Hield has done so in both of the Sooners' tournament triumphs, rolling for 27 points against Cal State-Bakersfield and adding 36 against VCU.

Ranked 16th, the Oklahoma Sooners have one of the top defenses in the country, giving up just 98.5 points per 100 possessions.

Although he's the leading scorer in the NCAA Tournament, he's just one reason the Sooners boast one of college basketball's most explosive offenses. But, even after eight lead changes, Hield was the difference maker down the stretch - just as the player of the year should be.

If Hield didn't dazzle and if the Sooners lost, it could very well have been enough to open the door for voters to opt for Denzel Valentine of Michigan State, who finished the season strong, although Sparty was popped in a mammoth upset in Round 1. Will Wade's squad averaged 8.6 steals per game in Atlantic 10 play, preying on foes with less quickness and athleticism. Buddy Hield and Oklahoma will be looking to take advantage if Texas A&M; has that emotional "letdown" in the first half of this one. In the second half, after the Rams rallied to overcome a 13-point halftime deficit, Hield counter punched with 29 second-half points.

Lewis led VCU with 13 points in the first half.

Alex Caruso of the Texas A&M; Aggies reacts against the Northern...

We are down to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament, with all four No. 1 seeds advancing for the first time since 2012.

Texas A&M; is 6-2 ATS in its last eight games. The Aggies also have matched up with All-Americans Ben Simmons (LSU), Tyler Ulis (Kentucky) and Georges Niang (Iowa State).

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First-year VCU coach Will Wade said his team doesn't view itself as an underdog, but the Rams will play loose.

Not true. In the Big 12 tournament semifinal, West Virginia assigned a man to deny Hield the ball. Well, that is of course assuming you picked all of the favorites to make it into the Sweet 16, which you definitely did, right?

If the Sooners (26-7) can display half of the offensive balance that propelled them past the Roadrunners, Rams fans may want to avert their eyes. The Sooners are 25-3 when he scores at least six points and 2-4 when he doesn't. The Aggies needed a miracle comeback and while they deserve credit, that type of play won't fly against Oklahoma.

Korey Billbury - a Booker T. Washington graduate who started his college career at Oral Roberts - said he has drawn the defensive assignment on OU star Buddy Hield.

Hield then told Brooks, "I'm about to go to work".

No brag, just fact. They are led in the scoring column by 6-7 seniors Danuel House, who averages 15.8 points a game, and Jalen Jones, with a 15.4 scoring average. The senior shoots 55 percent from the field and 37 percent from 3-point range. VCU will have a hard time shutting him down. He hates to lose.

Down to the Sweet 16. Does Hield's flame burn brighter?

"The tape we've seen so far on them, that our guys have seen — it gets their attention pretty easily", Kruger said.