"Kansas is a team that you've already played twice," Cyclones coach Fred Hoiberg said. "We know everybody. Everybody knows us."
The Cowboys, who had to play a matinee after dispatching Texas Tech on Wednesday night, didn't look as if they were weary in the first half. They actually pulled out to an early lead, silencing a heavily pro-Kansas crowd that had packed inside the Sprint Center.
Kansas responded by taking a 32-23 lead into halftime, and then maintained its advantage early in the second half. But once Black and fellow forward Perry Ellis picked up their fourth fouls, the Cowboys started shredding the Kansas defense by driving the lane.
Smart proved to be the most adept at it, picking up fouls when he wasn't hammered on the way to the rim. But just about everyone wearing black and orange got into the act, and Oklahoma State methodically trimmed the lead to 55-49 with about 8 minutes to go.
That's when Ford changed things up by slapping on a full-court press. It produced two quick turnovers and helped Oklahoma State take a 60-59 lead with 4 minutes left.
It was the Cowboys' first lead since the 12-minute mark in the first half.
The two teams, who each won on their home floor during the regular season, traded blows down the stretch. Selden made a couple free throws for Kansas, Forte answered with two from the foul line for Oklahoma State. Black and Wiggins threw down alley-oop dunks for the Jayhawks, and Murphy hit a pair of free throws and Markel Brown hit a rainbow 3 to give the Cowboys the lead.
It just made sense that such a nip-and-tuck game would be decided in overtime.
"They made some big shots down the stretch," Ford said. "Wiggins made a big shot in the corner — he played a heck of a game. They're just a heck of a basketball team, but our guys played hard. We just didn't have anything left in the tank at the end."