STILLWATER — Oklahoma State updated its intro video for Saturday's much-anticipated Bedlam matchup.
And the pump-up clip included a perfect closing scene.
Marcus Smart, moments after his steal and assist clinched an unthinkable upset in Lawrence, Kan., vaults into an acrobatic back flip on the Jayhawks' center court logo, as a delirious Dave Hunziker unloads a “Down goes Kansas” call in the background.
The sold out Bedlam crowd reacted as expected, immediately identifying and roaring at the sight of Smart's bold acrobatics.
“I was celebrating for a moment,” Markel Brown fondly recalled. “Then I turn around and I see him doing back flips, and I'm like, ‘Woah, what is he doing?'”
In many ways, it's become the signature moment of this season-changing and potentially program-altering seven-game win streak.
Genuine and humble off the court but a ruthless bully on it, Smart has a rare form of competitive confidence. He'll rip your heart during the game and then dance on your historic court after.
It's the clearest example of an obvious culture change surrounding OSU's rejuvenated program.
But it also came with one obvious drawback.
The Cowboys have to play Kansas again. On Wednesday in Stillwater. With the Big 12 lead on the line.
And you better believe KU players remember the not-so-subtle celebration on their beloved Jayhawk.
“Was there a back flip?” Bill Self joked to reporters on Saturday night, before coming clean. “It's already been shown many times. (But) I gotta be honest, I thought that was as athletic as Ben (McLemore's 360) dunk (on Saturday).”
Point guard Elijah Johnson admitted to seeing the celebration, telling reporters, “Yeah, that's a big deal.”
But in reality, it's not as much about the back flip, but more about the emotional and stunning loss, which sent the Jayhawks into a three-game tailspin. The back flip just provides a clean and crisp reminder of everything that happened that day, all packed into one nine-second YouTube clip.
So Self likely showed it last week and replayed it this week. He's probably got it on a constant loop in Jayhawk headquarters as we speak.
“… On the plane coming down here, in the locker room before the game,” Travis Ford joked, rattling off the times he figured Self would show it as motivation.
And Smart knows as much, admitting that he somewhat regretted it.
“Now they have something that's really going to motivate them to come in here,” Smart said. “But like I said, it was in the emotion of the moment, in the flow and it just happened. I can't take it back now. ... As a player and competitor, if I saw that, that would definitely get me fired up.”
And Kansas will be fired up come 8 p.m. Wednesday. Make no mistake. But so will the Cowboys, with bragging rights and conference placement on the line.
“Once you throw the ball up, doesn't matter,” Ford said. “There were certain things that OU did down (in Norman) that we used. But like I told our guys, once you throw that ball up, you got to play.”