It's been a wild ride tying to keep track of whether or not Oklahoma State was putting on their dancing shoes over the last few weeks. They've gone from no chance to comfortably in, but did the loss at Iowa State put the Cowboys back on the bubble?
"They're in," Eamonn Brennan said in ESPN's Bubble Watch, "A four-point loss at Iowa State this weekend -- which probably should have been a win, but for some questionable coaching decisions by Travis Ford -- doesn't change its prospectus."
Oklahoma State's tournament resume is highlighted by wins over Kansas, Texas, Colorado, and Memphis. and the Cowboys are 40th in RPI, or Ratings Percentage Index.
You will see the acronym RPI a lot over the next few days, so what is it? It's basically a system used by the NCAA to rank teams. It compares teams winning percentage, their opponents winning percentage, and their opponent's opponents winning percentage to determine a team's success against its strength of schedule.
Despite a losing record in conference play, the loss to Texas Tech is the Poke's only loss to a team out side the RPI top 50. The Big 12 is a meat grinder and the selection committee will take that into account.
If the Cowboys make the tournament they will be the first team in with a 7-game losing streak since 1985. So let's see who has the Cowboys where.
In Chris Dobbertean's latest bracket he projects the Pokes to be a 9-seed in the South Region, facing 8-seed Oregon.
This would be a rematch after a controversial seeding placement put the Ducks against the Cowboys in last year's NCAA tournament.
Oregon knocked Oklahoma State out of the tournament, and this year the Ducks could be as equally dangerous.
After spending some time on the bubble the Ducks have won their last 7 games including a big win over #3 Arizona. Oregon is no longer on the bubble, and could be a team that makes a deep run in the Tournament.
Oregon's ranks 22nd in RPI, and are the 9th best scoring team in the country.
Oklahoma State is projected to be a 9-seed in the West Region, and would be pitted against 8-seed George Washington according to USA Today.
George Washington plays in the Atlantic 10 Conference, and has the 29th best RPI in the nation. If you aren't familiar with the A-10 all you really need to know is St. Louis, VCU, St. Joseph's, and UMass. It's a good basketball conference.
The Colonials aren't a team anyone can take lightly, but the talent of Oklahoma State should carry them through to the next round.
George Washington's biggest win came against 20th ranked Creighton way back on December 1st. More recently though the Colonials fell to 10th ranked St. Louis, however George Washington was without their second leading scorer, Kethan Savage. Savage should be back in the lineup come tourney time.
It's also interesting that OU is listed in the West, as a 5-seed. A Bedlam rematch could be ever so sweet!
USA Today and Bleacher Report might not agree where the Cowboys are playing, but they do agree on who. Kerry Miller also has the Cowboys as a 9-seed to take on 8-seeded George Washington, but in the East Region.
"As long as they don't lose to Texas Tech on Wednesday, the Cowboys should be dancing." states Kerry Miller via Bracketology 2014: Real-Time Bubble-Watch Updates on Who's In and Who's Out. "About as safe as a bubble team can be."
Bleacher Report also has Kansas State making the tournament in the East Region as a 10-seed, but a conference duel between the two wouldn't be possible until the Elite Eight.
Last season Joe Lunardi correctly picked all 68 teams to make the tournament. He's ridiculously good at this.
Lunardi has Oklahoma State seeded the lowest at a 10-seed. He foresees the Pokes in the South Region, paired up against 7-seed New Mexico.
Ranked 20th in both the AP Poll and Coaches Poll, 18th in RPI, the Lobos could be a frightening matchup for Oklahoma State. New Mexico has a solid quad, and finished the regular season 24 - 6.
As one of the most physical teams in the country, the Lobos are a legitimate Elite Eight contendar. Senior forward Cameron Bairstow is the team's leader. He's a monster on the boards, active on defense, and averages over twenty points a game.
New Mexico has played four teams with a RPI of 16 or higher, including conference foe San Diego State. In New Mexico's last game of the season they were on their way to beating the Aztecs for a second time, but weren't able to defend a 16-point second half lead. The Lobos also succumbed to Masachusetts and Kansas, but defeated Cincinnati.
Bracketologist Brad Evans has a pretty good track history predicting seeding, and he currently has Oklahoma State as an 8-seed. Brad's Big Board doesn't try to determine regions and matchups.
Jerry Palm is another excellent Tournament prophet, and he agrees with USA Today on the Cowboys March Madnes future. He lists the Cowboys as a 9-seed facing 8-seeded George Washington in the West.
Between the teams Oklahoma State is projected to play, George Washington while tough, may be the most favorable. No team is hotter than Oregon, and New Mexico could be a match-up nightmare for the Cowboys.
Oklahoma State seems to be safely in the field of 68, but a win against Texas Tech in the Big 12 Tournament would seal it.