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NCAAB PICKS MARCH 22 - OKLAHOMA VS MISSISSIPPI PICK & ANALYSIS

March 22, 2019

NCAAB EXPERT PICKS - FULL ANALYSIS ATTACHED

 

OKLAHOMA SOONERS MONEYLINE: 1 UNIT (-103)

While Oklahoma is clearly not as much of a threat offensively with the departure of Trae Young to the NBA, this has allowed for them to add more size into their lineup and they have significantly improved their defensive efficiencies. Last year, they had a 100.5 defensive efficiency rating (points allowed/100 possessions) heading into the tournament. This year, they have improved that by 6.6 points to 93.9. The Sooners come into this game with a massive advantage in the defensive department. Mississippi's defense has been a huge question mark all season and they rank 142nd in the nation in points allowed/game (70.4) and allows opponents to shoot 37.2% (ranked 312th) from behind the arc on 19.7 attempts/game. Oklahoma has had the most success when playing a defensive style of game as they rank 78th in points allowed/game (68.2), while holding teams to 40.2% from the field (ranked 23rd) and 33.3% from behind the arc (ranked 89th). The Sooners also possess a massive advantage on the boards. They average 37.6 rebounds/game (ranked 50th), compared to Mississippi's 34.3 rebounds/game (ranked 218th). Oklahoma employs an effective halfcourt 1-2-2 zone, forcing teams to settle for contested 3-pointers, while minimizing paint touches. While Trae Young is no longer here, Oklahoma still has vast experience and brings back three key starters in Christian James, Brady Manek, Rashard Odomes, along with important bench contributors from last year in Kristian Doolittle and Jamuni McNeace. Mississippi is trending in the wrong direction and are limping into the tournament having lost 5 of their last 7 games, with 3 of those losses as the favorite. The Rebels were knocked out of the SEC tournament by Alabama, a non-tournament team. The total has gone under in 8 of Mississippi's last 11 games, with an average combined score of 139.82, which should play into Oklahoma's favor in a defensive-minded shutdown game.