It was Senior Night in Stillwater as the Oklahoma State Cowboys welcomed the visiting Kansas State Wildcats to town. The crowd was on it’s feet from tip-off to the final buzzer, cheering on their Cowboys to a victory. It took the whole game for the Cowboys to pull out this tough-fought victory.
The Wildcats came into this game needing a win to become the Big 12 regular season champions since 1977, and they also needed the Kansas Jayhawks to lose to win it outright. Thanks to the Baylor Bears, they were given another chance and became co-champions with their nemesis Jayhawks.
For most of the game, the Wildcats looked like they were going to win and put all the pressure on the Jayhawks. The Cowboys had different plans, thanks to Marcus Smart and Le’Bryan Nash performances Saturday afternoon.
The “one more year” chants echoed throughout the arena for Smart, who played like it was his last home game. He had a momentum play that changed the course of this game. If this was his last game, this typical beyond-the-box-score plays will be remembered for a long time down the road.
After Smart made a jump shot that was reviewed which was called a 2 instead of a 3, he drew a charge foul against Angel Rodriguez. He got between Rodriguez and the sideline and drew the foul as Rodriguez tried to catch an inbound pass. That was the game-changer to help the Cowboys take the lead down the stretch and play with passion the rest of the way. Smart was smart by keeping his cool and head in the game down the stretch.
His teammate Nash also had a tremendous game, slashing and driving to the rim. Nash looked like he was unstoppable in the second half by ripping down some dunks and going to the rim with authority.
The highlight from the Wildcats was no other than the play of Rodney “Mighty ” McGruder, who played his heart out in this losing effort. He led the Wildcats with 22 points, but couldn’t live up to his scoring game the last time these two teams battled it out.
This was a very exciting game to watch between two teams that are striving for a great postseason. Both of them will be in the Big Dance, but before they even think about that, they will need to focus on the Big 12 Tournament.
Kansas State earns the No.2, seed and will wait for the winner between Oklahoma State and Baylor. So these two teams might meet up once again, and this time it will be on a neutral court. If it happens, that game will be a great game to watch and the outcome could go either way.
Keep an eye on both these teams in the Big dance because they will do some damage. March Madness is here!