CBS Sports analyst Doug Gottlieb, a former Oklahoma State player who is broadcasting six NCAA tournament games from Spokane, Wash., this week, discussed OU’s and OSU’s prospects in the tourney.
How do you rate OU’s chances against North Dakota State?
I think North Dakota State is really, really good. I think they are very disciplined. Excellent on offense, you have to be against Lon (Kruger)’s defense. I wonder what happens if OU can’t score in transition. I think it’s going to be a very competitive game. In talking to some of the OU guys, I think they know that as well. Then they could get a rematch with San Diego State from last year, who is kind of the opposite of them. San Diego State kind of struggles to score. I think the first game is a challenge. I think they could win two or go home without winning one. Then I think the cool thing schedule-wise, I’m catching a super early flight Sunday morning. If Oklahoma State can survive Gonzaga, which is a big if, I’m going to head down and see the Arizona game.
Have you gotten on the OSU bandwagon like some ESPN experts, who are predicting the Cowboys will make it to the Final Four?
No. I think they can, but I think it’s going to be really hard with Arizona (possible second-round opponent). Arizona is not a good offensive team, but they’re remarkably good defensively, fundamentally sound. They can wear you out on the glass, which could be the undoing of Oklahoma State. If Marcus Smart makes shots, they can beat anybody in the tournament. They have to take good shots and they have to defend the rebound. I think it’s a reasonable prediction, but I don’t think they have given us a level of consistency at all this season to make you buy into it. It’s still a lot of hope and hype more than it is substance.
Who do you like in the Final Four?
Arizona, Florida, Louisville and Michigan State. I have Michigan State winning the championship.