Oklahoma vs. VCU prediction and preview. Who’s Got Next analyzes the NCAA Tournament’s second round matchup between the Sooners and Rams.
How they got here
Oklahoma beat No. 15 Cal State Bakersfield 82-68; VCU beat No. 7 Oregon State.
Why Oklahoma will win
The Sooners got more than they expected in the first round, but they moved on thanks to the help guard Isaiah Cousins gave to his teammate, Buddy Hield. Hield can score in buckets, and he’s going to get his fair share of points vs. just about everyone. VCU will try to rattle him into committing turnovers, and that’s where Cousins and fellow guard Jordan Woodard will come into play. When they are providing balance to the backcourt, OU is tough to beat. Ryan Spangler is the presence who can wear down opponents in the paint, and as long as Oklahoma can control the glass, they Sooners will be in good shape.
Why VCU will win
The Rams played tight defense and shut down Oregon State inside to win in the first round, and they’re going to have to establish a strong presence in the paint if they’re going to get to next weekend. Forward Mo Alie-Cox is great on the low block and can be efficient with the ball, and he’s a decent shot-blocker. Staying out of foul trouble will be critical for Alie-Cox considering VCU’s lack of size. The Rams love to play frantic defense and create turnovers, and they’ll have to do just that to push the tempo.
Oklahoma vs. VCU Prediction
VCU is going to give Oklahoma headaches, but the Rams just don’t have the size to deal with the Sooners inside. Getting Hield into foul trouble will be critical for VCU, but if Hield gets rolling, the Rams don’t have anyone who will slow him down.
Oklahoma vs. VCU Final Score Prediction: Oklahoma 83, VCU 75