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Big 12 Bracket: Pokes Face Two Virtual Away Games to Start Conference Tourney

Can OSU get past Iowa State and KU and into the semifinals?

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For the fourth time in five years, Oklahoma State will have to play a first-round Big 12 Tournament game to get to the quarterfinals. This time around, the Pokes — winners of seven of their last 10 — get Iowa State (which is 3-10 in their last 13 games). Winner gets Kansas.

And OSU needs to win. A lot. To make it into the NCAA Tournament, OSU probably has to win the entire event. That would probably look like wins over Iowa State, Kansas, Texas Tech and Baylor. OSU has defeated both Tech and Iowa State in the last month and gone to war with suddenly-flailing Baylor. Kansas could be problematic.

Last year, OSU lost in the first round to TCU. In Boynton’s first year, the good guys slipped past OU before falling to KU in the quarterfinals. It’s been since 2013 (!) that OSU made it all the way to the semifinals.

Here’s a look at the Big 12 bracket.

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OSU’s first game will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday on ESPNU as the Pokes get the tournament rolling.

Here’s an interesting note from OSU’s media relations: The Cowboys are 12-2 (.857) all-time in the first round of the Big 12 Championship, which is four more wins than the next closest Big 12 team, Texas Tech, and easily the best win percentage in the opening round. Oklahoma State is 7-14 in the quarterfinals, 3-4 in the semifinals and 2-1 in the championship game. 

The Cowboys have as much momentum as anyone does right now. As Kyle Cox pointed out here, only Kansas has been better in the Big 12 over its last 10 games.

OU at the No. 3 seed is hilarious. They finished 19-12 overall and 9-9 in the Big 12. They have to be the weakest No. 3 seed in the history of this event. But that’s the allure if you’re Mike Boynton and Oklahoma State! If you can somehow squeak past Kansas, there might not be anybody that’s playing better ball right now.

OSU finished two games out of a tie for third place this season (which is absolutely unbelievable given how it started) and has a chance to prove that if the season was 20 percent longer, it absolutely would have been a contender in the league and a lock for the NCAA Tournament.

Of course it’s all predicated on those first two games. The Pokes are favored over the Cyclones, but Kansas — especially 28-3 Kansas playing in Kansas City — will be a monster. Get past them though and we can start dreaming.

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