Oklahoma State picked up its first NCAA Tournament win since the 2009 season with a 69-60 win over No. 13 seed Liberty on Friday night. The No. 12 seeded Oregon State Beavers upset No. 5 seed Tennessee on Friday to set up a showdown of OSU’s in the Round of 32.
Here is everything you need to know before the Cowboys take on the Beavers on Sunday night, including how to watch the game and everything you need to know about Oregon State.
How to Watch
When: Sunday, March 21st, 2021 at 8:40 CT
Where: Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
TV Network: TBS
What to Know About Oklahoma State
The Cowboys moved on to the 2nd round by way of a 2nd half comeback win over the Liberty Flames. Oklahoma State trailed Liberty 30-27 at halftime and Cade Cunningham scored just one point in the opening half after picking up two fouls. The Cowboys outscored Liberty 42-30 in the 2nd half for the nine-point win over the upset minded Flames.
AP All-American Cunningham scored 14 of his 15 points in the 2nd half to power Oklahoma State past Liberty. Avery Anderson III kept the Cowboys in the game with 21 points, seven rebounds and four steals. Oklahoma State five assists on 23 made baskets, and four of those assists came from Issac Likekele, who played a game high 39 minutes.
Oklahoma State shot just 40 percent from the field and 20 percent from the three-point line against Liberty, but sunk 20 of its 29 free throws. The Cowboys held Liberty to just 37.5 percent from the field and 38 percent from the three-point line.
Mike Boynton’s squad will go for its second straight defeat of a double-digit seed on Sunday. The winner will face either No. 1 seed Illinois or No. 8 seed Loyola Chicago in the Sweet 16.
What to Know About Oregon State
A somewhat familiar face will be suiting up for the Beavers on Sunday night. Former Cowboy Maurice Calloo found his new home in Corvallis and Oregon State. Calloo scored six points in 14 minutes off the bench against Tennessee and averages five points for the season. The junior forward scored 15 points in the Beavers Pac-12 Championship Game win over Colorado.
Speaking of the Pac-12 Championship Game, Oregon State defeated Colorado 70-68 to earn the conferences’ automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Oregon State beat UCLA in overtime to open the Pac-12 Tournament, and then beat Oregon 75-64 to advance to the Pac-12 Championship Game. Oregon had beat Oregon State 80-67 just days before in the Beavers regular season finale.
Oregon State has two players who average double figures this season. Senior guard Ethan Thompson leads the team with 15.3 points per game and sophomore guard Jarod Lucas averages 13 points a night. Junior forward Warith Alatishe averages 9.7 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. Senior guard Zach Reichle averages 7.7 points and the scoring thins out after that group of four players.
For comparison, Oklahoma State has two double figure scorers in Cunningham (20 points) and Anderson (12 points). The Cowboys boast more scoring depth with Likekele (9.7), Kalib Boone (9.6), Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe (9.1), Rondel Walker (8.1) and Bryce Williams (7.3) all averaging more than seven points per game.
Oklahoma State averaged 76.8 points per game in the regular season and held its opponents to 72.4 points. Oregon State scored 70.6 points and allowed 67.9 points in the regular season.
The Cowboys won their first NCAA Tournament game since 2009 and appeared in their first NCAA Tournament game since 2017. Oregon State won its first NCAA Tournament game since 1982 and appeared in its first NCAA Tournament game since 2016.
Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle was hired in 2014 and coached the Beavers to the NCAA Tournament in his 2nd season as coach. Tinkle’s highest win total for a season is 19 wins, and he can match that number with a win over Oklahoma State on Sunday night. The last time he won 19 games was in 2016, his other NCAA Tournament season with Oregon State.
Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton matched his high win total at 21 with Friday’s win over Liberty. Boynton won 21 games in his first season coaching the Cowboys. A win Sunday night would make Boynton’s new high win total 22 and would give Oklahoma State a 22-8 record for the season. Boynton coached the Cowboys to a 21-15 record in his first season.
The Betting Lines
Oregon State opens as a six-point underdog to No. 4 seed Oklahoma State. The Beavers are 19-9-1 against the spread this season, but Oregon State has just a 1-3 record when facing a spread of six points or more. The one win came on Friday as eight-and-a-half point underdogs to Tennessee.
Oklahoma State is 18-10-1 against the spread so far this season. The Cowboys have been favored by at least six points nine times before this season with mixed results, going 5-4 in those games. Oklahoma State is 6-6-1 against the spread as a favorite and is favored for the second straight game after not being favored in a game since February 16th.
Oklahoma State should get the win against Oregon State to advance to the Sweet 16. I wouldn’t feel comfortable betting on the Cowboys to cover the spread because Oregon State has played so well as of late. This could be a classic March Madness game that comes down to the last handful of possessions. Oklahoma State has had plenty of experience playing in those type of games this season.
It would help the Cowboys if Cunningham can get into a rhythm in the first half and avoid foul trouble, For him, that mainly means avoided charges and pushing off on defenders when driving to the basket. Oklahoma State can also help itself out by moving the ball more and creating more assist opportunities.
There is no such ting as an ugly win in March, but Oregon State won more convincingly over Tennessee than OSU did over Liberty on Friday. The Beavers beat UT 70-56 and held a 33-19 advantage at halftime. I expect this to be a close game with Oklahoma State’s experience in close games winning out in the end. Unlike Liberty, neither of these teams have any experience playing in March Madness other than the opening round on Friday.
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