OU Basketball

OU basketball: No. 17 Oklahoma has to avoid Hilton Magic to snap road skid

Oklahoma guard Trae Young (11) takes the final shot of overtime in front of Oklahoma State guard Kendall Smith, left, in an NCAA college basketball game against in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. Oklahoma State won 83-81 in overtime. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
OU basketball: No. 17 Oklahoma has to avoid Hilton Magic to snap road skid

SOONERS TAKE ON IOWA STATE IN SEASON DEFINING GAME

In years past, No. 17 Oklahoma (16-7, 6-5) and Iowa State (12-11, 3-8) are competing for a right at the Big 12 Title or right near it at this point in the season. With the Cyclones rebuilding and the Sooners struggling, the game has lost its luster, but the ramifications behind the game has not.

Trae Young and the Sooners are in a free-fall, and a loss today would likely drop them off of the 4-seed line in the NCAA Tournament. The game may have lost its significance with the Big 12 conference, but there is more at stake than just a seed in the Big 12 tournament. In order for the Sooners to avoid another setback, they will have to take down Iowa State and Hilton Magic.

WHEN: 1:00 p.m. CST

WHERE: Ames, Iowa

TV: ESPN

LISTEN: 107.7 The Franchise OKC; KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa

NOT SO KIND HILTON COLISEUM

During the Buddy Hield era, the Sooners took Iowa State down to the wire twice, but eventually lost. Oklahoma has not won in Ames, Iowa since the 2010-2011 season, which was Jeff Capel’s last season. If the confinements of Lloyd Noble Center are friendly, the confinements of Hilton Colisuem are as much as a nightmare as Allen Fieldhouse. The Sooners will be up against Hilton Magic today, a place that the Cyclones have beat West Virginia and Texas Tech this season.

GETTING CHRISTIAN JAMES BACK

When the junior guard is scoring, the Sooners are tough to beat. James is having his best season at Oklahoma, but when he scores 10 points or less, they are 3-5. When he scores 10 points or more? The Sooners are 12-1. It’s another drastic difference for Oklahoma this season, and they need Christian James to be on today, especially on the road.

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN FOR BIG 12 RACE

Trae Young, Rashard Odomes, and others have mentioned that they still control their destiny. With games on tap against Texas Tech and Kansas still, they do control their destiny. However, they come into today two games back of Kansas and Texas Tech. After back-to-back losses to Texas and West Virginia, Trae Young and the Sooners have put themselves in a tough position to reach their goals.

Like they have said since Monday night’s loss to West Virginia, No. 17 Oklahoma does control their destiny, but they have made things much more difficult for themselves.

OU Basketball

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