While a few hundred seats went unclaimed, Saturday’s game was officially a sellout at Gallagher-Iba Arena. Unofficially, it was OSU’s best crowd in two seasons, playing a part in an 85-77 upset win over No. 1-ranked Kansas. "It was great,” said Cowboys coach Travis Ford, who delivered pizzas Friday night to students camped out in some 25 tents. "We went out there and hung out with them, took them pizzas and just talking to them. You could feel it, just talking to them, what a big game this was and what it meant to the students who were camping out. "And then to walk into a packed house and it got as loud as I’ve ever been in an arena – anywhere. And I’ve been in some loud ones as a coach and a player and I’ve never been in an atmosphere as loud as it was in our arena today on a couple of occasions.” Ford said the impact is immeasurable. "It makes the biggest different in the world for our team,” he said. "It is a huge, huge lift. It gives our team confidence. It gives our team adrenaline. There’s no question it’s one of the top atmospheres in college basketball when it’s like that.”
WHAT A LIFTAfter the game, students stormed the floor, some filing down to the Gallagher-Iba floor from the top sections. The Cowboys soon found themselves swallowed up in the scrum, when at one point, Keiton Page was hoisted atop the crowd. "Actually, that was a great feeling,” Page said. "I was claustrophobic. I was getting hot, so they picked me up and I got a little breather. "I was pretty excited when they did that. I thought I was going to pass out there for a little while.”
SIZING UPThe Jayhawks were taller at almost every spot on the floor and figured to hold a major advantage in the post with 6-foot-11 Cole Aldrich. But the Cowboys out-rebounded KU 36-26 and OSU’s duo of Matt Pilgrim and Marshall Moses combined to make 12-of-12 shots from the floor, score 26 points and grab 13 boards, while Aldrich finished with 11 points and five rebounds before being pulled for much of the second half. "It was very important for us,” said Cowboys guard James Anderson. "They stepped up and accepted the challenge on Cole Aldrich and the two twins (Marcus and Markieff Morris) and tried to do the best job they could defensively and tried to outwork them on both ends.”
VOTE GETTER?In some ways, Saturday’s clash shaped up as a Big 12 Player of the Year showdown, with Anderson and the Kansas duo of Sherron Collins and Aldrich considered the main players in the award chase. Did Anderson sway the vote, posting game highs of 27 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots, as well as adding three assists and two steals? "No question,” said Cowboys guard Obi Muonelo. "He’s been unbelievable the whole year. I don’t care what anybody says. Since I have been here, he has had the best year for a teammate that I have ever seen anybody have. "Just every game. I don’t think he has had an off night. He might have been in foul trouble or something and it hurt his (production). But every game he has just been unbelievable. Nobody deserves it more than him in the Big 12.”
HOT SHOTSOSU shot 60.4 percent from the floor — 32-of-53 — its best shooting performance since January of last season, when those Cowboys shot 60 percent against Northwestern State. It was the first time OSU shot 60 percent against a Big 12 foe since hitting 60 percent at Colorado in January of 2005.