Here’s a sentence I did not picture myself typing in the midst of Oklahoma State’s dreadful 0-8 start to conference play, yet I present it with no reservations. The Cowboys are a legit Big 12 team as they get ready to tip off the conference tournament Wednesday against Iowa State. Now, that certainly doesn’t mean they’re on the level Kansas is playing at. Who is? But could they have competed with Baylor for that second spot barring Isaac Likekele’s setback with Mono? I think yes.
After struggling out of the gate, OSU’s only three conference losses all came on the road against No. 1 Baylor, No. 17 West Virginia and No. 1 Kansas. OSU’s last home loss came against KU that is currently looking like the most complete team in all of college basketball and has a great shot to win the whole thing.
OSU could have mailed it in after realizing their ticket to the NCAA tournament was all but lost. Instead? They finished the conference slate 7-3 and thumped a hot Texas team in Austin. That game was never remotely close. Now, a couple of wins in the Big 12 tournament and they might just be rewarded by the selection committee. (I realize they would have to beat KU in the process, but stranger things have happened, right?)
On to the preview.
Who: Iowa State (12-19, 5-13)
Where: Sprint Center | Kansas City, MO
When: 6 p.m. | Wednesday, March 11
Live stats: okstate.statbroadcast.com
Spread: OKST -6
Previous Result: 73-61 Cowboys
No. 13 Isaac Likekele
No. 21 Lindy Waters III
No. 1 Jonathan Laurent
No. 12 Cameron McGriff
No. 14 Yor Anei
No. 3 Tre Jackson
No. 11 Prentiss Nixon
No. 2 Caleb Grill
No. 33 Solomon Young
No. 12 Michael Jacobson
John Rothstein posted this Iowa State Injury update earlier this morning:
Iowa State's Prentiss Nixon (ankle) is expected to play today against Oklahoma State, per Steve Prohm. Rasir Bolton (concussion) is a game-time decision.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) March 11, 2020
In their last game, the Cowboys took the lead on a 3-point shot from McGriff to go up 20-18 and never trailed for the rest of the game. McGriff scored a game-high 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting and recorded seven rebounds and three assists. Dziagwa poured in 14 points, going 4-of-8 from beyond the arc. Waters finished with 10 points and 6 assists, struggling from the field but making up for it from the free throw line (6-of-7).
Rasir Bolton led the Cyclones with 16-6-4-4, but he’ll be a game time decision for Wednesday’s game while in “concussion protocol”. Jacobson added 13 points to wrap up the double-digit scoring efforts for Iowa State. As a team, they went 5-of-20 from deep, but hit all of their free throws (12-of-12).
This game truly came down to the Cowboys simply hitting more shots than the Cyclones. I hate to put it that plainly, but they tied in total rebounds, had similar turnover numbers, and neither team shot a ton of free throws. Credit the Cowboy’s defense for making life hard on Solomon Young, who only managed 8 points after annihilating OSU the first time they played, going for 27.
I think the Cowboys get it done in this one, and somewhat comfortably at that.
KU awaits, in what might potentially maybe hopefully be a play-in game for the Cowboys chances at dancing next week.
What will be the result from Wednesday night’s game?
This poll is closed
Cowboys by single-digits
Cowboys by double-digits
Cyclones by single-digits
Cyclones by double-digits