Gonzaga vs. Oklahoma State: Scouting the Cowboys
Seed: 9. RPI: 45
Vs. Gonzaga: 0-5.
Common opponents: Oklahoma State split two games with Memphis and Gonzaga lost to the Tigers, 60-54, on the road. OSU also split with Kansas State, which beat the Zags, 72-62. Both teams won tight games at West Virginia.
Coach: Travis Ford, sixth season.
Nothing direct, but GU coach Mark Few was an assistant coach for the 19-and-under U.S. team, which included OSU guard Marcus Smart, that won a gold medal last summer in Prague.
• Smart and sharpshooting teammate Phil Forte were high school teammates at Flower Mound, Texas.
• The Zags and Cowboys have had some memorable games, notwithstanding GU’s 5-0 edge in the series. In the teams’ first meeting in late 2004, GU upset the third-ranked Cowboys, 78-75, in Oklahoma City. A year later in the Battle in Seattle, Adam Morrison banked in a late trey to give the Zags a 64-62 win. Gary Bell Jr.’s game-turning three enabled Gonzaga to knock off 22nd-ranked OSU, 69-68, last season in Stillwater.
• Oklahoma State gets to the foul line; it is fifth nationally in free throws made with 371.
• Cowboys forward Michael Cobbins, a starter, tore an Achilles late in December and is lost for the season.
Gonzaga is 28-6, and at 15-3, won the West Coast Conference regular-season title, then captured the WCC tournament title over Brigham Young with a 75-64 victory.
Oklahoma State is 21-12, and was 8-10 in the Big 12 Conference for eighth place. It endured a seven-game losing streak, marked by a three-game suspension of Smart for pushing a Texas Tech fan.