Oklahoma State gets what it wanted, a shot at the Old Spice Classic championship.
Memphis gets what it wanted, another shot at the No. 5-ranked Cowboys, who hammered the Tigers before a large national television audience less than two weeks ago.
So once again, wants and wills clash.
Tip time is 6:30 p.m. Sunday inside HP Field House on the Disney World campus in Kissimmee, Fla.
While both teams targeted the tournament title game, the Tigers also targeted a rematch with OSU, after being overwhelmed by Marcus Smart and the Cowboys from the outset in Stillwater on Nov. 19.
OSU won in a rout, 101-80, and it wasn't that close, with the Cowboys leading by 26 at the half and by as much as 34 in what was billed as a major showdown of programs seeking early national contender confirmation.
The Cowboys raised their profile; the Tigers took a hit to their perception and their pride.
“Of course we were embarrassed,” Memphis guard Joe Jackson told reporters. “Letting somebody score points on us like that was embarrassing.
“But we've course-corrected quickly.”
Since that rugged night at Gallagher-Iba Arena, the Tigers have responded, winning three straight to improve to improve to 4-1. In the tournament, they've beaten Siena and LSU to get to this point, which offers a unique opportunity at a mulligan.
And it's an opportunity Memphis has coveted, even before they arrived in Florida.
“Absolutely, can't wait for it,” guard Michael Dixon Jr. told USA Today.
The wait is over.
The Cowboys are ready for the rematch, too, but they have struggled a bit in the tournament. OSU jumped out to big leads in both of its first two games, only to let both Purdue and Butler make runs in the second half.
“We're not paying attention to detail as much as we are in the first half,” Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford told the Orlando Sentinel. “I think our guys get in the mode a little bit that it's automatically going to happen, that we're automatically going to win by 20 or 30 because we've done it in the past … against good teams like Purdue and Butler, these teams have a lot of fight to them. They're not just going to lay over.
“I don't think we've responded as well — I told these guys, it's not about not playing hard. We play hard. It's just a difference between playing hard and competing at the level needed to get a win against these type opponents in the second half, and a lot of it has to do with detail and a lot of it has to do with the opponent.”
The first meeting between the Cowboys and Tigers set up as a showdown between backcourts billed as two of the best in the country, with Memphis considered the best.
Yet led by Smart, who struck for 26 first-half points and finished with a career-high 39, the Cowboys owned the matchup and more.
The Tigers were well aware of Smart, but admit they never anticipated the way he'd attack them, clearly unaware that he'd spent the summer focused on improving his outside shot.
“It was mind-blowing,” Dixon Jr. said in the USA Today story. “In the scouting reports, our coaches the whole time were saying, ‘Play him as a driver. Play him as a driver.' And he is coming down and literally — I tell everybody this — literally shooting fall-in 3s, running 3s like he is J.J. Redick. And he is not J.J. Redick. He doesn't shoot like J.J. Redick.
“But that's how he shot. There was really nothing we could do. If he didn't get them going like that, it would have been a totally different game.”
And, Jackson said in the same story, the Tigers are planning for a totally different game this time.
“I can guarantee that we are going to compete harder,” Jackson said. “We are going to play way harder. I just knew everybody on the court didn't play as hard as they can.
“Everyone is expecting you to lose by 30 if you play them again. So you go out and play them as hard as you can, now you get a chance to punch them in the mouth, Oklahoma State in the mouth, because that is what they did to us.”