Oklahoma State's season continues this weekend in the NCAA Clemson Regional. The No. 2 seeded Cowboys face off against No. 3 seeded Nebraska on Friday (You can read a great preview here). It's not going to be easy: They'll have to beat the ACC Champions at least once if not twice on the road, and do it coming off a rough end to the year.
BUY OR SELL? OSU WILL WIN THE CLEMSON REGIONAL
The Cowboys have been road warriors this season going 15-8 away from home. They led the Big 12 in pitching, and finished with an ERA ranked 33rd in the country. OSU will open against a Nebraska team that is limping into the Regionals. They went 0-2 in the Big 10 Tournament. The Regional also contains a 30-29 Western Carolina team. Clemson is of course the big hurdle here as the home team. While their 42-18 record is great and got them an RPI of 6, the Tigers only went 19-14 against top 50 RPI teams (Oklahoma State is currently 32nd). Clemson may have won the ACC tournament, but they finished 4th in their division with a conference record of 16-14. Clemson is good but not unbeatable, and Oklahoma State has shown an ability to pitch very well this season.
The Cowboys head into Regionals somewhat limping: They went 5-5 in their last 10, including blowing leads to TCU and Texas in the Big 12 Tournament. What failed them was their late game pitching. Their bullpen was the strength of the Cowboys heading into the post season. But if it's struggling now, it could mean a quick exit for the Pokes. They'll have to face a Clemson team that went 24-7 at home this season. OSU's record against the best teams isn't great this year. The Cowboys are just 6-9 against the Top 50 RPI and 4 of those were 25-50. The last time OSU went on the road to face an ACC team, they got swept by North Carolina, who didn't even make the NCAA Tournament (despite an RPI of 19!).
Honestly, I don't see the Cowboys reaching a Super Regional this year, but crazier upsets have happened in college sports. If OSU is going to pull the upset they're going to have to dig deep and leave what happened at the Big 12 tournament behind.