The No. 8 Oklahoma Sooners managed to squeak by No. 9 Missouri in the round of 64 but will now face the country’s best team in the round of 64. The Sooners are set to battle it out against No. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs. The Zags are the only undefeated team in the country and will look to remain that way after the round of 32.
Game date: Sunday, March 21
Game time: 2:40 p.m.
TV channel: CBS
Location: Hinkle Fieldhouse
Spread: Gonzaga -15
Moneyline: Oklahoma +850, Gonzaga -1430
No. 8 Oklahoma 16-10 (9-8 Big 12)
First round: Defeated No. 9 Missouri 72-68
KenPom rating: 4th Overall, 34th Offense, 47th Defense
NET ranking: 36, (6-9 vs. Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Austin Reaves (17.7 ppg)
The Sooners came out on top after opening the tournament with a first-round thriller against No. 9 Missouri. Oklahoma didn’t have De’Vion Harmon because of COVID-19 health and safety protocols but had enough to get the job done. Austin Reaves and Brady Manek picked up the slack and combined for 32 points. Elijah Harkless stepped up as the Sooners’ third option and finished with 16 points and 10 boards. Oklahoma’s offense will have to be firing on all cylinders in its next game though, as it will face the odds-on favorite to win it all.
No. 1 Gonzaga 27-0 (15-0 WCC)
First round: Defeated No. 16 Norfolk State 98-55
KenPom rating: 1st Overall, 1st Offense, 8th Defense
NET ranking: 1 (8-0 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Corey Kispert (19.2 ppg)
Norfolk State didn’t have a chance against Gonzaga and fell behind by 20 in the first half. Corey Kispert led all scorers at the break with 15 points and finished with a game-high 23 points. Jalen Suggs struggled and tallied 6 points, but Drew Timme (10), Joel Ayayi (15), and Anton Watson (17) scored in double-digits. The Bulldogs shot better than 51% from the floor and beyond the arc, while the Spartans were under 34% in both categories. Gonzaga is a powerhouse that nobody has figured out, and it’s unlikely that Oklahoma will crack the code in the round of 32.