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Marcus (Smart) Plays For State Championship

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Tonight, while OSU fans are licking their hoops wounds and talking about Blackmon’s 40 time, the potential linchpin to Oklahoma State’s NCAA tournament hopes will be trying to win back-to-back state titles just a stone’s throw from the stadium in Austin, Texas where OSU has most viscerally asserted its arrival as a Big 12 force de frappe.

Except that dominance of late has been in football and not in hoops. Something Marcus Smart hopes to change next year.

Travis Ford’s bejeweled prep star has led Marcus to its third straight state tournament appearance and looks to seal the deal on back-to-back titles for his #9-ranked Marauders.

last week he had 19 in the regional finals, a 39-38 slugfest over South Grand Prarie, a team his coach called “the toughest opponent we’ve played in this three-year stretch.”

Smart talked about how tough that last step to Austin was, noting that Flowermound Marcus proved [they] “still have the No. 1 defense in Texas.”

The young fella has performed well in previous trips to Austin. In 2010 he had 14-15-7 in a 45-43 loss to Fort Bend Bush, a game in which OSU’s other Flower Mound Marcus recruit, Phil Forte, poured in 20 points and hit 6-7 threes.

Last year Smart had a pair of Markel Brown-like lines, first a 11-9-2-3-1 in the semis and then a 16-11-2-4-0 line in the title game. Phil Forte went 1-12 with six turnovers in that game.

Marcus takes on Garland Naaman Forest, a team on a streak a lot of people are comparing to UConn’s waltz through the NCAAs last year. Forest has Prince Ibeh (a Texas recruit) and Demarcus Holland (a South Florida recruit).

The game is at 8:30 tonight.

You can stream it live online here and watch on TV in select locations if you have Time Warner (weak).

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