If Oklahoma has any hopes of playing in the postseason, the Sooners need to put together a string of wins to earn a postseason tournament bid if they are unable to win the Big 12 Tournament.
Their first opportunity arrives on Saturday when the Sooners (13-10, 3-8) visit Texas Tech (7-16, 0-11) at 7 p.m. CT at United Spirit Arena in Lubbock, Texas.
Key to OU win: Limiting bad possessions. The Sooners have looked back on their losses to Iowa State and Missouri with regret because they know a small number of possessions likely cost them the game.
Key to TT win: Containing Steven Pledger. When the junior guard is shooting the ball well, OU becomes a much tougher team. The Sooners’ road win at Kansas State was sparked by Pledger’s shooting. The Red Raiders must limit his open shots.
Stat line that will tell the tale: OU’s points off turnovers. The Red Raiders play good defense and tends to muddy up the game and force opponents to play low-tempo. If the Sooners can create turnovers and get out in transition, they should win.
Sooners X factor: Carl Blair. Blair’s active nature on defense helps create turnovers while making the overall team defense quicker during his time on the floor.
Cyclones X factor: Jordan Tolbert. OU did a good job against Tolbert in the first meeting, holding to five points on 1 of 10 shooting. He’s been inconsistent in Big 12 play but a scoring outburst from him could scare the Sooners.