Sooners Open Big 12 Championship Against WVU
Oklahoma (19-12, 7-11 Big 12) is on the hunt for its fourth Big 12 Championship match title, commencing play in Kansas City on Wednesday as the 7th seed. The Sooners will face tenth-seeded West Virginia (12-19, four-14 Big 12) in the 2d sport of the outlet session, tipping off no earlier than eight p.M. CT at Sprint Center. The winner of the whole round matchup with meet No. 2-seeded Texas Tech within the quarterfinals on Thursday. The Sooners and Mountaineers break up the ordinary-season series, with Oklahoma defeating West Virginia in advance this month in Norman. A win would deliver the Sooners their twentieth victory of the season, marking the fifth 20-win season in the eight years beneath head educate Lon Kruger.
The event matchup will air on the Sooner Radio Network (KRXO 107.7 FM “The Franchise” in Oklahoma City; KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa) with Toby Rowland and Kevin Henry pronouncing. The sport will be televised nationally on ESPNU with Jon Sciambi, Robbie Hummel and Tara Petrolino calling the action.
• After losing five instantly video games in past due January and early March, the Sooners head to Kansas City as winners of 4 in their closing six games. In Oklahoma’s four wins in view that mid-February, the Sooners are averaging seventy eight.2 factors, taking pictures 51.4 percent from the field and dishing out 15.Eight assists. Strong shooting has correlated with achievement all 12 months lengthy, as Oklahoma is nineteen-zero when it holds a higher shooting percentage than its opponents.
• The Big 12 Conference named junior ahead Kristian Doolittle the recipient of the inaugural Big 12 Most Improved Player Award, as voted on through the league’s head coaches. Doolittle led the Sooners during conference play with team-high Big 12 averages of 13.Nine points and 7. Eight rebounds to go along with 2.1 assists. He became the most effective Big 12 player to common at least thirteen. Zero points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists in league competition.
• Doolittle turned into also named to the All-Big 12 Third Team alongside senior guard Christian James at the same time as sophomore ahead Brady Manek received All-Big 12 Honorable Mention reputation. Earning his first on-courtroom convention honor, James has led Oklahoma’s scoring efforts this season with averages of 14.Five factors. Manek, also incomes his first all-convention reputation, is averaging 11.7 points and six.1 rebounds even as capturing .458 from the sector and .355 from in the back of the arc.
SERIES HISTORY: WEST VIRGINIA
• Oklahoma holds a narrow 10-8 lead in the all-time collection with West Virginia. The Mountaineers had won four consecutive conferences before the Sooners snapped their streak earlier this month in Norman with a ninety two-eighty victory.
• Sooner shield Aaron Calixte has had the Mountaineers’ wide variety this season, averaging 19.5 points on 13-of-22 (.591) capturing (6-of-11 from a three-factor variety) in the ordinary season conferences with WVU. Two of his 3 highest-scoring games as a Sooner have come against West Virginia, notching 17 factors in Morgantown on Feb. 2 and a season-first-rate 22 factors on March 2 in Norman.
• The Sooners and Mountaineers have met simply as soon as earlier than within the postseason, facing off in the semifinals of the 2016 Big 12 Championship. Oklahoma fought returned from a 12-factor deficit late in the second half of to trail 69-sixty seven with 1. Eight seconds closing. With the duration of the ground to move, the ball turned into inbounded to Buddy Hield who chucked up a halfcourt heave on the buzzer. Hield’s Hail Mary went in and pandemonium ensued. Upon evaluation, the officers decided the ball become not launched from Hield’s hand earlier than the game clock expired and the bucket was known as off. The Sooners bounced returned from the heartbreaking loss with a run to the Final Four over the following weeks.
OU’S BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY
• Oklahoma opens Big 12 Championship play because of the seventh seed. The Sooner’s appearance to make history, as a team seeded outdoor the pinnacle four has never won the Big 12 Championship name inside the occasion’s 22 years.
• OU gained postseason Big 12 Championship titles in 2001, 2002 and 2003. OU’s 3 titles rank 1/3 within the conference behind Kansas’ 9 and Iowa State’s four. The Sooners have made 5 Big 12 Championship name sport appearances within the occasion’s 21 years. OU’s 10 consecutive league match sport victories (2001-04) are tied with Kansas for the maximum in event records.
• The Sooners are 22-19 all-time within the Big 12 Championship. Oklahoma owns the fourth-high-quality winning percent (.537) in Big 12 Championship play many of the convention’s contemporary 10 groups.
• This season is just the second time inside the event’s 22-year history that Oklahoma will be the 7th seed. The Sooners were previously the No. 7 seed in 2004, topping 10-seeded Nebraska within the establishing spherical before falling to Texas inside the semifinals.
• Oklahoma has performed inside the first round of the four-round tournament on eight events, going 4-4 in the one’s video games.
DOOLITTLE DOING IT ALL
• Junior ahead Kristian Doolittle keeps to expose development in his recreation because the season is going alongside – a lot in order that the Big 12 coaches voted him the league’s Most Improved Player. After averaging 7.2 points and 5.Eight forums within the first 12 video games of the season, Doolittle Doolittle led the Sooners for the duration of convention play with team-high Big 12 averages of 13.Nine factors and seven.8 rebounds to go along with 2.1 assists. During Big 12 play, Doolittle ranked in OU’s pinnacle-3 in points, rebounds, assists, blocks, steals, subject goal percentage and unfastened throw percent.
• An All-Big 12 Third Team selection, Doolittle changed into the handiest Big 12 participant to common as a minimum 13. Zero factors, 7.Zero rebounds and 2.0 assists in league competition this season.
• The forward won the league’s inaugural development-based honor after averaging most effective 2.Nine factors and 4.Three rebounds in 2017-18 and 7.2 points and 5.Eight forums for the duration of this season’s non-conference stretch. He closed the normal season with the aid of achieving 14 factors within the last six directly video games (17.Three factors in line with a sport in that reach), highlighted by means of a 24-factor, 11-rebound overall performance in opposition to Kansas.
• The chart to the proper highlights Doolittle’s accelerated his development with the aid of recording his factors for every sport he is performed in his sophomore and junior seasons.
BRADY SCORING IN BUNCHES
• The Sooners nearly always have crew success on nights that sophomore ahead Brady Manek is rolling. During his career, OU is 26-10 when Manek scores in double figures, 15-three when the ratings at least 15 points and 8-2 whilst he hit 4 or more 3-suggestions.
• Manek has scored in double figures in 10 of his last 13 games, inclusive of a season-high-quality 21 points in opposition to Kansas. Manek is 12 factors shy of hitting 700 career points (688). Only 4 Sooners have recorded seven hundred general factors in their freshman and sophomore seasons all through the Big 12 era: Blake Griffin (1,278), Trae Young (876), Willie Warren (868) and Buddy Hield (756). Should he reach 700 profession points, he might be just the tenth Sooners to reach that total earlier than the stop in their sophomore season.
• Earning his first all-conference reputation, Manek was named an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention selection. He is averaging eleven.7 factors and six.1 rebounds while capturing .458 from the sphere and .355 from at the back of the arc.
ZERO HAS BEEN THE HERO
• Senior guard Christian James has been the Sooners’ main scorer this season with an average of 14.Five points in keeping with the sport. James entered the season as Oklahoma’s pinnacle returning scorer, averaging eleven.9 points consistent with the sport in 2017-18. In 31 games, James has scored at the least 10 factors in all but six contests – along with seven video games of 20 factors.
• James did not produce a double-double in his first 104 collegiate games however has produced at least 10 factors and 10 forums in six video games due to the fact Dec. 1 – the fourth maximum in the Big 12 this season.
• By scoring 20 factors on Jan. 16 in opposition to Kansas State, James has become the forty-fifth Sooner to eclipse 1,000 factors in an Oklahoma uniform (8th in the Lon Kruger generation). James ranks thirty third on the all-time OU scoring list with 1,165 profession points.
• James additionally boasts 500 career rebounds and is just the 7th defend in OU history to supply 1,000 factors and 500 rebounds in a career.
• James enters the Big 12 Championship with 168 profession three-recommendations. He is one far away from cracking OU’s all-time pinnacle 10 within the class. Mookie Blaylock is presently 10th in Sooner history with 169.