After a wild weekend in college basketball, which featured the first ever No. 1 seed losing to a No. 16 seed in the Virginia-UMCB matchup and plenty of buzzer beaters and incredible shots, the Cowboys are looking to keep the status quo and avoid becoming the latest upset in NCAA men’s basketball postseason play.
After keeping Florida Gulf Coast at bay in the first round, the Cowboys will attempt to chop down Stanford in what will be the final basketball game played at Gallagher-Iba Arena this season.
Who: (2) Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. (3) Stanford Cardinal
Where: Gallagher Iba Arena- Stillwater, Oklahoma
When: 6 p.m. CST
Radio: Cowboy Radio Network
Spread: Oklahoma State (-7.5)
The Cardinal of Stanford finished their season with an 18-15 record. The 11-7 Pac-12 record was good for fifth-best in the conference. In the regular season, they boasted wins over NCAA bubble team USC, swept NCAA tournament participant Arizona State and had a double-overtime win over NCAA tournament participant UCLA.
Unlike the Cowboys, the first-round matchup for the Cardinal was not easy and mostly in control of the favorite. It took Stanford two extra periods to knock off the No. 6-seeded BYU Cougars.
Reid Travis (no relation to country superstar Randy Travis that I know of) was a monster for Stanford, scoring 25 points and snatching 14 rebounds in the victory. Of the four Cardinal reserves, only Oscar da Silva was able to score any points, but he made his 26 minutes count, dropping four of his six shots - including two of his three shots from beyond the arc - for 13 points total.
This season, Reid leads Stanford in points scored per game (19.6), rebounds per game (8.7), field goal percentage with more than 100 shots taken (.556) and is second on the team in average minutes per game (33.9). In other words, Reid is the workhorse of this team. Measuring in at 6’8, the forward from Minneapolis, Minnesota should give both Mitchell Solomon and Yankuba Sima a test. However, if the duo can play clean basketball and the Cowboys drive the basketball instead of settling for threes, perhaps Travis will get into foul trouble and cripple the Stanford offense.
Stanford should be a good matchup height-wise for the Cowboys. The starting five from the first round of the first round game against BYU measure in at 6’9, 6’8, 6’8, 6’3 and 6’5. To compare, the Cowboys send Solomon (6’9) and Sima (6’11), along with a little bit of Cameron McGriff (6’7) - if the Cowboys go small - to combat in the post, while Jeffrey Carroll (6’6), Lindy Waters (6’6) and Kendall Smith (6’3) are left to handle the guards.
The Cowboys should look to pound the ball inside and attack the basket. In their matchup with BYU, Stanford allowed an insane 54 points in the paint
Stanford can get hot from outside the arc, as the Cardinal shoots 37.3 percent from beyond the arc, good for 71st best in the nation. However, the Achilles’ heel of the team is the amount of turnovers they have. They turn the ball over nearly 15 times a game - which is 31st worst in the nation, while only forcing 11.7 per game.
Daejon Davis is Stanford’s most prolific passer. Davis averages 4.9 assists per game, while only scoring 10.8 points per game. The Cardinal point guard will look to pass the ball around and use screens to beat the Cowboys’ early man-to-man defense. However, if Solomon, Sima and McGriff start to get in foul trouble look for the Cowboys to go to a 3-2 zone to try and neutralize both the Stanford sharpshooting as well as Travis down in the paint.
Oklahoma State is looking to tie the school record for most home wins in a season. The Cowboys currently are 14-4 on Eddie Sutton court and are looking to reach 15 for the first time since 2013.
Remember, if you are one of the students that is still in Stillwater (or live relatively close), you can get in free to cheer on the Cowboys.