NCAA Tournament Bracketology: Oklahoma vs. TCU Bubble Battle

Thursday, February 7, 2019 1:35 PM UTC

Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 1:35 PM UTC

Selection Sunday for the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament is March 17. Per usual, there are plenty of bubble teams. The Big 12's Oklahoma and TCU fit the mold. Which team gets in? Our thoughts.

<p>The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Selection Committee is set to reveal its top 16 teams for the first time on Saturday, employing a new analytic-friendly ranking system. The NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) moves away from the antiquated RPI system to factor in more heavily offensive and defensive efficiency much like KenPom’s ratings. Points differential (capped at a margin of 10), game locations and strength of schedule weigh heavily as well. The approach is not perfect, but is much more accurate than RPI, which centers mostly on winning percentage and common opponents.</p><p>Those following more advanced-metrics college basketball models over the years know the final NCAA bubble teams tend to fall well outside of AP Top 25 consideration. Using KenPom, after all the conference winners are decided, the last at-large teams making the field typically finish in the No. 40-45 range. Let’s analyze a couple of Big 12 teams in this area in a Bubble Battle. Which program makes the NCAA Tournament: No. 40 Oklahoma vs. No. 41 TCU (stats as of Feb. 7).</p><p> </p><h2>Oklahoma Sooners (15-8 SU, 16-5-2 ATS)</h2><ul> <li>Current NCAA Odds: +12500 (<a href=";book=BOVADA" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Bovada</a>)</li> <li>Preseason NCAA Odds: +22500</li> <li>Average Scoring Margin: 4.7</li> <li>Average Line: -3.2</li> <li>Top Wins: Florida (N), Northwestern (A), Notre Dame (A)</li> <li>Worst Losses: Baylor (H), Kansas State (H)</li></ul><p>The Sooners are just 3-7 SU and 5-4-1 ATS in Big 12 play, likely headed for their third straight losing season in conference play. Head coach Lon Kruger is on thin ice. His current squad is simply short on shooters. Oklahoma is averaging 66.7 points per game on 40.8 percent shooting against Big 12 foes. The program averaged 72.5 points and 43.3 percent from the field in conference play prior to the start of the season under the eight-year leader.</p><p>A stronger-than-normal defensive presence is keeping the Sooners in the NCAA Tournament mix. They rank No. 20 nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency, surrendering 93.1 points per 100 possessions. The unit excels in and around the paint, ranking No. 14 in 2-point percentage defense. Busting the boards is its specialty. Oklahoma tops the conference in defensive rebounding pulling down 29.4 per contest.</p><p>The upcoming schedule is a doozy. Out of its final eight games, Oklahoma (4.7) plays one team with a worse average margin of victory for the season, hosting West Virginia (-2.4) on March 2. Why is this important? Kruger is 28-50 SU (35.9 percent) all-time against Big 12 opponents with a greater point differential. Oklahoma will be lucky to go .500 to close out the year.</p><p><strong>NCAA Tournament Prediction:</strong> No bid</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;The &lt;a href=\";amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#Sooners&lt;/a&gt; have just eight regular season games left to turn things around and make the NCAA Tournament: &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— OU Daily Sports (@OUDailySports) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;February 6, 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><h2>TCU Horned Frogs (15-6 SU, 11-10 ATS)</h2><ul> <li>Current NCAA Odds: +15000 (<a href=";book=BOVADA" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Bovada</a>)</li> <li>Preseason NCAA Odds: +9000</li> <li>Average Scoring Margin: 7.05</li> <li>Average Line: -6.5</li> <li>Top Wins: Texas (H), Florida (H) USC (N), SMU (A)</li> <li>Worst Losses: Lipscomb (H), Oklahoma (A)</li></ul><p>Outside of a stunning loss hosting Lipscomb (73-64) as 12-point chalk in November, TCU has played perfectly to market expectations in the 2018-19 season. The program has dropped to defeat in five games catching points on the <a href="" rel="nofollow">college basketball oddsboard,</a> while winning every other one as the betting favorite.</p><p>Head coach Jamie Dixon’s squad sits in the top half of nearly every offensive category in the Big 12. It ranks No. 36 in the country in offensive efficiency, scoring 112.3 points per 100 possessions. Solid spacing, ball movement, and strong offensive rebounding allow for effective looks at the basket. Defensively, the team allows the 24th-lowest opponent 3-point percentage rate nationally, holding foes to 30.2 percent shooting. Expect to see this number trend more towards the 34.2 percent national average as the season progresses.</p><p>The Horned Frogs have nine games remaining on their schedule. None are gimme victories. Dixon is a perfect 11-0 SU (8-3 ATS) hosting Big 12 opponents with a lesser average margin of victory all-time, winning by a commanding 12.3 points per game. Three future opponents currently fall under this scenario: No. 13 Kansas (6.2), Oklahoma (4.7), and Kansas State (6.4). TCU owns a 7.1 differential. The issue is Dixon is just 2-6 SU (3-5 ATS) against ranked opponents running the program. The Wildcats, who received 114 votes this week, will likely jump into the rankings after beating the Jayhawks on Tuesday. Kansas, loaded with potential, will remain in the standings despite its current slide.</p><p>Four road contests include Iowa State, Oklahoma State, West Virginia, and Texas. Look-ahead lines point to the Stillwater trip as the lone date TCU will likely tip off slight chalk. This is bad news for betting backers. Behind Dixon, the Horned Frogs are 3-18 SU and 6-13-2 ATS all-time as road underdogs.</p><p>TCU may finish the regular season with fewer than 20 wins, but its ability to stay competitive and push the efficiency needle in one of the nation’s toughest basketball conferences will win them an at-large bid. Half (14) of Dixon’s 28 conference losses at TCU have come by six points or less.</p><p><strong>NCAA Tournament Prediction: </strong>At-large bid</p><h2 style="text-align:center;"><a href="" rel="nofollow">Bet On NCAA Tournament Futures At SBR's Top-Rated Sportsbooks</a></h2>
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