We use the Owl carousel in a lot of projects and have a similar setup for paging. In your case, I think the title and date of the items would be the pager and the "selected index" would be the actual items.
WIth this you can take advantage of the
<%# DataItemIndex %> to set a data attrubute on each element and let the owl carousel paging do the rest of the work for "selecting" and displaying the selected item.
FYI, no need to cross post to SO as they will automatically flow onto the DevNet.