The 8-seed Oklahoma Sooners look to knock off top-seeded Gonzaga in the Round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament on Monday afternoon
The 8-seed Oklahoma Sooners are slated to square off with the No. 1 overall seed Gonzaga Bulldogs after narrowly defeating 9-seed Missouri without De’Vion Harmon on Saturday.
The top-seeded Bulldogs wiped the floor with Norfolk State in their First Round contest on Saturday, advancing to the Round of 32 in convincing fashion, 98-55.
Oklahoma will have the odds stacked against them on Monday, knowing they are battling an undefeated Bulldogs squad that boasts the 1st overall offense and 8th overall defense according to the KenPom ratings.
Corey Kispert is the man to watch out for Gonzaga, having scored a team-high 23 points against the Spartans in the First Round. The Bulldogs are loaded with scoring options besides Kispert, featuring players such as Jalen Suggs, Drew Timme, Joel Ayayi, and Anton Watson.
Although Simms struggled to be a factor against Norfolk State, only scoring six points, the other four managed to finish with double-digit scoring on the night.
How Oklahoma basketball can shock the world and upset Gonzaga
Without De’Vion Harmon for a second-consecutive contest, Oklahoma head coach Lon Krueger will have to rely on Austin Reaves and Brady Manek to carry the offense against the loaded WCC champions.
Reaves and Manek combined for 32 points against Missouri, but those 32 points will have to be increased to possibly 50 if they stand any chance with Mark Few’s squad.
The Sooners will need to shoot the ball at an incredibly high rate on Monday to match the Bulldogs’ 51 percent shooting from the floor from a night ago.
Yes, the Bulldogs scored half of their attempts from the floor against inferior Norfolk State, but Oklahoma has to expect Jalen Suggs to recover from Saturday’s performance.
Consistency has been a problem all season long for the Sooners, but if they continue to play like a team that rarely turns the ball over and stays out of foul trouble, they can perhaps make things difficult against the Bulldogs.
As for winning on Monday, all Oklahoma fans can do is hope and pray that Gonzaga has their worst game of the year just like Illinois did vs. Loyola in their Round of 32 game.
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