The Oklahoma State basketball team is looking for an upset victory against the North Carolina Tar Heels in the second round of the Maui Invitational.
The Oklahoma State Cowboys got their toughest test of the season against the Connecticut Huskies. They moved to 4-0 yesterday, after a 98-90 victory in the first round of the Maui Invitational.
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Sophomore point guard Jawun Evans had another tremendous performance. He had a team leading 35 points and five steals. The Cowboys generated 18 team steals, including more than 10 in the first 10 minutes.
Today, Oklahoma State faces the number four ranked North Carolina Tar Heels. This is by far the Cowboys toughest test of the season. The Tar Heels and Cowboys tip off tonight at 9:30 p.m. CT.
North Carolina Tar Heels (5-0)
UNC has yet to play a close game. Their closest win has come by 15 points against Hawaii. Five Tar Heels are averaging double-digit points, including forward Kennedy Meeks who is averaging 14.2 points per game and 10.2 rebounds.
Chaminade was the first opponent to fall to UNC in the Maui Invitational, by the score of 104-61. Meeks and forward Isaiah Hicks had a combined 42 points and 16 rebounds. The Tar Heels had their way with Chaminade offensively, shooting 57.8 percent from the field.
Hicks, Meeks, and swingman Justin Jackson, all present matchup problems for any team they face. That will be especially true against the Cowboys undersized front court.
The big matchup problems for the Tar Heels will be in the back court. Joel Berry II and Kenny Williams have to deal with one of the most talented back courts in the Big 12 with Forte and Evans.
Oklahoma State Cowboys (4-0)
The Pokes have a huge chance to make an early season statement that they’re NCAA Tournament worthy. UNC will likely be a one seed in the tournament. Pulling off an upset tonight would get the unranked Cowboys into the top 25.
Head coach Brad Underwood faces a challenge of enormous proportions. The Cowboys were held under 100 points for the first time, yesterday. Another 100 point effort would put the Cowboys in good position to pull off the upset, but that’s easier said than done.
Some players to watch for Oklahoma State are Carroll and freshman guard Lindy Waters III. Carroll has yet to register less than 14 points in any game this season. Waters has flown under the radar as he got his first start yesterday.
This battle of unbeaten teams will ultimately come down to the points guards. Evans is averaging 26.3 points per game, 4.0 rebounds, 6.3 assists, and 3.5 steals, over four games. UNC’s Berry is averaging 14.8 points per game, 4.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and 1.8 steals, over five games.
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The Cowboys are nine point underdogs. They will have to shock the world of college basketball to pull off the upset, but it can be done.