Best under-the-radar Impact: At the end of last season, there were hints that Michael Cobbins was coming on. Then an early season injury stunted his development. Healthy again, Cobbins has bolstered OSU's frontcourt as a defensive presence and a timely scorer. His strong return has also prompted Ford's increasing reliance on a smaller, more versatile lineup.
Best win: Kansas had won 33 straight and 102 of its last 103 games inside Allen Fieldhouse, when the Cowboys stunned the Jayhawks 85-80 in Lawrence. For OSU, it was a much-needed road breakthrough and a victory that flipped the season's momentum and galvanized the team's confidence.
Best early indicator: The Cowboys started strong, yet were still searching for early validation when they ran into then-No. 6 North Carolina State in the title game of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. OSU stamped itself as a team to watch, routing the Wolfpack 76-56 and setting a tone for what was to come.
Best overlooked win: OSU needed overtime to get past Akron in the first round in Puerto Rico, allowing them to advance and eventually earn that clash with NC State. The Zips are now 24-6 and won 19 straight at one point, although their season could stall with point guard Alex Abreu suspended following drug charges.
Best signature moment: In overtime against Baylor at home, the Bears had a shot to win it, except Cobbins swatted A.J. Walton's running shot, allowing Brown to grab the rebound and sprint the length of the court for a game-winning layup with just two-tenths of a second remaining.
Best crossover move: Basketball and gymnastics aren't often linked, yet following OSU's rousing win at Kansas, Smart punctuated the afternoon with a fundamentally perfect round-off back flip on the floor's Jayhawk.
Best comeback: The rowdy returned to Gallagher-Iba Arena, with students and fans embracing a likable team that plays hard and has fun. And, of course, wins. Late-season sellouts signaled that college basketball is alive and well in Stillwater, even if it took a bit of a goosing to get some folks on board.