Picture the scene in the round of 32 ...
No. 1-seeded Gonzaga is 34-0, but late in the contest the Bulldogs are fighting for their tournament lives against No. 8 seed Oklahoma State. Mark Few's guys have scored almost at will against the Cowboys, yet all game long OSU has answered every Zag run by spacing the floor and hitting 3s.
Przemek Karnowski's size and Zach Collins' rim protection have been rendered moot by a torrent of outside shooting from Phil Forte III and Jeffrey Carroll. As the clock winds down under a minute with the score tied, few people anywhere are watching any other game. Is Gonzaga's perfect season coming to an end the first weekend? ...
It could happen, but before we go any further let me make two things clear. First, I'm not forecasting doom for the Bulldogs. I could have just as easily used Villanova for illustration purposes.
Second, Brad Underwood's team would, of course, be a decided underdog in any matchup on a neutral floor with an opponent good enough to earn a No. 1 seed. Still, within the category of teams that could be seeded anywhere between No. 7 through 10 who would need major upsets to reach the Sweet 16, it is true that Oklahoma State stands out.
The Giant Killers model gives the Cowboys the best chance of any other projected middle seed of knocking off an opponent on the No. 1 or the No. 2 line in the tournament. Underwood has a team that top seeds should be grateful to see in a different region.
Pretty strong praise for a bunch that started 0-6 in Big 12 play, right? Well, yes. Here's what you need to know about OSU.