Both Oklahoma State and Kansas struggled offensively in the first half, with the Cowboys shooting just 6-of-25 from the floor (24 percent) and the Jayhawks connecting on 10-of-29 shots (34.5 percent).
But the Cowboys went 14-of-22 from the field (63.6 percent) after intermission, including a 30-point outburst over the final 10 minutes to snag the 72-65 victory.
“We were clicking on all cylinders,” Cowboy guard Markel Brown said, “passing the ball well, sharing the ball well. Getting (Le’Bryan Nash) in his spots. Marcus (Smart) attacking the rim — getting to the rim first and then making the outside shot … we took advantage of the opportunity.”
Added Kansas coach Bill Self: “For them to score 30 points in the last 10-12 minutes, I mean, our defense totally broke down.”
Self on Kansas still winning the Big 12 title, despite the loss: “I told (the equipment staff) to put (the championship gear) under the damn bus, because we missed our opportunity to celebrate it.”
‘GameDay’ makes first OSU hoops appearance since 2005
ESPN’s “College GameDay” pregame show made its first appearance in Stillwater since 2005 Saturday for Oklahoma State’s showdown with No. 5 Kansas.
The crowd in Gallagher-Iba Arena for the “GameDay” broadcast was lackluster — about 400 fans showed up, leaving a mostly open second level as an eyesore.
But fans who did come brought respectable energy.
Homemade signs flooded floor seating on GIA’s west side, including one that said, “Forget Bieber, deport Wiggins” — a jab at KU star Andrew Wiggins, who was born in Canada.
Standing out among the orange-clad crowd was Matthew Taylor, a sophomore psychology major who wore an orange stormtrooper outfit.
Although the hype around ESPN’s visit diminished after OSU’s seven-game losing streak, Taylor said fans did their best to show support in front of a national audience.
“We may have a smaller crowd, but we can make as much noise as anyone,” Taylor said.
ANALYSTS FAVOR COWBOYS
Support from OSU fans was expected. Favor from ESPN analysts Jalen Rose, Digger Phelps and Jay Bilas was more of a surprise.
The panel mostly sided with OSU when comparing the Cowboys’ tournament resume to teams such as Iowa, Arkansas and Memphis. OSU’s No. 20 BPI ranking and No. 32 strength of schedule helped the cause.
ESPN bracket analyst Joe Lunardi also had a segment and offered his take on OSU’s postseason chances.
“Oklahoma State’s work is hardly finished,” Lunardi said. “I think they need at least three wins, including the Big 12 tournament.”
Phelps picked KU’s Joel Embiid as his Big 12 Player of the Year, Rose picked Iowa State’s Melvin Ejim and Bilas went with Wiggins.
Neither OSU’s Marcus Smart nor Markel Brown received any mention for individual accolades, but Phelps and Rose evidenced their respect for the Cowboys by picking them to beat the Jayhawks.