The Baylor Bears may have lost to Oklahoma State Thursday evening. But clearly, Baylor gave the Cowboys all they could handle.
Friday night's Big 12 semi-final between OSU and Kansas State was nothing like their two previous meetings this season. The home team won both games, and each was decided by 6 points.
But this time, the Cowboys looked tired in the 68-57 loss. And even K-State admits their opponent wasn't quite the same.
"I don't think there's any doubt. the coaches watched in person last night the second half and really thought they were getting a little tired even in that Baylor game," said Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber.
OSU collectively disagreed with that theory.
"I don't think it was a factor," said OSU junior guard Markel Brown. "we didn't get in the rhythm offensively, and it slowed us down a little bit. It might look like we were tired, but we played hard out there."
Experts still believe this year's Oklahoma State has enough talent to compare to anyone in the country. And no team in the country appears unbeatable with the NCAA tournament coming up.
"This is a year like no other," explained OSU head coach Travis Ford. "Last year, everyone knew who people were gunning for. We all were hoping Kentucky plays bad. I think anybody's got a shot."
And despite the disappointing exit in Kansas City, one in which they shot 30% from the floor, their lowest field goal percentage of the season, one thing the Cowboys say they still have:
"Even though we lost, we still have confidence in each other. We still play together," OSU sophomore guard Le'Bryan Nash said. "And hopefully we can come together and say, 'hey let's play and let's get a national championship.'"
"Our confidence is still high right now -- especially going into the tournament. We just can't another one of those nights again," said OSU freshman point guard Marcus Smart.
The NCAA selection committee will have its final decision on who makes the tournament's field of 68 teams this Sunday. Experts have OSU projected as 5-seed. But if the field has a much parody as OSU and others claim, then the seeding won't be as much of a factor to the Cowboys' postseason run.