Oklahoma State was a team nobody wanted to play, and then they became a team everyone wanted to play after a rough finish which saw them sneak in as one of the “last four in”. But they have a chance to erase all the negativity with a solid performance in the 2018 DeLand Regional.
The Cowboys are the third-seeded team in the field of four, which includes host Stetson, South Florida and Hartford. Here’s how the four squads stack up record- and ranking-wise.
Also of significance:
- Stetson has a home record of 29-3
- South Florida was 8-9-1 on the road
- Oklahoma State was 15-12 on the road
- Hartford was 7-23 on the road
Although USF has a better RPI, perhaps the Cowboys are the best-equipped team to hand Stetson a loss at home, if anyone does. A couple of weeks ago, it seemed nothing was impossible for this team, so let’s refresh on how the Cowboys went from a top-20 team to one that barely sneaked into the postseason.
Following the sweep of OU, the Cowboys found themselves a few wins away from clinching the Big 12 regular season title with a 27-14-1 record. But Josh Holliday’s squad sputtered down the stretch, as OSU lost 10 of its final 12 games and is limping into the upcoming regional on a six-game losing streak.
The discouraging thing about the rough stretch, is the games haven’t been particularly close. Look at the margins of defeat in their final 10 losses of the season: 1, 2, 8, 8, 4, 5, 8, 4, 3, 4.
Every team who advanced to this stage of the season has the advantage of rest between conference tournaments and the first regional, but the Cowboys could use it more than others. Sometimes long breaks hurt teams on a roll because their momentum slows, and it often helps slumping teams because they have time to work out some kinks.
Looking on the positive side of the coin, the Cowboys have shown an ability to string together impressive victories; they have winning streaks of four and seven games this season.
If the Cowboys happen to escape from the DeLand Regional, they’ll face the winner of the Chapel Hill regional, which includes North Carolina, Purdue, Houston and N.C. A&T.