Last week at this time, Oklahoma State stood flimsily on the NCAA Tournament bubble, seriously needing wins.
Now a week later – with statement’s made against Kansas and Kansas State – college basketball’s bracketologists like the Cowboys’ status much better.
Several analysts have OSU up to a No. 9 seed, putting it essentially into a tossup opener against a No. 8.
And there’s opportunity for more upward movement, including Saturday’s trip to No. 16 Iowa State, and games next week at the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City.
The win over then-No. 5 KU made the loudest statement.
“It’s big for them,” CBSSports.com bracketologist Jerry Palm said on his weekly podcast. “It’s obvious a huge win in terms of quality. It shows the committee that maybe this is a different team with (Marcus Smart) back now. They’ve started to put that seven-game losing streak in the rearview mirror a little bit.
“It was really a big feather in their cap.”
While the Cowboys said they feel better about their postseason hopes, they also said they must push to finish strong.
“We need to continue to play well,” said coach Travis Ford. “We can’t exhale now. I think we’re in good shape. If you blindly put any resume against ours, I think we’re in pretty good shape.
“We don’t need to relax. We need to play well and keep it rolling through the Big 12 Tournament.”
FORTE FIRES, AGAIN
Guard Phil Forte didn’t get free often against Kansas, finishing with two points on 1-of-6 shooting, including an 0-for-4 effort from the arc.