Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma Betting Preview
After staging one of the most improbable comebacks in college basketball history, what will Texas A&M do for an encore in the Sweet 16?
The nation will find out tomorrow night, when the third-seeded Aggies clash with No. 2 seed Oklahoma in the West Region. Oddsmakers from online sports book BetDSI currently like the Sooners as 2.5-point favorites at the Honda Center.
With 24 hours to go until tip-off, though, perhaps the line still has time to move back toward the school that needed the rally of all rallies just to arrive here. Texas A&M trailed No. 11 Northern Iowa by 12 points with 35 seconds remaining on Sunday night before pulling out a victory in double overtime. Chief playmakers Danuel House and Alex Caruso obviously weren’t at their best for long stretches, but they kicked it into overdrive and attacked the rim when it mattered most.
The Aggies can ill afford to jack up another 31 3-pointers, however, particularly since doing so would prove extremely counterintuitive. With the Sooners’ soft spot residing in the middle, Caruso and freshman center Tyler Davis must conduct a two-man game to keep the opposition uncomfortable.
The great equalizer, of course, remains Buddy Hield. Oklahoma’s unflappable senior torched VCU in the second round for 29 points, 19 of which came in the final eight minutes. The Big 12 Player of the Year rarely falters in pressure situations; rather, he demands them.
Still, one man does not an Elite 8 team make. Lon Kruger needs support from Isaiah Cousins, Jordan Woodard and rebounding savant Ryan Spangler, too. It can’t be a Hield-against-the-world philosophy or bust in Anaheim.
The intrigue surrounding this battle is multifaceted, but there’s one especially striking fact: The Aggies went 4-0 vs. the Big 12 (victories vs. Iowa State, Baylor, Texas and Kansas State) with an average margin of victory of 13 points. Can the Sooners render such information immaterial?
Two guard-oriented squads promise to produce an endlessly entertaining affair. Yet some largely unheralded bigs could decide which program moves on to either Kansas or Maryland come the weekend.