Thoughts before tipoff: Cowboys vs. Cyclones

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Kalib Boone (22) and Cameron McGriff (12) celebrate a score during the Oklahoma State vs. Oklahoma men's basketball game on February 22, 2020, at Gallagher Iba Arena.

It's Big 12 tournament time and Oklahoma State has a first-round matchup against Iowa State.

Here are a few of my thought before the Cowboys and Cyclones tip off at 6 p.m. on ESPNU.

Seniors take off

In the Cowboys' victory against ISU 11 days ago, OSU's core group of seniors led the charge. Cameron McGriff especially had a good game as he had 19 points and seven rebounds.

Their OSU careers are coming to a close and it's really now or never. Will the seniors step up to give OSU a push in the Big 12 tournament? Or will they crumble and fall, similar to how they did in the start of OSU's Big 12 season?

After what has transpired the last few weeks, the seniors will be the catalyst for the outcome of Wednesday's game.

Lock down the 3-ball

OSU did an excellent job of locking down the 3-point shot in its last victory against ISU as the Cyclones went 5-for-20 in the loss. 

ISU continued to shoot the 3-ball, thought it failed to make them at a high percentage. In their last five games of the season, the Cyclones went 25-for-98 from behind the 3-point line. 

Expect the Cyclones to take at least 20 shots behind the line.

Crash the paint

More than half of the Cowboys' points in their victory against ISU came in the paint. Yor Anei and McGriff thrived down there as the Cyclones were unable to stop them.

OSU is not a 3-point shooting team and it should not take more than 10 shots behind the line tonight. Push the ball into the paint, that's how the Cowboys will win on Wednesday.

Prediction

ISU is the reigning Big 12 tournament champion, however, I believe OSU will have an easy job taking down the Cyclones.

If all goes well, similar to how it did in OSU's victory against ISU last month, the Cowboys should win 72-63.

sports.ed@ocolly.com