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Unsung Hero: Iowa State & Kansas

I’m going away from a player for this week.

NCAA Basketball: Kansas at Oklahoma State Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

This week, the Cowboys rounded out their regular season with two heartbreaking losses. On Wednesday, the Cowboys played a barn-burner against Iowa State, but came up just short 86-83. On Saturday, in front of a sold out Gallagher-Iba Arena, Oklahoma State couldn’t get past the No. 1 ranked Kansas Jayhawks, losing 90-85. The Cowboys finished the regular season 20-11, setting up a date with Iowa State in the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City on Thursday.

This season has been one that will give Oklahoma State fans hope for the future of the program. After a dismal 12-20 season last year, even after the hiring of Brad Underwood, there was not a lot of optimism about this season. As the season progressed, the Rowdy came back, the team started winning games, and people began to feel good about the basketball program for the first time in years.

I am going to shift away from giving the unsung hero to a player this week. Instead, my unsung hero is Brad Underwood.

NCAA Basketball: Oklahoma State at Oklahoma Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

He is talked about quite a bit, but I don’t know if people realize how much he has been able to do in his first year at the helm. For one, he took a young team and led them to 8 more wins than last year. The team went from being one of the worst scoring teams in the nation in 2015-2016, to No. 1 in the conference this season. Attendance jumped 44 percent (!) from last season to this season, including four sellouts of Gallagher-Iba Arena.

All of this should give Cowboys fans hope for the future. Basketball is returning to prominence, and that should be cause for celebration. Coach Brad Underwood has done so much for this program in only one season with the Cowboys, I cannot wait to see what the future brings for this program.