And now, the main event. Buddy vs. Bennie.
Coming in at 6-4, 214, wearing red trunks and No. 24, The Oklahoma Assassin, Buddy Hield.
Coming in at 6-10, 240, wearing gold trunks and No. 25, The Beast of the Bayou, Ben Simmons.
So, before the No. 1 Sooners and LSU have at it Saturday in the most ballyhooed individual showdown of the regular college basketball season, let’s go to the tale of the tape.Hield arrived at Oklahoma from the Bahamas, by way of an academy in Kansas.
Simmons arrived at LSU from Australia, by way of an academy in Florida.
Hield is averaging 25.9 points, second in the nation.
Simmons is averaging 19.8, and has 15 double-doubles, fifth most in the nation.
Hield has taken 151 3-point attempts and made 52.3 percent of them.
Simmons has taken three 3-pointers, and made one.
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Hield is 22.
Simmons is 19.
Hield’s jersey No. 24 comes from the first two numbers of the 242 area code in his native Bahamas.
Simmons’ jersey No. 25 was worn by his father –and retired by the team -- in the Australian professional league.
Hield has taken 25.4 percent of Oklahoma’s shots, and scored 30.2 percent of its points.
Simmons has taken 19.9 percent of LSU’s shots, and scored 24.4 percent of its points.
Hield’s team is ranked No. 1 and 17-2, losing to top-20 opponents Kansas and Iowa State.
Simmons’ team is unranked and 13-7, and once lost three in a row, including to Charleston.This time last year, Hield was becoming the first player in Big 12 history to be named player of the year, an all-academic first teamer, and lead the league in scoring.
This time last year, Simmons was playing against high school kids for Montverde Academy.
Hield was given four stars and ranked the 86th best recruiting prospect in the nation by Rivals.com.
Simmons was given five stars and ranked the second best recruiting prospect in the nation by Rivals.com.
Hield has three brothers and three sisters.
Simmons has two brothers and three sisters.
Hield’s favorite food is conch.
Simmons’ favorite foods are steak and salad.
Hield’s favorite player is Kobe Bryant.
Simmons’ favorite player is LeBron James.
Hield has had seven games scoring 30 or more points this season, as many as the rest of the Big 12 combined.
Simmons has had five games going 15-15 in points and rebounds.Hield averages 33.9 minutes a game.
Simmons averages 34.2 minutes a game.
Hield has taken 103 free throws and made 90.3 percent of them.
Simmons shoots 71.3 from the line, but has 71 more free throw attempts than Hield. Matter of fact, he has made more free throws than Hield has taken.
In Oklahoma’s highest profile game to date, Hield had 46 points, eight rebounds and seven assists against Kansas.
In LSU’s highest profile game to date, Simmons had 10 points and 14 rebounds against Kentucky.
Saturday will be Hield’s 115th game as a college player.
It will be Simmons’ 21st.
It will be the first time they meet. But probably not the last.