Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Down to cases: Oklahoma State

The Cowboys are 18-6, 5-5 in Big 12 play. Half of their wins are by 10 or fewer points per 100 possessions. Only one of their losses has been that narrow.

The at-risk profiles are designed to measure team quality looking forward. It is entirely appropriate that Oklahoma State get credit with the selection committee for all those close wins when considering their prospects for an at-large bid. However, as of last Saturday, Andy Glockner of ESPN.com still listed the Cowboys as a "lock" to make the NCAA Tournament. This despite being outscored by eight points per 100 possessions in conference play through eight games. (Following the narrow win over Texas Tech and the blowout loss at Texas, the Cowboys are now being outscored by ten points per 100 possessions against Big 12 opposition.)

The most likely final conference record for the Cowboys is 8-8. They have home games remaining against Missouri, Texas A&M, and Kansas State. They travel to Texas Tech, Baylor, and Nebraska. Considering that Oklahoma State has struggled to beat Baylor (+7), Texas (+5), Oklahoma (+9), and Texas Tech (+2) at home and has yet to win a road game in conference play they could realistically lose any of those games.

This is a team on the tournament bubble. Should they manage to split their final 6 games, they may well benefit from getting to play on Thursday in the Big 12 Tournament with its accompanying chance to guarantee a .500 record in conference play.

Oklahoma St5-698106-8
vs. Big 125-598108-10

Wins: vs. Auburn (+2), vs. Missouri State (+6), vs. Syracuse (+4), vs. Ball State (+33), vs. Pittsburgh (+4)

Losses: vs. Tennessee (-5), @Kansas (-38), @Texas A&M (-26), @Colorado (-21), @Oklahoma (-14), @Texas (-39)

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