been prolific from beyond the arc during a 4-1 stretch that has the team back in position to finish second in the conference.

The Sooners hit 11 of 30 from 3-point range - reaching double figures in 3s for the fourth time in five games - in a 72-62 home win over West Virginia on Wednesday. They're shooting 40.6 percent from beyond the arc over those five contests after making 10 3s just six times over their previous 25.

Now Oklahoma has a chance to earn the No. 2 seed in the Big 12 tournament with a regular-season sweep of TCU, which hasn't won since its last non-conference contest Dec. 29. Even if the Horned Frogs (9-20, 0-17) somehow pull off the monumental upset, the Sooners still could take the second spot with some help.

Buddy Hield has played a key role in the surge, averaging 17.2 points and making 19 of 43 (44.2 percent) from long distance in the five games. The sophomore guard, averaging a team-high 16.6 points, scored 13 while hitting 4 of 11 from long range Wednesday.

Cameron Clark led the way with 19 points, 10 rebounds and two 3s in his highest scoring game since matching a career high with 32 against Kansas on Jan. 8.

"We needed that from both of them," coach Lon Kruger said. "We have another tough one on Saturday."

Clark finished with 16 points and Hield scored 15 with three 3s to help the Sooners pull away late in a 77-69 home win over the Horned Frogs on Jan. 22.

Oklahoma shot 47.3 percent overall and 8 for 18 from 3-point range in that game, though TCU limited Texas to a 39.3 field-goal percentage - including 2 for 16 from beyond the arc - in a 66-54 road loss Wednesday.

The Horned Frogs, however, have allowed an average of 75.6 points on 46.5 percent shooting while dropping all 17 league games by an average of 17.1. Only four of those losses have been by less than 10 points.

In the history of the Big 12, only the 1998-99 Baylor Bears and the 2003-04 Texas A&M Aggies have gone winless in conference play.

While the Sooners have allowed a league-high 76.1 points per game, they've given up an average of 63.5 in their last two. They'll certainly have to keep an eye on Kyan Anderson, who ranks fifth in the Big 12 with 17.0 points per game.

After totaling 25 points in his previous two contests, Anderson got back on track with 28 against the Longhorns. The junior guard also scored 23 with three 3-pointers in the January loss in Norman.

In last season's finale in Fort Worth, Anderson contributed 11 points and seven assists to help TCU hold on after nearly blowing a 25-point lead in a 70-67 victory that snapped a four-game skid in this series.

The Horned Frogs have lost all nine meetings with ranked opponents this season.

What to Read Next