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2015 NCAA tournament preview: Oklahoma State Cowboys

Oklahoma State Cowboys

Record: 18-13, 8-10 Big 12

Head coach: Travis Ford (7th season)

Season summary: The Cowboys might very well depart early from the tournament, as most experts favor Oregon to repeat a Round of 64 victory from 2013. Still, Travis Ford’s team has five top-25 and two top-10 wins this season—defeating Baylor and Texas twice and splitting the season series with Kansas. Moreover, despite losing six of its last seven games, Oklahoma State still ranks in the top 30 nationally in both steals and blocks. What the team lacks in size and momentum it makes up for in scoring, with Le’Bryan Nash ranked second and Phil Forte III ranked fourth in scoring in the Big 12. Still, despite having the fifth toughest schedule in the country according to basketball statistician Ken Pomeroy, the Cowboys are last in their conference in rebounding margin and just 11-11 against top-150 opponents.

How they make a run: The Cowboys lock down all windows and doors first against Oregon—which averages 75.6 points per game—and then in the Round of 32, likely against top-seeded Wisconsin.

How they falter: Oklahoma State gives opponents second-chance opportunities and opposing teams key in on its stars in Forte III and Nash.

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