Oklahoma State got shipped out west and will be lucky to win one game. Gonzaga will be their 1st round opponent in San Diego, and should they triumph they get a horrible matchup in Arizona.
We will have more on the Cowboys' seeding later, but let's just say the committee didn't do OSU any favors.
If we dispense with one piece of business, then it does.
Travis Ford isn't going anywhere.
Now that we've taken care of that, we can focus on the possibility of OSU making a run in the Dance.
The latest bracketology from ESPN's Joe Lunardi, considered "the" expert on this stuff, has the Cowboys an 8 seed in the East playing UMass, with Michigan as the #1 seed. That part of the bracket would play in Milwaukee.
If OSU is going to get stuck with that game, this would be the best case scenario.
While seeding will matter, the bigger issue for the Cowboys will be how much they have left in the tank. More importantly, how much of a leg does Markel Brown have left? With the right set of circumstances OSU could definitely stumble their way into the Elite 8, but I think that is the absolute ceiling. However, they could just as easily be one and done if Markel is ineffective and the rest of the team, particularly Forte, can't throw it in the ocean, or the refs don't put Smart and Nash at the line 30+ times.
As we await OSU's final resting place this postseason, we also look forward to 2014-15 and a HUGE question that has been getting some play of late.
Will OSU's original "one and done" recruit end up staying for his senior season?
If you don't think that question matters, consider this if Nash DOESN'T come back...
OSU loses three of their five starters, their top three scorers, top three in FT attempts and makes, and top three in minutes played.
They lose their starting PG (Smart) and their b/u PG (Brown).
The ONLY returning offense would be Forte.
I don't know about you, boys and girls, but that sounds like just the opposite of what we anticipated going into this past season. Not that Nash coming back would drastically change that, but it would at least give OSU both inside and outside offense coming back.
As mentioned here, Ford does have a few pieces coming next fall. Newberry is expected to take over PG duties. Astonishingly enough Myles Turner is still considering OSU. If he became a Cowboy it would likely go down as the greatest recruiting upset EVER.
Ford has guard and forward bodies coming in, but once again the dearth of "big" men draws into question his ability (desire?) to recruit larger athletic bodies that can fit the system of a coach ESPN's Adam Finklestein says "has proven to be one of the best offensive coaches in the country when he has perimeter firepower at his disposal." So why is it Bill Self and Scott Drew seem to know where these "big" guys live?
As for the rest of the Big 12, Lunardi thinks six other teams have likely punched their tickets.
Kansas slips to a #2 in the South and looks vulnerable with the short term loss of Embiid. Texas (#8) and Iowa State (#3) pair up in the West. Baylor gets is the #7 seed in the East with OSU. Kansas State (#9) and OU (#6) both get the Midwest. I'm really intrigued by Lunardi's picks for OSU's side of the East bracket, with UMass (Ford's post prior to coming to Stillwater), Tulsa, New Mexico and New Mexico St. Michigan provides probably the weakest #1.
So there's my thoughts, how about yours?