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No. 8 Oklahoma vs. No. 9 Missouri preview for NCAA Tournament first-round matchup

The No. 8 Oklahoma and No. 9 Missouri face off in the first round of the 2021 NCAA tournament. We’ve got an initial preview of what and how to watch following Selection Sunday.

Oklahoma Sooners guard Austin Reaves shoots in the lane over West Virginia Mountaineers guard Miles McBride during the second half at WVU Coliseum. Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA Tournament begins on Thursday, March 18th with the First Four, and then moves on to the first round on Friday, March 15 and Saturday, March 16. No. 8 seed Oklahoma Sooner will face No. 9 seed Missouri Tigers in the first round. Game time has yet to be announced but we will update this article with that and game odds as soon as it comes available. For now, we’ve got a preliminary preview of the two teams to get you ready for March Madness!

Once the odds from DraftKings Sportsbook are made available for this game, we’ll add that information below. We’ll also add the game time and TV channel once it’s settled.

Game date: Saturday, March 20
Game time: 7:25 p.m. ET
TV channel: TNT
Location: Lucas Oil Stadium Unity (North)

Odds: OU -2
Over/Under: 141

No. 8 Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Sooners have been one of the surprises of the 2020-21 college basketball season. Predicted by many to be on the bottom half of the Big 12, the Sooners have been one of the more consistent teams in the conference on the wide tier below the Baylor Bears. Oklahoma has cooled off of late, having lost five of six, but had been victorious in eight of nine prior to that which showed they can play with anyone in one of America’s toughest conferences..

Senior guard Austin Reaves has been a breakout player for the Sooners, and he leads the team in scoring, rebounding and assists. Reaves averages 16.8 points per game, which ranks fifth in the Big 12, and his 5.2 assists per game checks in at third in the conference. Senior forward Brady Manek is the leader of the frontcourt, averaging 10.5 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.

Record: 15-10, 9-8
KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 35
KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 53
ATS: 12-13
Over Total: 11-14
Odds to win NCAA Championship: +2500

No. 9 Missouri

After finishing with a below .500 record in each of the last two seasons, the Missouri Tigers are back in the NCAA Tournament in head coach Cuonzo Martin’s fourth season in charge of the program. Missouri ranks 44th in the latest KenPom ratings and put together a better offensive unit than on the defensive end of the floor. The Tigers come in at No. 50 in adjusted offensive efficiency and 58th in defensive efficiency.

Missouri is led by upperclassmen guards Xavier Pinson and Dru Smith, as they both average nearly 15 points per game. Senior big man Jeremiah Tilmon is a very important player on this roster, averaging 13.1 points with team highs including 7.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game with a big presence around the basket.

Record: 16-9, 8-8 SEC
KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 50
KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 58
ATS: 12-13
Over Total: 13-9-3
Odds to win NCAA Championship: +4000