The Oklahoma Sooners and Villanova Wildcats will duel out at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hickham, Hawaii on Monday night as part of FOX Sports' weekend in Pearl Harbor to pay tribute to the military on the 74th anniversary of the attacks on the base that led to the United States' involvement in World War II.
The Sooners and Wildcats are two Top 10 squads with high aspirations and possess some of the best guards in the country. Whether it's Josh Hart, Ryan Arcidiacono, or Jalen Brunson for 'Nova, or Buddy Hield, Isaiah Cousins or Jordan Woodard for Oklahoma, guard play will be on display Monday night in what should be an eventful encounter.
How to watch, listen or stream
Game Time: 7 p.m. ET
TV: FOX Sports 1
Online Streaming: Streaming is available for this telecast via FOX Sports GO where available.
Odds: Villanova opened as a 4-point favorite over Oklahoma via OddsShark. The Wildcats are 3.5-point favorites elsewhere.
Records ATS: Oklahoma (3-0) || Villanova (5-1)
O/U: The o/u for this game opened at 145.
3 things to watch
1. Ochefu and foul trouble - a match made in hell: Daniel Ochefu has been plagued by foul trouble in Villanova's last few games. If it happens again, Villanova will be in some you-know-what on Monday night. The Sooners trot out a dossier of solid forwards including Ryan Spangler and Khadeem Lattin. They also have 7-footer Akolda Manyang waiting in the wings, as well as the versatile 6-foot-6 freshman forward Rashard Odomes. In terms of 2-point shots, the Sooners have lived at the rim, with 43.5 percent of their field goal opportunities coming at the cup. They're converting field goals at the cup at a rate of 65.5 percent. As 'Nova's rim protector, Ochefu has to stay smart down low or Oklahoma could have a field day.
2. Hield trip: Buddy Hield has lived up to the hype and more in the early stages of the 2015-16 season. The Bahamas native has been in double figures in all five of OU's games, has been an elite 3-point and free throw shooter, posted high efficiency marks, and has stayed out of foul trouble (FC/40 of 1.8!). Hield may not face a better defense all season than the Wildcats who have worn out every team they've faced thus far but they'll have their hands full because to this point in the season, Hield is by far the best player that they've faced, too. No disrespect to the 'Cats - but Hield will be the best player on the floor Monday night and all eyes will be on him.
3. The name of the game is perimeter defense: The Wildcats and Sooners come into Monday night's matchup as the 14th and 7th best teams in the nation in 3-point defense. Neither team is allowing opponents to shoot over 26.9 percent from deep, and both are pretty stout from inside as well. It's intriguing to note that Villanova has been porous at shooting the 3-point shot this year, converting on only 30.9 percent of their opportunities. Oklahoma, meanwhile, is shooting a crisp 44.6 percent from the perimeter. Those numbers might point to a Sooner advantage, but a closer look indicates that it might not be everything it's cracked up to be. Only 31.5 percent of Oklahoma's field goal attempts have been 3-point shots. So while Oklahoma has posted a high rate from long range, it might be a case of small sample sizes. If Villanova's perimeter defense scares them off they might take to the inside where they are only slightly above average in that department. Whatever the case, it should prove to be fascinating to see what occurs from the perimeter Monday.