Big 12 Basketball on Big Monday: Kansas v. Oklahoma State

By Chris Hengst

Kansas likely cemented a #1 seed over the weekend in a thrilling comeback victory over Missouri in the final regular season rendition of the Border War.

A road matchup on Big Monday against Oklahoma State isn’t traveling to Rupp Arena but it’s probably not the follow-up Bill Self wanted.

The Jayhawks let their bitter rivals build a nineteen-point lead in Lawrence Saturday before storming back to win in overtime. Allowing the Cowboys to build any late advantage or even remain close won’t bode well for a Kansas squad hoping to ride into Stillwater, snag a victory and return home unblemished.

Oklahoma State hasn’t seen the same type of home atmosphere at Gallagher-Iba Arena as in years past but it still was enough for the Cowboys to upset then second-ranked Missouri in January.

Le’Bryan Nash torched the Tigers for 27 points and notched a seminal win for Travis Ford in a season devoid of many.

Can he do the same against Kansas? That’s questionable as the talented freshman suffered a hand injury in Wednesday’s loss to Oklahoma.

To best another national title contender, Oklahoma State requires near-flawless performances from Nash and leading scorer Keiton Page.

Those have been too rare for the 14-15 Cowboys but every week, playing on the road in college hoops generates some surprises.

Bill Self’s squad wasn’t picked outright to win their eighth consecutive Big 12 title, it was slated share that honor in the pre-season with Texas A&M.

Obviously, the league’s coaches looked into the wrong crystal ball when casting their pick for the Aggies.

Lose to Oklahoma State and Missouri has a chance to share the conference championship in their final Big 12 season.

That should be motivation enough for Thomas Robinson and company.

Picking against Kansas tonight is probably a losing proposition but if Travis Ford’s team ever hoped for a Jayhawks letdown game, Monday is the prime opportunity.

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