Oklahoma basketball: Five things to know about OU-TCU in Big 12 Tournament

Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

The general assumption among college basketball experts is that the Oklahoma basketball body of work is good enough for an at-large berth in the forthcoming NCAA Tournament, but a win over TCU, OU's opponent in the second round of the Big 12 Championship on Wednesday would take all the guesswork out of it.

Wednesday's 8/9 matchup between TCU and OU will be the second game of the season between the two teams. The Sooners lost at TCU 80-71 in the second game of the Big 12 schedule in early January. Oklahoma leads the all-time series with the Horned Frogs 28-8 and has won 8 of the last 13 games. The last time they faced each other in the Big 12 Championship was in 2017. TCU won that game 82-63.

Both teams enter the Big 12 postseason tournament following losses in their regular-season conference finales last weekend. Oklahoma lost on the road at Texas, 94-80, while TCU fell 77-76 at home to UCF.

TCU is led in the scoring column by All-Big 12 second-team selection Emanual Miller, who averages 16.0 points a game and ranks fifth in the Big 12. The Horned Frogs will remind Sooner fans of "Billy Ball" during the Billy Tubbs coaching era. Tubbs actually coached at both schools (14 at OU and 8 at TCU). The modern-day Horned Frogs like to play fast and put up as many shots as they can. They rarely take more than half of the 30-second shot clock to take a shot.

All five Oklahoma starters average at least 9.0 points a game, led by Siena transfer Javian McCollum, who has been nursing a shoulder injury the last two games. In recent weeks, the Sooners have also had major scoring contributions from Oregon transfer Rivaldo Soares and Georgia Tech transfer Jalon Moore.

Coming into the Big 12 Men's Championship TCU ranks 40th in the NCAA NET rankings; Oklahoma is 43rd.

The winner of this game will advance to the quarterfinal round of the Big 12 Tournament and likely will face No. 1 Houston. OU and TCU both played Houston extremely close this season. Oklahoma lost 87-85 on a buzzer-beating shot by Houston's LJ Cryer. TCU owns one of Houston's three defeats this season, defeating the Cougars 68-67 in Fort Worth in early January, the same week the Horned Frogs beat Oklahoma.

The OU-TCU game will not be televised on commercial or cable TV. It will be available, however, on ESPN+ with the announce team of Rich Hollenberg and Chris Spatola.

Five things to know about Oklahoma-TCU in Big 12 Tournament

  • The big question mark as far as Oklahoma is concerned is the availability of starter Rivaldo Soares, Soares injured his ankle late in the Texas game last weekend and had to be helped off the floor. He is averaging 9.4 points per game for the season. but in his last six games, he is averaging 16.5.
  • The Sooners average 75.1 points per game. They are 17-4 this season when they score 70 or more points. On the defensive end, when OU holds opponents to under 70 points a game, it is 16-2 in 2023-24.
  • If the game is close in the final couple of minutes, free throws could play a critical role in the outcome. OU's Javian McCollum has made 39 consecutive free throws, a new program record. He has made 82 of 87 free-throw attempts (94.3 percent) this season, which would also be a new program record. McCollum is 90.1 percent from the free-throw line in his college career, which ranks sixth among active NCAA career leaders.
  • TCU leads the Big 12 in the shortest average offensive possession length: 15.9 seconds.
  • The Horned Frogs rank third in the Big 12 in scoring offense, averaging 80,4 points a game.


A lot depends on the availability of Sooner starter Rivaldo Soares. If he plays and is able to contribute, this could be a close game. If he is unable to play, the Sooners will have too big a hurdle to overcome to pull off what would be a mild upset. TCU is too experienced and too talented if OU is undermanned for this game. TCU 78, Oklahoma 68