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OSU basketball: Cowboys might be a team to fear in NCAA Tournament

With Sunday’s at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament, the Cowboys can now refocus back on its original prize: a run to the Final Four.
by John Helsley Published: March 16, 2014

Since the seven-game losing streak, the Cowboys have produced seven strong performances, going 5-2 with the losses coming against the Big 12’s champions: Kansas (regular season) and Iowa State (tournament) – in overtime.

Smart has returned to being the team’s reliable rudder, resulting in better flow and a needed unselfishness that had been lacking on the offensive end during the slump.

“That seven-game losing streak we were on, this team was playing horrible,” Smart said. “It was like this team didn’t know who we were. We weren’t a team. But now we’re back together. Everybody’s jelling. We’re sharing the ball. And getting things done.

“We’re definitely playing better basketball than we were last year.”

That storyline is prominent inside the locker room as well.

A year ago, the Cowboys were fading into postseason, looking like a tired team that had lost its legs. They were bounced out of the Big 12 and NCAA tournaments in ragged performances.

“Last year, we didn’t play as hard,” Smart said. “Everybody could see it. We were just happy to be in it.”

This year, OSU looks like it’s gained a second wind.

And with eight days off between games, the Cowboys receive some added rest in the aftermath of their late push.

And they get an opportunity to reset.

Again.

“It can be,” Brown said. “With the break, we’ll get time to rest our bodies. It can be a little reset for us. Hopefully, it’s a reset in a positive way.”

by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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