NCAA Tournament: Virginia vs. Oklahoma fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Sunday, March 24
Game Time: 7:45 ET
Venue: Colonial Life Arena, Columbia, South Carolina
All You Really Need To Know About Oklahoma (20–13)
(Big 12), NCAA NET Rank: 37. 9-seed
Oklahoma landed the knockout punch right away in the 95-72 win over Ole Miss, getting up fast and putting up 50 first half points in the easy win. Four Sooners scored 19 or more, Kristian Doolittle added 15 boards to his 19 points, and the team busted through a miserable finish to the regular season with one of its best performances of the season.
Helped by Doolittle, OU is strong enough on the boards to at least hang with everyone left in the South Region, and it’s fantastic defensively, especially on the interior. There aren’t a lot of threes from the O, but there aren’t a slew of giveaways and mistakes. More than anything else, the attach that showed up against Ole Miss has to keep it all going.
All You Really Need To Know About Virginia (30-3)
(ACC), NCAA NET Rank: 1. South 1-seed
Seriously, Virginia, what the hell was that in the first half?
Gardner-Webb might be plucky, and all’s well that ends well with a 71-56 win, but that’s another year and another problem with a 16-seed. Considering the all-time embarrassment of a loss to UMBC last year, the Cavs talked about coming out roaring. Instead … thud. The D needed a half, the O couldn’t seem to find its groove, and it took way too long to start breathing easily.
But the Cavaliers got the job done, and that might just the weight lifted needed to start playing like normal again. They like to slow things to a crawl, but they also do a great job of scoring in bunches to take over games to then turn over to the D. The problem is always going to be on the boards, but …
What’s Going To Happen
Oklahoma isn’t so good on the glass that it’ll have a huge advantage. Virginia will clamp down on the Sooners from three, and it won’t turn the ball over. However, the Cavalier D won’t force a whole slew of mistakes, and the OU offense that only turned the ball our four times against Ole Miss should be careful.
Will Virginia finally wake up and be the Virginia it’s supposed to be? Sort of, but the Sooners will be just hot enough at times to take the Cavaliers out of their comfort zone. It’ll be another grind, but the No. 1 seed will come through late on the line.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Virginia 71, Oklahoma 65
Line: Virginia -11, o/u: 152.5
ATS Confidence: 3
5: Watching games by Vegas pool working on fruity drink No. 3
1: Watching game online while doing TPS reports in your cubicle