Baylor has been universally horrible during football and basketball with their covid situation, but whatever.
With hoops it doesn’t matter.
After dropping their only loss of the season to Kansas coming off a long “covid” layoff, they have rebounded nicely (pun intended) with wins AT #6 West Virginia and home against one of the hottest teams in the country....
#17 Oklahoma State
Let’s not discuss why OSU is only ranked #17. The Cowboys are every bit of a top-15 team, and should end up as a #4 or #5 seed in the tourney assuming the NCAA doesn’t pull the axe out of their ass (which is TOTALLY possible).
Also, a mia culpa...
I take back the article I wrote saying Rondel would be the more impactful freshman.— @CowboysRFF Grandfather (@RobertW_OkSt) March 5, 2021
Boynton and company fought their best in their third game without Isaac Likekele. With about five minutes left the Cowboys had trimmed the lead to four and had possession, but a loose handle by Cade Cunningham (we’ll forgive him) led to a transition basket and a quick turnover to a transition 3 and suddenly the lead was back to nine.
Then, with under a minute left, the unthinkable.
Cade goes down...has to be helped off the floor. He was clearly favoring an ankle.
And the entire Oklahoma State basketball fanbase collectively drew in a deep breath.
Cunningham led OSU with 24 points, 7 boards, 4 assists, and 1 block. Kalib Boone was the only other Cowboy in double figures with 12 points. Six other players had 4 or more points. Cunningham walked off the court RELATIVELY gingerly.
Butler led Baylor with 22 on 8-14 (4-7) from the floor. Teague and Mayer each put up 19 points.
While OSU put up a good fight, this is just a horrible matchup for Boynton and Company. The Bears are deep and physically mature. Minus Likekele the Cowboys only have Cunningham to answer that call, and it showed as Baylor outrebounded Oklahoma State 32-25 (12-7 off). Add to that the Bears are the best 3pt shooting team in the country and went 9-22 (40.9%) from deep and, well, it was a tall order.
No harm no foul. OSU will face West Virginia in Morgantown (thanks Big 12) on Saturday with short rest and possibly without Likekele AND Cade.
Honestly, the Big 12 should cancel the Big 12 tourney, let their teams rest for what could be an epic run in The Dance. But that won’t happen because the Big 12 front office is about as competent as Big 12 officials (BTW...they were atrocious tonight, both ways).
Jay Bilas is really good at his job:
Bilas:— @CowboysRFF Grandfather (@RobertW_OkSt) March 5, 2021
"That is a fantastic...foul." https://t.co/TaHMWp025o
The refs literally guess on the block/charge.— @CowboysRFF Grandfather (@RobertW_OkSt) March 5, 2021
They got that one right.
Bilas: "It's nice to know the officials are capable of calling a block."
Get yourselves together...it’s #17 Oklahoma State at #6 West Virginia, 2pm ET in Morgantown on Saturday.