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North Dakota St. Bison vs. OU Sooners Gambling & NCAA Tournament Prediction

North Dakota State vs Oklahoma CBB Picks

One of the most intriguing second-round matchups of the 2014 NCAA Tournament comes in the form of the No. 12 North Dakota State Bison vs. the No. 5 Oklahoma Sooners.  [ad-4468020]

2014 NCAA Tournament Free Picks
12 North Dakota State (25-6, 12-2 Summit) @ 5 Oklahoma (23-9, 12-6 Big 12)
Thursday, March 20 7:27 PM ET TruTV
West Region – Second Round
Spread: Oklahoma -4(-105)

ATS Matchup Insight | CP Insider Gambling Preview

Not only does this matchup pose the threat of a classic 12-5 upset, but it features one squad in Oklahoma that is full of youth, while the other, North Dakota, is a veteran-led group. Oklahoma is the more talented squad, but the question is: Can it put that talent on display for one game against a proven squad from the Summit Conference?

North Dakota State

When looking at the North Dakota State Bison’s stats from the 2013-14 season, you only need to look one place to figure out what they’re all about: field-goal percentage.

The Bison shot 50.9 percent from the field on the year, which was good enough for the No. 1 spot in all of college basketball.

Defensively this team was also impressive, holding its opponents to just 65.4 points per game—the 61st-best mark in the nation. The problem is that the Bison have a rather unimposing strength of schedule to look at, as their only ranked opponent, the Ohio State Buckeyes, beat them 79-62 back on Dec. 14,
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Against Oklahoma, North Dakota State must defend the jump shots, and that can’t be stressed enough. Oklahoma will give up open looks to the Bison, but it will also make them pay if left alone.

This game should come down to how well the Sooners are shooting the ball, making defense priority No. 1 on the Bison’s pregame checklist.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma is as offense-oriented as it comes, and if you don’t believe me, consider this: The team is seventh in scoring this season, posting 82.2 points per contest, while being 308th in points allowed at 75.9 per game.

For that reason alone, you have to assume that the Sooners, going up against the most-efficient offense in the country, are going to give up points.

Hence why it’s so important for the Bison to defend the jump shots, and conversely why it’s crucial for Oklahoma to be efficient as well.

The fact that this is a matchup between a fifth seed and a 12th seed makes an upset tempting, but even if this were a four vs. 13, six vs. 11, etc., don’t be afraid to make a bold call.

A few missed shots should make the difference in this one, which bodes well for the more experienced Bison.

Prediction: North Dakota State 77 – Oklahoma 74

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