Crunch Time: Cowboys Can Keep Tourney Hopes Alive With Win Against KU
STILLWATER - The stage is set for a memorable senior day in Gallagher-Iba Arena. Oklahoma State (17-13, 7-10 Big 12) is coming off an 80-71 win over Iowa State, and will honor its senior class as it plays host to No. 6 Kansas (24-6, 13-4), which already clinched its 14th straight Big 12 regular season championship.
The Cowboys have three top-10 wins this season, including an 84-79 victory in Allen Fieldhouse on Feb. 3. Should the Cowboys win on Saturday it would be the first time the Jayhawks were swept in a season series since 2001.
OSU has won three of the last four meetings against KU in Gallagher-Iba Arena, and has seven wins over the Jayhawks since 2008 - more than any other program.
But most importantly, a win against the Jayhawks keeps the Cowboys on the NCAA Tournament bubble.
Should the Cowboys beat Kansas they would have eight Big 12 wins. Since the conference expanded to the double-round robin format four of the five teams to finish 8-10 in Big 12 play earned an at-large big to the Big Dance.
OSU has piled up five AP top-25 wins this season, including three against top-10 teams and three away from Stillwater.
The Cowboys own three RPI top-30 wins and six wins over the RPI's top-55.
OSU is one of just eight teams to take down multiple ranked opponents in true road games.
The NCAA RPI report separates every team's games into four quadrants, and the NCAA Tournament selection committee places heavy emphasis on the first and toughest quadrant. OSU has four first-quadrant wins, which is tied for 25th nationally.
OSU has faced the nation's 26th toughest schedule according to KenPom, and has six wins over current top-50 squads and nine wins over teams ranked 110 or better.
Every loss on OSU's schedule is to a team currently among the projected NCAA Tournament field according to ESPN's Joe Lunardi. Conversely, the Cowboys have five wins over projected tournament teams.
Former Cowboy Bill Self is facing his alma mater for the 30th time as a head coach, including four meetings in his time at Oral Roberts and 25 at Kansas. Self's record against OSU is 17-12 (16-9 with KU, 1-3 with ORU), but he is 4-8 inside Gallagher-Iba Arena (4-6 with KU, 0-2 with ORU).