Trying to contain Buddy Hield and No. 2 seed Oklahoma won’t be an easy task for Cal State Bakersfield on Friday in its NCAA Tournament opener.
And that’s nothing the Roadrunners don’t already know.
Hield averages 25 points per game and is a favorite to win National Player of the Year.
Hield has also scored 30 points or more ten times this season, including his record-breaking game against Kansas on January 4. The game was unarguably one of the best college basketball games ever played.
Hield finished with a career-high 46 points in the team’s 109-106 loss to the Jayhawks, the most scored against a top five team in 20 years and tied the most ever by an opponent in Lawrence.
No wonder they call him Buddy Buckets.
The matchup marked the first No. 1 vs. No. 2 game to go into multiple overtimes since 1974 (NC State vs. UCLA in final four). After the game, even KU fans gave Hield a standing ovation for his performance.
But Bakersfield Head Coach Rod Barnes isn’t just worried about Hield. He’s also worried about other Sooners including Isaiah Cousins (13 points per game), Ryan Spangler (10.8 points per game) and Jordan Woodard (12.6 points per game).
The four combined contribute to one of the toughest offenses in college basketball.
So, on Friday, we’ll see if the defense the Roadrunners pride themselves on show up for the challenge.