Oklahoma is West Virginia’s quarterfinal round opponent at the Phillips 66 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship, and the Sooners gave WVU plenty of trouble during the regular season.
Oklahoma was one of two teams to sweep the Mountaineers this season, and in those two meetings, the Sooners led by as many as 18 and 21 before cruising to double-digit victories.
But recent history indicates the postseason matchup between WVU and OU will be much closer. In fact, the last two meetings at the Big 12 Tournament in 2016 and 2019 were decided by replay reviews.
Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger expects another tight one this week.
“Most games with West Virginia have gone right down to the end,” he said. “They’ve been great battles, and they seem to find each other in the tournament as well as in conference play.”
While he’s not writing his West Virginia opponents off, Kruger is confident in his team’s ability to pull off the win. Postseason basketball is about getting hot at the right time, a and the Sooners definitely finished their regular season on a high note.
“Yeah, they’ve battled well,” Kruger said. “The last couple weeks especially, they’ve gotten three out of four, they’ve played with confidence, they’ve played with good attack, defensively we’ve been a little more consistent than we have been on the offensive end, but I like the direction our guys are headed, and now it kind of starts all over with tournament play.”
West Virginia is scheduled to practice at the Sprint Center in Kansas City on Wednesday morning ahead of Thursday’s quarterfinal clash with Oklahoma. Be sure to follow our coverage of the Big 12 Tournament throughout the week right here on WVIllustrated.com.