Smart fouled out with 2:24 left in the second overtime, on a dubious play — an offensive charge, with the Cowboys up one and early in the shot clock.
Better to not risk a fifth foul. Pull up and take a jumper or pull out and reset the offense, even on a night when the Cowboys shot just 32 percent from the field.
That meant when the Cowboys had another chance to win it, their playmaker was on the bench.
Brown, whose turnaround jumper had given OSU a 67-66 lead with 50 seconds left, was forced to try a similar tough shot, and when it missed, Kansas was back in the saddle of the Big 12 race.
“It was a down locker room,” Ford said. “They were disappointed. But we need to bounce back.”
Not many whistles went OSU’s way in the overtimes, but the Cowboys have only themselves to blame for the defeat.
OSU made just three of eight foul shots in the overtimes, while Kansas made nine of 12.
And the Cowboys couldn’t find the basket for much of the night. OSU made just four of 21 3-pointers.
Still, the Cowboys proved their toughness, even in defeat. Michael Cobbins was sensational, often battling 7-foot KU center Withey, despite giving away five or six inches. Cobbins had 13 rebounds and eight points.
And OSU took remarkably good care of the ball, with only nine turnovers in 50 minutes, and two of them were offensive fouls in the final overtime. But that’s small consolation for a team that had visions of a Big 12 title. The Cowboys would have been in command of the conference race with a victory and would have given their fans a night to remember.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.