Texas basketball vs. Oklahoma State Big 12 Championship preview


Texas basketball will match up against Oklahoma State on Saturday, March 13 in the championship game for the Big 12 tournament. The Longhorns automatically advanced due to the previous game being ruled as uncontested, while Oklahoma State pulled off a huge upset against Baylor to get here. Let’s break down these squads in a matchup, which guarantees the winner gets a spot in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

Texas offense

The Longhorns have their work cut out for them. Despite Oklahoma State being ranked lower than Baylor, they were able to beat Texas in the last matchup, which required double overtime to determine a winner. The Longhorns did end up splitting the season series with the Cowboys, but that was earlier in the season. Oklahoma State was on fire in March, which is the perfect time to do so during a basketball season.

This offense needs to have its best game of the season in order to prepare for anything. There are times where Oklahoma State scored in the 60–70-point range for a game, and then it had other games where it would score in the 80–90-point range. Texas’ top three scorers Andrew Jones, Courtney Ramey and Matt Coleman III need to be that backbone for the team in this game. Ramey struggled in the last game, scoring zero points in 18 minutes, but expect that to change. The defense played exceptional in the semifinal matchup against Texas Tech. Also, you can’t afford to have 20 turnovers against someone and win. Texas was fortunate, but it needs to fix that ASAP. Now the Longhorns need to step up their offense.

Texas defense

The Longhorns should have the same game plan heading in this matchup. They didn’t have as much steals as Texas Tech, but they played well. Forcing Oklahoma State to shoot horribly should be their primary goal heading into this one. Getting a good number of steals and blocks like they did in their last game will result in them getting more offensive possessions as well, which will help in their efforts to pull away when they have a lead.

Oklahoma State offense

This offense is dangerous but can be forced into low scoring affairs like it’s had this season. The Cowboys run their offense primarily through Cade Cunningham. He can score, rebound and pass the ball efficiently. This is how they’ve been so good this season. When you have a player that can do all of this, then it makes you efficient on the offensive end of the floor. Also, it makes them really dangerous when they have fast break opportunities.

Oklahoma State defense

Given its matchup against Baylor, this defense didn’t force a whole lot of turnovers, which is great for the Longhorns considering they just had 20 in their last game. However, like Texas, Oklahoma State had a good number of steals and blocks in the game against Baylor. This game will be a mix of good offense and defense in what should be an exciting end to the Big 12 Tournament.

Looking forward

Texas is favored to win this game and can’t afford to underestimate Oklahoma State. The Cowboys are a great team and earned the right to be here. They beat Texas once, so I’m expecting a close game. The Longhorns will win this one with a final score of 78-75.

Photo courtesy of BaylorBears.com