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Red River Rivalry Resumes

Javan Felix and Buddy Hield will look to lead their respective teams to victory.

Javan Felix and Buddy Hield will look to lead their respective teams to victory Saturday, as the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners resume their Red River Rivalry.

Valuable league positioning will be on the line Saturday as No. 24 Texas visits Oklahoma in the latest installment of the Red River Rivalry.

Tip-off at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla., is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. ET.

No. 5 Kansas secured at least a share of the Big 12 regular season championship on Monday, defeating the Sooners 83-75 in Lawrence, Kan.

The Jayhawks can secure the title outright with one win in their last three, but look likely to do so with a road win over Oklahoma State on Saturday (9:00 p.m. ET), a game in which they’ve emerged as favorites.

That leaves Texas and Oklahoma effective battling alongside No. 15 Iowa State and Kansas State – who meet in Manhattan, Kan., Saturday (7:00 p.m. ET) – battling for second place in the Big 12.

Neither side can afford to lose on Saturday.

Texas (22-5, 10-5 Big 12) is holding on to its AP ranking by the skin of its teeth and, despite overachieving already this season, has played well enough to earn a No. 2 berth in the Big 12 tournament in two weeks.

The Longhorns bounced back from losses to the Cyclones and Jayhawks last week with a 74-69 victory over Baylor on Wednesday. Javan Felix tallied 21 while Cam Ridley notched a double-double with 20 points and 10 boards as Rick Barnes’ side jumped out to an early lead and managed to fend off any hopes the Bears had of a comeback.

Now Texas will look to avenge a January 4 loss to the Sooners.

Oklahoma (20-8, 9-6 Big 12) has lost four of its last seven to find itself on the verge of slipping out of the Big 12 race. The Sooners have likely done enough to warrant a berth in the NCAA tournament later this month, but picking up wins in the next three games would go a long way to cementing that notion.

Head coach Lon Kruger has had the better part of a week to pick his players up from Monday’s loss to Kansas. That task might have been easier than you think, thanks to the fact that the Sooners will take to the court at home on Saturday.

Oklahoma has won five of its last six at home, and has only dropped two Big 12 games at the Lloyd Noble Center this season. What’s more, a win over the Longhorns would mark the first time the Sooners have swept the Red River Rivalry since 2005.

The Sooners squeezed out a win in January’s matchup, emerging 88-85 winners in Austin, Texas. Buddy Hield led the side that night, scoring 22 points. Five Sooner players scored in double digits that night as the team hit 13 3-pointers, while Jordan Woodward hit 8-of-10 from the stripe down the stretch.

Felix had 28 points off the bench to lead all Longhorn scorers, while Cameron Ridley tallied 14 points, eight rebounds (three at the offensive end), and four blocks.

But it was Oklahoma that emerged victorious, picking up a second win in three against Texas.

The Sooners will honor Cam Clark and Tyler Neal with Senior Day before tip-off. The pair will hope the honor is accompanied by a win over the Longhorns.

Texas Longhorns vs. Oklahoma Sooners odds for 03/01/2014

Oklahoma opened as a 5-point favorite when the lines opened but the spread has slipped to 3.5 as tip-off approaches.

Before losing two of three to the Sooners, the Longhorns had won six straight and will look to begin a new streak on Saturday.

Oklahoma (16-10-0 ATS) has fared better against the spread than Texas (14-11-0 ATS) this season, particularly in Big 12 play. The Sooners are 10-5-0 ATS against conference opponents, while the Longhorns are 7-8-0 ATS in league play.

But Texas has a decided advantage in the head-to-head series. The Longhorns have covered the spread in six of the last eight meetings between the rivals, and eight of the last 11 trips to Norman.

At time of publication, the over/under line had yet to be released. When it does emerge, the over is looking like the smart bet.

Both Oklahoma (15-10-0) and Texas (14-11-0) have favored the over this season. The Longhorns have seen the total go over in four of the last five, while the total has gone over in the last three head-to-head meetings between the two schools.

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