First game: No. 4 Iowa State (Thursday, 11:30 a.m.)
Prediction: Wins quarterfinal, loses a very close semifinal game.
Oklahoma State has had one of those seasons that could be made into a motion picture. Starting Big 12 Conference play with a (0-6) record, then rebounding to win 9-out-of-12 to bring their conference record to an even (9-9) and an overall record of (20-9). Not to mention, doing this all with a new head coach, Brad Underwood, from Stephen F. Austin.
The Cowboys have the most lethal offense in the conference and are one of the elites in the country, lead by the trio of Jawun Evans, Jeffrey Carrol, and Phil Forte. Evans has played like an All-American in his sophomore season, Forte is easily one of the conference’s best players and Carrol is the most improved. Three guys trending in the right direction sets up for two exciting post-season tournaments.
The Cowboys finished No. 5 in the Big 12 and will play the No. 4 team, Iowa State, who swept the season series, with two very close games. The Cowboys hope the third time is a charm and they can knock off the Cyclones to advance to the conference semifinals. Both teams possess a high-octane offensive gameplan, led by two All-American caliber point guards leading it all.
The key for the Cowboys to win this game will be on Evans offensively and the overall gameplan on how to contain Morris. He had a mediocre performance in the first matchup and had a good showing in the final game of the regular season, erupting for 29 points in what was a close game. But when he scored his 29, Morris scored 30 so the Cowboys will have to find a working formula to contain him, and for Evans to have one of his great games to win this quarterfinal matchup.