NCAA Basketball Picks: Texas Longhorns vs Oklahoma State Cowboys
Friday, February 17, 2012
by Mike Stewart
Texas Longhorns has won four games in a row to put itself back in the discussion for a 14th consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.
Possible resume-boosting games against Baylor and Kansas remain on the schedule, but the Longhorns can’t avoid a slip-up at Oklahoma State Cowboys. The Cowboys are reeling, suffering back-to-back defeats by at least 15 points to fall to 5-8 in league play.
But they’re still a formidable opponent at Gallagher-Iba Arena, where they’ve already beaten Missouri and Iowa State and threw a scare into Baylor. Texas beat Oklahoma State 58-49 on Jan. 7 in Austin.
- Texas Longhorns @ Oklahoma State Cowboys
When: 4:00 PM ET, Saturday, February 18, 2012
Where: Gallagher-Iba Arena, Stillwater, Oklahoma
TV: ET, Big 12 Network, KBVO Austin, KOCB Oklahoma City, KTUL Tulsa, KTXA Dallas, KUBE Houston
Texas Longhorns (17-9): If there’s any Big 12 coach who has consistently gotten his teams to play well in Stillwater, it’s Texas coach Rick Barnes, who is 7-6 there despite facing very solid Oklahoma State teams through the years. The Longhorns, in fact, have won 11 of the last 12 and 14 of the past 17 meetings in this series dating back to the 2004-05 season. J’Covan Brown, the Big 12’s leading scorer at 19.7 points per game, is starting to carry Texas with at least 17 points in nine of his past 10 games.
Oklahoma State Cowboys (12-14): The Cowboys lost each of their past two games by at least 15 points, but it’s hard to blame them. Avoiding blowouts on back-to-back road trips to fifth-ranked Kansas and third-ranked Missouri would be a tough task for any team. One bright spot for Oklahoma State is the suddenly consistent play of Le’Bryan Nash. Nash, the Big 12’s top-scoring freshman at 13.2 points per game, has reached double figures in seven straight contests after a rocky start.
1. In the last two games, Texas has hit 59 of 77 free throws, compared to just 13-of-20 shooting for its opponents.
2. Longhorns freshman Sheldon McClellan has scored in double figures in four straight games, including the last two off the bench.
3. Nine of Oklahoma State’s 12 wins have come at Gallagher-Iba.
NCAA BASKETBALL PREDICTION: Longhorns 71, Cowboys 65.
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