The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, March 9th, 7:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Sprint Center (18,555) -- Kansas City, Missouri. Television: Big 12 Network. Home Record: Oklahoma 12-4, Baylor 15-3. Away Record: Oklahoma 1-9, Baylor 2-6. Neutral Record: Oklahoma 0-4, Baylor 1-3. Conference Record: Oklahoma 5-11, Baylor 7-9. Series Record: Oklahoma leads, 36-8.
GAME NOTES: Tonight, the 10th-seeded Oklahoma Sooners and the seventh-seeded Baylor Bears meet at the Sprint Center, in a first-round matchup of the Big 12 Championship, with the winner advancing to face second-seeded Texas in the quarterfinals.
Oklahoma last played on Saturday, in a 64-61 victory over Oklahoma State. The Sooners finished the season at 13-17 overall and 5-11 in Big 12 play. This year marks just the fifth time in 15 Big 12 Championships that Oklahoma has not received a first-round bye.
At 18-12, Baylor needs two more wins to clinch its school-record fourth consecutive 20-win season. The Bears closed the regular season with two straight losses, falling most recently to Texas, 60-54, to finish 7-9 in Big 12 play.
Oklahoma currently holds a 36-8 all-time lead over Baylor and has won 31 of the last 34 meetings. The teams split a pair of regular season games this year. Tonight's matchup marks the first time that the Sooners and Bears have met in the Big 12 Championship.
Oklahoma's victory over Oklahoma State snapped an eight-game losing streak. Cade Davis led the Sooners, as he scored 22 points and secured the game- clinching rebound after the Cowboys' Reger Dowell missed a potential game- tying three-pointer with less than three seconds remaining. Cameron Clarke and Steven Pledger aided Davis with 15 and 11 points, respectively. After trailing 33-32 at the break, Oklahoma held its in-state rival to just 34.6 percent shooting, including 20 percent from three point range (1-of-5), over the final 20 minutes of action to earn the win. The Sooners have been forced to win with defense, as they sport the league's worst scoring offense (65.8 ppg). Davis (13.8 ppg) leads the modest charge, while Andrew Fitzgerald (12.9 ppg) and Pledger (11 ppg) add support. The Sooners play solid defense, to the tune of 68.6 ppg allowed, but tend to afford their opponents extra possessions, as they post a minus-2.2 rebounding margin.
Baylor was outmuscled by seventh-ranked Texas in the regular-season finale. The Bears were outrebounded 44-29, with 23 of the Longhorns' rebounds coming on the offensive end, leading to 31 second chance points. Baylor had no answer for Texas freshman Tristan Thompson who grabbed nine offensive rebounds in the game and scored 19 points. LaceDarius Dunn led the Bears in defeat, as he netted a game-high 22 points on 8-of-19 shooting, becoming the Big 12's all- time leading scorer in the process (2,274 points). He was the only Baylor player to reach double figures, although Perry Jones III did add nine points, 11 boards and two blocks. Dunn, an All-Big 12 First Team guard, leads Baylor and the league in scoring at 19.8 ppg. He is aided by Jones III (13.9 ppg) and Quincy Acy (12.1 ppg). Defensively, the Bears allow 63.3 ppg.
Give the Bears the edge in this one, as their stingy defense is more than capable of handling the stunted Oklahoma attack.