Game Capsule: Oklahoma Sooners open Big 12 play with Baylor Bears


Tip-off: 3:05 p.m. CT
Livestream: WatchESPN
Radio: KRXO 107.7 FM (Oklahoma City)
Line: Oklahoma -7


Oklahoma SoonersBaylor Bears
Jordan Woodard, guardKenny Chery, guard
Isaiah Cousins, guardLester Medford, guard
Buddy Hield, guardRoyce O’Neale, forward
Ryan Spangler, forwardRico Gathers, forward
Tashawn Thomas, forwardJonathan Motley, forward

The Oklahoma Sooners welcome the Baylor Bears to Norman for their first game of their Big 12 slate Saturday afternoon.

OU and Baylor have seen early success, and they both are ranked in the AP and Coaches Top 25 polls.

The Sooners swept the Baylor Bears in the regular season series a year ago, but the Bears got the best of OU in the second round of the Big 12 tournament.

The Bears have yet to face a ranked opponent and they’ve only played two true road games, so Saturday’s match-up could be very interesting.

Why the Sooners will win:

More from OU Basketball

Oklahoma is battle-tested.

These are two very similar teams in the way they play, but Oklahoma clearly has had the tougher road. Baylor hasn’t been tested like Oklahoma, and that could help OU in crunch time.

The Sooners will need a big day defensively if they want to stop a quality Bears offense, whom can bury anyone from the perimeter.

Oklahoma’s defense will need to step up, force Baylor to earn their shots, and OU needs to crash the boards. The Bears’ rebounding margin is at +11.8 this season. OU has to take away that edge from the Bears by being the aggressor and learning from their out-of-conference schedule.

Why the Bears will win:

The Bears have momentum. Baylor has to feel confident with they’ve been playing. They haven’t exactly played the best of competition, but the Bears knocked Oklahoma out of the 2014-15 Big 12 Tournament, so most of the returnees should fell confident.

The Lloyd Noble Center probably won’t be rocking with school a week away from being back in session, so crowd noise might not make much of an impact (especially with a 3 pm tip).

Baylor knows its offense can be a task to defend, and if they get out early and can keep from imploding like their football team, the Bears can start off conference play 1-0 and pick up a quality road win.

PREDICTION: Oklahoma 68, Baylor 60. I don’t think Oklahoma blows out the Bears, but I can definitely see the Sooners pulling away toward the end with the way its been able to come out hot in the second half and adjust to the flow of the game.