Why You Were Meant to Root for Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State guard Avery Anderson III, center, celebrates after defeating West Virginia in an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, March 6, 2021, in Morgantown, W.Va. (AP Photo/Kathleen Batten)
Kathy Batten/Associated Press

If you want to see a future star shine, saddle up and hop on the Oklahoma State bandwagon.


Oklahoma State's Tourney History

To say the Cowboys are hungry for a championship is an understatement. Oklahoma State captured its only national titles in 1945 and 1946, back when the field consisted of just eight participants.

Now in the Big 12, OSU last made the Final Four in 2004. While the Cowboys have since made the tournament seven times, they last advanced past the opening stage in 2009. Despite receiving a one-year postseason ban last June for infractions by former assistant Lamont Evans, they're eligible while appealing the decision.

Buoyed by a burgeoning superstar, this squad is expected to make lots of noise.


This Year's Best Player

Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

Cade Cunningham is the runaway favorite to become the No. 1 pick of this year's NBA draft. He recently joined Marcus Smart, Michael Beasley and Kevin Durant as the only freshmen to win Big 12 Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year in the same campaign.

NBA fans scouting incoming rookies will want Oklahoma State to survive as long as possible to get more looks at Cunningham. The 6'8", 220-pound guard has the physicality to defend multiple positions and the court vision to steer this uptempo offense.

He'll have help, particularly from backcourt-mate Isaac Likekele, but the Cowboys will go as far as Cunningham takes them.


Why They're Going to Win

Although its track record contains plenty of blemishes against Big 12 foes, Oklahoma State also collected a handful of impressive victories over steep competition. The Cowboys closed the regular season by defeating West Virginia on the road without Cunningham and Likekele.

They also have a flair for the dramatic, pulling out four overtime victories against ranked opponents. This is a fun, dangerous team capable of advancing deep into the March Madness bracket.