The #9 Missouri Tigers (16-9) get to take on a familiar foe in the #8 Oklahoma Sooners (15-10) in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament. Both schools, paired in the West Region, are former Big 12 Conference foes prior to the Tigers moving to the SEC. Saturday night’s tipoff is set for 7:25 p.m. EST inside Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. Oklahoma is a 1-point favorite over Missouri in the first round, according to oddsmakers.
What to Know – Missouri Tigers
The Tigers got out to a hot start to begin the season, winning thirteen of their first 16 games. Missouri tripped up and struggled down the stretch, losing six of their last nine games to fall to seventh in the SEC standings. The Tigers are back in the tournament for the first time since 2018 and 28th in school history.
Offensively, the Tigers average 73.6 points per game while shooting 44.9% from the field and 32% from beyond the arc. Missouri holds opponents to 71.9 points per game on 43.1% shooting from the floor and 32.8% from three.
In the quarterfinal loss to the Arkansas Razorbacks, junior guard Xavier Pinson led the Tigers scoring 14 behind 5-of-10 shooting from the field. Missouri turned the ball over 21 times and shot just 66.7% from the free-throw line. The Tigers took a 33-32 lead into halftime, but a four-minute scoring drought late in the second half allowed the Razorbacks to build and sustain an advantage.
Missouri is 12-13 against the spread, but 1-4 ATS over their last five outings. The Tigers are 1-2 in neutral-site contests and 11-5 ATS against the Sooners in their previous 16 meetings.
What to Know – Oklahoma Sooners
Oklahoma, just like Missouri, stumbled down the home stretch, coming up short in five of their last six games. The Sooners have registered a handful of crucial wins this season, including five victories over teams, seeded fourth or better in the tournament. Oklahoma is making their 33rd appearance in the NCAA Tournament and third in a row.
The Sooners score 74.8 points per game, behind 44.2% shooting from the floor and 33.8% shooting from the three-point line. The Sooners’ defensive surrenders 69.2 points per game and holds teams to 42.1% from the floor and 35.4% from deep.
Oklahoma dug themselves a hole in the first half of the quarterfinal matchup against Kansas, scoring only 15 points over the first 20 minutes of play. The Sooners second-half rally came up short, and the Jayhawks moved on while the Sooners went packing. Brady Manek and Austin Reaves scored 19 points apiece for Oklahoma to lead the Sooners in scoring. Oklahoma shot the ball well, connecting on 46.9% of their shots, including 50% from three.
The Sooners are 12-12-1 ATS this year but have gone 0-7 in their recent stretch of games. Oklahoma is 0-2 ATS in a pair of neutral site games played.
The Pick is In
Both of these teams are trying to find their footing after stumbling down the stretch. These two squads are similar in many ways. Both have key victories over solid teams and similar statistical rankings. In practically a pick ‘um game, we will take the Tigers, who played better competition this season.
The Pick: Missouri Tigers +1