With pressure at an all-time high, and the season seemingly riding on one game, Oklahoma State rampaged its way to a blowout win over one of the nation’s top teams. They bullied the sixth-ranked Kansas Jayhawks all afternoon, and crashed through the windows of the NCAA Tournament selection committee house party in the process.
Cowboy Seniors Jeffrey Carroll, Mitchell Solomon, Kendall Smith, and Tavarius Shine all played their last games in the hallowed halls of Gallgher-Iba Arena. They saved one of their best performances for last. Solomon delivered arguably the best game of his career, and definitively, his best play.
Solomon finished the game with 16 points, 7 boards, and largely stayed out of foul trouble. Smith delivered a masterful game himself, dropping a cool 25 points on 9-15 shooting and delivering big shot after big shot. Shine and Carroll finished with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
With today’s win, Oklahoma State becomes the only team to have swept Kansas in the Bill Self era, an accomplishment that cannot be overlooked.
Oklahoma State becomes the first team to sweep Kansas in the Bill Self era with today's dominating win. That is massive.— Cowboys Ride For Free (@CowboysRFF) March 3, 2018
For first-year coach Mike Boynton and his team to do what they did today, and this season in general, they deserve endless praise no matter how the season ends.
Mike Boynton, with five minutes left in a must-win game, has brought a different energy to #okstate basketball. Regardless of how this season ends, Oklahoma State has to keep him around for a long time. Absolutely masterful season given the circumstances.— Cowboys Ride For Free (@CowboysRFF) March 3, 2018
Oklahoma State’s NCAA Tournament hopes were seemingly dead in the water, but after wins over Iowa State, and No. 6 Kansas today, they suddenly seem alive as ever. Today’s win gives the Cowboys their sixth Top 25 win, which is among the best in the NCAA. Additionally, they broke a program record with four top-10 wins in a season.
With two wins over Kansas, a road win over West Virginia, and countless notable victories to boot, we could be looking at Wednesday’s Bedlam matchup in the Big 12 Tournament as the end all be all. Personally, I’m thrilled about the prospect, but in my opinion, today’s win should be enough to put the Pokes in the Tournament.
I dare you to keep this team out of the NCAA Tournament. #okstate— Cowboys Ride For Free (@CowboysRFF) March 3, 2018
In a game that meant so much to Oklahoma State, and so little to Kansas who had already wrapped up the outright Big 12 title, it was imperative for the Cowboys to take advantage. Rarely do you see a Bill Self-led team play without focus, but that was the case today. The Jayhawks turned the ball over nine times in the first half, and allowed Oklahoma State to stretch out a 16-point halftime lead.
Kansas tried to claw back in the second half, and there were a few tense moments, but they never got closer than nine points. It was a blowout the whole way.
Oklahoma State, with everything on the line, put its foot on the throat of one of the top teams in the land, and likely punched a ticket to the NCAA Tournament in the process.
Check out Mike Boynton’s address to the crowd after the game. What a moment.
“We will hang a banner in this building.”
Tattoo it on my forehead!
Box Score, Stats (Courtesy of ESPN.com):
Bill Self on #OKState: "They’re a lot better than us and we won the league by two games. The two times we played them it hasn’t even been close, in my opinion. To ask if they’re a tournament team, my answer would be an emphatic yes."— Mark Cooper (@mark_cooperjr) March 3, 2018
More Self on #OKState: "They’re a lot more athletic than us. Their perimeter guys are more athletic than us and then their big guy’s such an anchor." Said KU matches up with OSU as poorly as anyone in the Big 12.— Mark Cooper (@mark_cooperjr) March 3, 2018
Big shoutout to my guy @thacoachmike what a job u have done my brother. Proud of u— Frank Martin (@FrankMartin_SC) March 3, 2018
A fan behind me: "Guys, I don't mean to overreact, but Mitchell Solomon is literally Jesus Christ."— Marshall Scott (@Marshall_Once) March 3, 2018
Oklahoma State takes down No. 6 Kansas on senior night!— ESPN (@espn) March 3, 2018
OSU is the first team to sweep season series versus KU under Bill Self. pic.twitter.com/EpZo7masAs
After the game Boynton is gonna be looking at Mike holder like pic.twitter.com/gU8DaQvO7i— Sam Mayes (@AllmericanMayes) March 3, 2018