The Oklahoma State Cowboys have won back-to-back games by 22 points after a seven-game skid. The Cowboys entered Big 12 Conference play as the favorite to take the conference title, but currently find themselves in eighth place with three games remaining. In order for the Cowboys to make the NCAA tournament, they must win two of their last three games. Oklahoma State has gotten back on track by routing Texas Tech Saturday and TCU Monday night. Both those teams are below the Cowboys in the standings.
Their next three opponents are Kansas, Kansas State and an Iowa State team in the unfriendly confines of the Hilton Coliseum. The three teams are the cream of the crop and have each beaten the Cowboys. Oklahoma State played each team tough, losing to each opponent by an average of two points. It seems nearly impossible for the Cowboys to pull off the feat of winning two of their last three. While Oklahoma State is in a deep hole, they proved Monday night that there is still a lot of fight left in this dog.
Phil Forte led a three-point onslaught that kept TCU out of contention for the vast majority of the ball game. Forte had a game-high 23 points. As per the usual, the conference leader in three-point percentage had the hot hand outside. He was 5-for-10 from three-point range, doing most of his damage in the first half. His best friend, Marcus Smart, took over in the second half, draining five three-pointers of his own. The Cowboys shot a 14-of-31 clip from outside, giving them a 30-point advantage over the Horned Frogs in made three-pointers.
If Oklahoma State can continue to bury shots from the perimeter, they have a chance to make the big dance. Saturday will be judgment day for the Cowboys when they square off against the conference leader, Kansas. The game isn’t necessarily a must-win for Oklahoma State, but it is pretty close.