NCAA Tournament: What the experts are saying about the OSU-Oregon game
By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com - @anthonyVslater
There are plenty of opinions floating around the web, with differing stances on Thursday’s intriguing Oklahoma State-Oregon matchup in San Jose. Here are some of them:
“No. 5 Oklahoma State over No. 12 Oregon: The Cowboys have a top-10 defense, and the play of freshman Marcus Smart will be the difference. Smart plays beyond his years, and Markel Brown is a special talent who is underappreciated. Oklahoma State does not shoot from the perimeter, with the exception of Phil Forte, but the Cowboys defend. Oregon is an excellent defensive team that does a solid job on the glass, but the Ducks turn it over on 21 percent of their possessions, 251st in the country. Oklahoma State will move on to play the winner of Saint Louis and New Mexico State.”
“What’s odd about this matchup is that Oklahoma State has strengths that counter many of the Ducks’ best weapons. The Cowboys don’t turn it over much (Marcus Smart gives it away some, but Markel Brown has a steady handle and reserve guard Phil Forte is second in the country in turnover rate) and they are better than average on the offensive glass. The Cowboys are too reliant on free throws, though (a stat our model has consistently targeted as a critical weakness for a high seed) and they don’t shoot well (or often) from 3-point range. The Cowboys rank only 56th in offensive efficiency, which means Oregon should be able to hang around. And in March, we know that can mean for an underdog.”
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