Oklahoma State Basketball: Cowboys can pull off huge upset against West Virginia

The Oklahoma State basketball team travels to Morgantown with a chance to pull off a huge upset against the West Virginia Mountaineers.

The Oklahoma State basketball program is currently on the bubble for selection to the NCAA Tournament. The Cowboys ride a hot streak into their Feb. 4 matchup with the no. 7 West Virginia Mountaineers in Morgantown. OK State enters the matchup with a record of 14-8 (3-6 Big 12), while the Mountaineers enter with a record 18-4 (6-3 Big 12).

The first matchup between these two squads ended in a 92-75 victory for the Mountaineers at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater on Dec. 30. Moreover, WVU is expected to be a pretty massive favorite over the Pokes on Saturday. They ride a three-game winning streak including a double-digit victory over no. 2 Kansas Jayhawks, into their meeting with the Cowboys.

OK State is as hot as any team in the Big 12 entering this important game. They won their last four games, three of which by double digits. Their last game against the Oklahoma Sooners was a thrilling 68-66 victory in Norman, thanks to a game-winning three-pointer from senior shooting guard Phil Forte.

Morgantown has been a tough place for the Pokes to win in recent years who have not won there since the 2013-14 college basketball season. Even that victory came by way of a last-second three-pointer by former OK State shooting guard Markel Brown.

However, this is a new season with a new gameplan in place for first-year head coach Brad Underwood. The first time around with WVU, the Pokes played more of a full-court pressure style defense. Essentially, the Cowboys tried to defeat the Mountaineers at their own game. It failed miserably and catapulted the Pokes into a six-game losing streak to start conference play.

Since the end of the six-game losing streak, Underwood implemented a new defensive game plan to reduce the amount of inside chances available to their opponents. Not as much energy is expelled by the guards defending opponent’s backcourts on the full length of the court. It will be very interesting to see if the difference in defensive philosophy changes OK State’s fortunes this time around against WVU.

The Cowboys tip off against the Mountaineers on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 4:00 p.m. CT televised on ESPNU.

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