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Column: Cowboys still worth the ticket price

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Posted: Thursday, February 21, 2013 12:48 am | Updated: 1:06 am, Thu Feb 21, 2013.

 

The magic is over. The seven-game winning streak is snapped. All the momentum the Cowboys built up is gone — or at least that’s what it seems like.

At the same time, the Oklahoma State Cowboys proved it wasn’t a fluke — they can hang with Kansas. They can play with any team in the nation. They deserve the No. 14 ranking. They are a tournament team.

Despite a 68-67 loss to No. 9 Kansas in double overtime, Oklahoma State still has plenty to play for.

“We can’t sit here and dwell on it,” guard Markel Brown said. “We have to move on. It’s the Big 12.”

The Cowboys have shown time and time again they are a top team.

They have a leader, an all-around player and a superstar in Marcus Smart.

They have a dynamic scoring threat in Markel Brown.

Le’Bryan Nash can be as good as any player in the Big 12 on any given night.

The Cowboys have a cast of players, such as Michael Cobbins, that has proven its ability to impact a game.

OSU has signature wins against NC State and Kansas. It nearly beat Gonzaga.

This team is battle-tested. Four of its last seven wins came in the final possessions of regulation of in overtime.

Even with the loss to Kansas, the Cowboys proved they know how to play when the pressure is on.

They still have a shot at a Big 12 title. They also have the conference tournament, where they may get another shot at Kansas.

OSU has the chance to earn a high seed in the NCAA tournament. The Cowboys have all the signs of a team poised to make a run in the big dance.

This loss won’t cripple the Cowboys — it will make them stronger.

“It’s really about maturity,” Cobbins said. “You can’t sit and just sulk about it, but you don’t want to forget it either. Let it be in the back of your mind to fuel you for the next game.”

The Cowboys have a coach in Travis Ford who has made incredible efforts to do more than just produce a winning basketball team. He’s done that — and he has gone above by rallying the absent OSU fan base.

The Cowboys played their last two games in front of sellout crowds. The lost generation of OSU basketball is over. This team is the real deal, and it is far from giving up.

“We’re still going to go into practice like we’re the No. 1 team in this league,” Markel Brown said. “We’re still fighting for the No. 1 spot. It’s not too late.”

This isn’t 2004, but OSU basketball is back on the right track.

 

sports@ocolly.com