(9) Oklahoma Sooners vs (8) Ole Miss: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

What: Oklahoma Sooners vs Ole Miss

Where: Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, SC

When: Friday, March 22nd at 12:15 PM EST

How (TV): TruTV, NCAA.com

(9) Oklahoma Sooners

Head Coach: Lon Kruger {Record: 19-13 | Conference: 7-11, 7th in Big 12}

The Sooners didn’t have the season that they wanted in the Big 12. Despite a decent record against non-conference competition, Oklahoma was a paltry 7-11 in the Big 12 which leads to their unfavorable ninth ranking in the tournament.

Lon Kruger leads a defense-oriented Sooners side who rank 23rd in the nation in opposition field-goal percentage and 21st in opposition two-point field-goal percentage – which is contrary to the offensively-driven Big-12. They are also a Tournament side as the oldest team in the tournament, led by four talented seniors including Christian James who played on their 2016 Final Four squad.

Christian James is a 6-4 guard out of Texas who is a utility knife for Lon Kruger’s side. At times he runs the offense and at other times he is called upon as an isolation scorer. In a defensive tournament, the Sooners are already talented on that end. As their leading scorer, James will be relied upon even more than ever to take down this Ole Miss side.

(8) Ole Miss/Mississippi Rebels (Home)

Head Coach: Kermit Davis {Record: 20-12 | Conference: 10-8, 6th in SEC}

Ole Miss had themselves a fine season compared to expectations. Oddsmakers had them rated to finish last in the SEC, while Kermit Davis was able to lead the Rebels to a draw for sixth in the conference. They are a team of diverse experience, but their ability allows them to challenge teams on many different fronts.

What the Rebels can rely on going forward is the performance of their guards. Guard-play generally defines the success of a team in the NCAA tournament, as being able to control play and limit turnovers generally leads to success. Between junior-senior duo of Breein Tyree and Terence Davis, Ole Miss should be comfortable with their backcourt.

Tyree and Davis are the highest scoring backcourt in the SEC. Tyree averages 19.1 points per game while Davis averages 15.5 points per game. Both are capable shooters from deep and average more than 36% from range on more than five attempts per game. Despite their marksmanship, Kermit Davis is sure to have his dynamic duo establish themselves at the basket, before tackling the Sooners from range.

Oklahoma Roster Notes

C Jamuni McNeace – 20 Mar 2019 – Day-to-Day (Ankle) – is training and will be a game-time decision against Ole Miss.

Ole Miss Roster Notes

G Franco Miller Jr – 18 Jan 2019 – OUT (Undisclosed) – is out for the season.

Head-to-Head: Kristian Doolittle (OKL) vs Breein Tyree (OLM)

It’s an offense-defense matchup when Sooners forward Kristian Doolittle and Ole Miss guard Breein Tyree lead their teams against one another. Kristian Doolittle has rebounded from a disappointing 17-18 campaign to help his Sooners back into the big dance. On the other end Tyree is exactly the type of dynamic guard that can unlock a defense like Oklahoma’s.

Kristian Doolittle

Forward | 6-7, 232lb (201cm, 105kg) | Edmond Memorial High School | Edmond, OK | Junior

11.2 PPG | 1.5 APG | 7.0 RPG | 0.8 SPG | 0.5 BPG | 1.5 TOV | .502 FG% | .000 3P%

Kristian Doolittle sat out the fall semester of the Sooners’ 17-18 campaign and many forgot the talent he has. While not a defensive ace, his athleticism, and hustle make up for a lot of slight but fixable deficiencies. One-on-one, Doolittle is a great defender with a 95.9 defensive rating. With the tremendous guard play of Ole Miss, don’t be surprised to see Doolittle at the top of a match-up zone.

Breein Tyree

Guard | 6-2, 195lb (188cm, 88kg) | Somerset, NJ | St. Joseph High School | Junior

18.1 PPG | 2.8 APG | 3.0 RPG | 1.0 SPG | 0.4 BPG | 2.4 TOV | .464 FG% | .385 3P%

Breein Tyree has exploded on to the scene for Ole Miss. After a respectable but forgettable sophomore campaign, Tyree has come back with a focus on efficiency in his game. He’s improved his field-goal percentage from 39% to 46% on the same amount of attempts per game from his sophomore season to his junior season. He is also a threat from range shooting 38% on more than six attempts per game. Oklahoma is a stout defensive team, but Tyree’s singular ability may be enough to make plays for the rest of his squad.

Oklahoma Sooners at Ole Miss Predictions and Odds

The oddsmakers have Ole Miss favored over the Oklahoma Sooners by 1, with an over/under of 110.