6:37 p.m. CT Thursday, TBS
HOW THEY GOT HERE
Oklahoma held off 10th-seeded VCU 85-81 after defeating Cal State Bakersfield 82-68 in the first round of the tournament. Texas A&M, which beat UW-Green Bay 92-65 in the first round, is coming off perhaps the most improbable comeback in college basketball history when the Aggies erased a 10-point deficit in the final 30 seconds vs. 11th-seeded Northern Iowa en route to a 92-88 win in double overtime.
TOURNAMENT HISTORY The Sooners are in the Sweet 16 for the second straight year and are bidding for their first Final Four appearance since 2002. Texas A&M, the only SEC team remaining, advanced to its first Sweet 16 since 2007, which also was the most recent time the Aggies were a No. 3 seed.
PLAYER TO WATCH Oklahoma senior guard Buddy Hield showed why he might be the best player in the country when he scored 19 of his 36 points in the final 8 minutes against VCU in the round of 32. It was the 11th 30-point output this season for Hield, who averages more than 25 points per game.
X FACTOR Alex Caruso has played a major role for Texas A&M each of the past four years. He possesses a certain level of toughness and leadership, and the senior guard has been described as the Aggies’ “glue guy” this season. He doesn’t often light up the stat sheet but finished with 25 points and nine rebounds in the double-overtime victory Sunday night.
TELLING STAT The most recent time a team advanced to the Final Four with a player who averaged 25 or more points was 1990, when Dennis Scott led Georgia Tech through a deep tournament run.