NCAA Basketball Picks: Memphis vs. Oklahoma State

Willie Bee

Tuesday, November 19, 2013 1:16 PM UTC

Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013 1:16 PM UTC

Don't miss out on the action as we give our picks, predictions and previews for this Tuesday night NCAA Basketball matchup. So who will take the cake between the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Memphis Tigers? Find out who we've decided to place our money on!

There is a lot going on in Tuesday's matchup between the Memphis Tigers and Oklahoma State Cowboys.  For starters, it's the first time teams from the new American Athletic Conference and Big 12 will meet on the hardwood.  In fact, the Cowboys will be part of the second tilt between the two conferences about a week from now when they host the South Florida Bulls.

The 8 PM (ET) tip from Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater is also the opening contest for this year's Old Spice Classic, with bracket play set for Nov. 28-Dec. 1 in Orlando at HP Field House.  Tuesday's battle could very well be a preview of the finals for that tournament since the Tigers and Cowboys are the early favorites to take home the hardware.

ESPN will televise the potential sneak peek between the No. 11 Tigers and No. 7 Cowboys.  Oklahoma State was initially sent out as 6 point chalk before that spread rose to 7 overnight.  A total has yet to be released for the contest, so keep your browser pointed to SBR's live college basketball odds for that number.

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Memphis Makes Rare November Road Trip

The Tigers were about a week behind most teams getting their season started, and hit the floor for just the second time when they take on OSU.  Tuesday's tilt also marks the first time in just over eight years Memphis has traveled for a true road game in the opening month, though Josh Pastner's club has taken part in several neutral-court matches in previous Novembers.

Memphis had little trouble dispatching Austin Peay last Thursday, covering a 22 point spread with the 95-69 decision.  The Tigers busted loose from the gate with the game's first eight points, then held the Governors scoreless over the final 3½ minutes of the opening stanza to take a 22-point lead into the locker room.  Six Tigers scored 10 points or better, paced by Joe Jackson's 16 while the senior added seven assists.  Geron Johnson, another senior starter, put up a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Pastner has a squad that includes five seniors, the list including Missouri transfer Michael Dixon Jr., and several freshmen are also expected to play a big role in getting Memphis to the NCAA Tournament next March.  Forward Austin Nichols, one of last year's top 50 recruits, started for the Tigers in the season opener, netting six points and five boards in his 24 minutes of floor time.  The versatile Nick King, another top 50 frosh, came off the bench to score 13 and grab five rebounds in only 15 minutes.

Memphis is playing without another senior transfer, David Pellom, who isn't expected back until mid-December due to knee surgery.  The 6-8 Pellom missed all of last season with a wrist injury, and averaged over 10 PPG with George Washington in 2011-12.

Oklahoma State Built 'Ford' Tough

The Cowboys already have three wins under their belt, and head coach Travis Ford managed to get 13 different players into all three games.  A deep roster is further reflected by six players averaging double-digits in the scoring column, helping OSU rank fourth in the country in the early going with 102.3 points per game on over 53% shooting from the field.

That scoring will surely come down as the Cowboys meet tougher competition; none of their first three games made it to the college basketball betting board, and the key Tuesday will be how fast they adjust to better talent on the other side after taking on the likes of Mississippi Valley State, Utah Valley and Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

Sophomores Marcus Smart and Phil Forte, who have been playing together since their high school days in Flower Mound, Texas, are the big names on the OSU side, and the guards are off to a good start.  The Cowboys aren't big, but wingmen Markel Brown and Le'Bryan Nash still present matchup problems, while Kamari Murphy and Michael Cobbins work the low post.

This is the sixth meeting between the schools, OSU winning three of the first five.  The Cowboys and Tigers last met in the second round of the 2004 NCAA Tournament, with Oklahoma State coming away with a relatively easy 70-53 victory.

I'm going to travel the chalk line in this one for my free college basketball pick.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Oklahoma State -7 at Bet365

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