The Big 12 Tournament didn't end well for Oklahoma State, with a 68-57 loss to Kansas State in the semifinals that saw the Cowboys shoot a season-low 30.5 percent from the floor.
After a strong closing run through the regular season, it was OSU's worst loss since a mid-January loss at Baylor.
“We didn't play too well our last game against Kansas State,” said Cowboys coach Travis Ford. “Going back and watching it, I thought it was one of our poorer performances. But I have my reasons for that…”
Ford didn't elaborate, but K-State coaches and players suggested that the Cowboys appeared to be fatigued.
Regardless, the Cowboys must regroup and be ready to attack the goal they've been aiming for all along: the NCAA Tournament.
“We've won a lot of games,” Ford said. “I really haven't put a whole lot of thought into how we're playing. I'm putting thought into how we need to play better and start preparing for Oregon.”
Said Cowboys guard Marcus Smart: “I'd like to see us pick it back up on both ends of the floor. We've got to get back refocused.”
During OSU's Sunday watch party for the NCAA Tournament Selection Show, starting forward Michael Cobbins had his right arm in a sling.
During the K-State game, Cobbins injured his right shoulder, leaving the game to be tended by the team trainer.
“I got it popped back in,” he said after the game.
The sling is being used as a precautionary measure to protect the shoulder, but Cobbins is expected to play Thursday.
FORD WOULD WELCOME MENTOR MATCHUP
The Midwest Region offers plenty of intrigue. One possibility in the Sweet 16: a pairing of Louisville and OSU, Rick Pitino and Ford.
Pitino was Ford's coach at Kentucky and Ford has always referred to Pitino as a major influence on his coaching career.
Considering the Cowboys would have to win twice to arrive at a potential pairing with the Cardinals, Ford welcomes the opportunity to take on his mentor.
“I hope we get the opportunity,” Ford said. “That would be nice. It would be nice to have the opportunity to make it that far and have a chance to play.”