Every game Oklahoma State plays from now until they leave Kansas City is the most important of the season.
Heading into the Big 12 Tournament, the Cowboys are in Joe Lunardi’s “First Four Out,” meaning a win against Oklahoma could be enough, and a win against Kansas would be plenty. Everything else is gravy.
But none of it matters if they don’t take care of business against an Oklahoma team that has lost seven of its last ten games. They still carry plenty of firepower in Trae Young and Brady Manek, but they are not the same team Oklahoma State beat in Stillwater a month and a half ago.
Our staff got together to deliver predictions on tonight’s game. Here’s how we see things playing out:
“First off, I dislike that we’re all about to pick the same team here. They say fools stick together... don’t they? Either way, I like the Pokes in this one. Oklahoma has been a shred of what it was the first two times these teams played. From the outside looking in, it looks like they’re a bit disengaged, and the overall morale looks low. That being said, this does feel like a prime opportunity for Trae Young to do Trae Young things, and for Oklahoma to revert back into old form. I just don’t know if they can put together a full game right now, especially against an Oklahoma State team that looks hungry as ever with its back against the wall. This should be a fun, high-scoring matchup. I’ll take the Cowboys to pull away late.” Oklahoma State 77, Oklahoma 68.
“I have to take the Pokes tonight. In his first season and high off the first season sweep of Kansas in the Bill Self, I have to think Mike Boynton will have his team ready to go in the Bedlam rubber match. Trae Young appears to have checked out and is ready to leave Norman for the NBA, and the rest of the supporting Sooner cast just can’t do it this year. Gimme the Cowboys to attempt the first 3-0 sweep of Kansas tomorrow afternoon in KC.” I have no idea. It could be like 88-76 or 63-55 and neither would surprise me.
“I think that Oklahoma State most definitely has a chance to win this game. With a Trae Young that’s been struggling of late, and a great performance against them last time, I think they’re primed to take this one. They’re coming off a high with a win against KU on Saturday, and I really expect the Pokes to come out swinging. That being said, the Sooners could be out for blood.” Oklahoma State 81, Oklahoma 75
“What football couldn’t do, basketball has now accomplished. We get to enjoy an extra Bedlam! While we’re excited about that development, the Cowboys have struggled to follow big wins with victories of any kind. Coming fresh off the heels of a scintillating season-ending dismantling of Kansas, OSU has work to do to undo that tendency. This is a big game for the state schools as each needs this win. That alone should make this a can’t miss spectacle. The Pokes have shown to be the better team, especially down the stretch, but OU strolls into Kansas City with the better player. Trae Young has really been it for OU, as the rest of the team, much like their national scoring and assists leader, is slight of build. Young, of course, could go off in this game, but Boynton’s bunch has weathered that storm before and walked away with a big win that altered the trajectory of both programs. It will not be easy, but I’m expecting the Cowboys to want this win more—to further erase the Underwood mistake, to continue Boynton’s ascension, and to propel this remarkable team into the NCAA Tournament.” Oklahoma State 76, Oklahoma 68
“Oh how the “mighty” have fallen, right? Oklahoma was thought to contend for the conference title when Trae Young burst onto the scene. However, the Sooners have fallen drastically to the bottom of the Big 12 for Bedlam Round 3. I could take off my orange glasses and still tell you that Oklahoma State should win this game. The Sooners rely so heavily on Trae Young that if he’s struggling, the whole team does because he’s taking so many shots. Oklahoma is a shell of the team it was two months ago. Trae Young looks mentally checked out and preparing himself for the NBA, and the team chemistry looks to be very bad. Ironically enough, OU looks better on offense WITHOUT Young on the floor. I think if the Cowboys can keep Tavarius Shine and/or Lindy Waters on Young the whole game, that would force Young’s teammates to knock down shots. For the Cowboys, if they can ride the momentum winning three of their last four, it looks like a third date with Kansas is possible. Oklahoma State 88, Oklahoma 76