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No. 14 Texas will be on the road at Oklahoma State on Saturday for a 2 p.m. ET tip on CBS in a contest that will be a rematch of last season’s Big 12 Tournament championship game. The Longhorns won that battle 91-86 and took a hotly contested season series against the Cowboys 2-1. But much has changed for both programs in the months since and the teams on the floor Saturday will be unrecognizable in some ways.
Though Oklahoma State (7-5, 0-1 Big 12) brought back several key contributors from last season’s 21-9 team that reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament, the Cowboys lost No. 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham and have been struggling to find their way without him offensively this season. Exacerbating the matter is the fact that the Cowboys are operating under a postseason ban that will keep them from having a shot at returning to the Big Dance. Still, OSU has enough talent to compete in the Big 12.
As for Texas (12-2, 2-0), its top three scorers are transfers, and six of its 10 players averaging 10 or more minutes per game are transfers. First-year coach Chris Beard has turned the Longhorns into a defensive juggernaut, which is no surprise considering the way Beard’s teams played during his five-year run at Texas Tech. The Longhorns won their first two Big 12 games against West Virginia and Kansas State by double figures without allowing either team to reach 60 points.
Date: Saturday, Jan. 8 | Time: 2 p.m. ET
Location: Gallagher-Iba Arena — Stillwater, Oklahoma
TV: CBS | Live stream: CBSSports.com, CBS Sports App
Oklahoma State enters having lost four of its last five, including three home games. The Cowboys are still figuring things out offensively, which makes playing Texas a tall task. The Longhorns started Big 12 play by holding both West Virginia and Kansas State under 60 points in double-digit victories. Texas’ transfer-laden roster appears to be gelling, which makes it a clear favorite in this game and a serious contender in the Big 12 race. Prediction: Texas 68, Oklahoma State 60
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