After starting out the 2013 – 14 season considered one of the top teams in college basketball, the Oklahoma State Cowboys have floundered. After going 7 – 9 in Big 12 play with a seven-game losing streak between January 27 and February 17, the Cowboys have gone from tournament lock to 2014 NCAA Tournament bubble team.
Oklahoma State changed that when they upset the No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks. Kansas actually played really well on both sides of the ball, but 22 turnovers killed any chance the Jayhawks had of stopping OSU’s upset bid. Andrew Wiggins contributed to six turnovers, which could be something to watch as Kansas moves forward to the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Marcus Smart got some help from other players as Le’Bryan Nash and Markel Brown stepped up en route to a 72 – 65 victory.
The Cowboys needed the win over Kansas desperately. The team has been playing better recently, but that seven-game losing streak in the middle of conference play really killed their momentum. Not only does the win over Kansas cement their place in the Big Dance, but it means they don’t have to win multiple games in the Big 12 tournament.
In the 2014 NCAA Tournament, Oklahoma State will be a very dangerous team. The Cowboys have the capability to finish in the Elite Eight or better. Luckily, Smart has the ability to put this team on his back, and sometimes a game comes down to a clutch player. It is called March Madness for a reason.