Oklahoma (3-0) vs. Seton Hall (3-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 22, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Barclays Center (18,103) -- Brooklyn, New York. Television: truTV. Home Record: OU 2-0, Seton Hall 3-0. Away Record: OU 0-0, Seton Hall 0-1. Neutral Record: OU 1-0, Seton Hall 0-0. Conference Record: OU 0-0, Seton Hall 0-0. Series Record: Series is tied, 1-1.
GAME NOTES: The Oklahoma Sooners and the Seton Hall Pirates will square off at the Barclays Center on Friday night as part of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.
Virginia Tech and Michigan State will play each other at the conclusion of this game, and the winners will then play in the championship game on Saturday night, while the losers participate in the consolation matchup.
Oklahoma's season leading up to this contest has been perfect, winning each of its three games against Alabama (82-73), North Texas (95-82) and Idaho (85-65). It's been a promising start for the Sooners, who are coming off a 20-12 campaign in 2012-13, which resulted in its first NCAA Tournament bid since 2009.
Seton Hall, which plays its home games in nearby Newark, New Jersey and will have the clear geographical advantage, is also off to a strong start, with its only loss in four tries coming in double-overtime on the road to Mercer, 77-74. The Pirates bounced back on Monday night with an 82-66 victory over intrastate rival Monmouth.
Both sides have registered one win in the series, with Seton Hall winning last in February of 1991.
The Sooners had no issues dismissing Idaho in their latest contest, as they outshot the Vandals from the field, 46.8 percent to 36.7 percent, and held a 45-35 rebounding advantage en route to the 20-point victory. Pacing five players in double figures was Cameron Clark with 14 points, while Ryan Spangler and Buddy Hield poured in 13 points apiece. Je'lon Hornbeak and Tyler Neal each scored 12 points off the bench, with Hornbeak adding six assists and three steals.
Oklahoma has been red-hot from the field to start the campaign, as it drains greater than 48 percent of its shots overall for 87.3 points per game. Hield (18.3 ppg) is the go-to scoring option, and he has been on point from beyond the arc at 7-of-14. Clark and Spangler both average 13.0 points per game, while Spangler is 16-of-22 from the field and has grabbed 8.3 rebounds per contest. Hornbeak (10.3 ppg, 3.7 apg) provides a spark off the bench.
The Pirates opened up a double-digit lead over Monmouth less than eight minutes into their last game and never looked back from there, shooting 53.1 percent from the field and 23-of-28 from the foul line in the convincing win. After missing most of last season due to injury, Patrik Auda (14.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg) has returned to the lineup and made his presence felt early, and his 27- point performance (on 8-of-9 from the field) versus Monmouth was a career high. Sterling Gibbs was also stellar with 16 points, while Stephane Manga netted 14 points on 5-of-6 from the floor in just 16 minutes off the bench.
Much like OU, Seton Hall has shown very little rust here in the early going, as it makes 48.2 percent of its attempts from the floor for 79.2 points per game. Gibbs (17.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 4.5 apg) is a well-rounded guard, while Fuquan Edwin (15.3 ppg) is a strong perimeter defender with 10 steals through four games.
With both teams off to quick starts, this should be a fun one to watch, but expect Oklahoma's prowess from 3-point range to shine through as it advances to the championship.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oklahoma 77, Seton Hall 73
11/22 10:41:12 ET