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Oklahoma State Opens As A Slight Favorite Over Gonzaga

Marcus Smart and the ninth-seeded Cowboys are Vegas' choice to advance to the round of 32...

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

As we wrote about this morning, Gonzaga's projected seed meant that they would likely take on a very challenging opening around opponent.  Oddly enough, when I wrote that piece, there was one team that I really, really was hoping to avoid: the Oklahoma State Cowboys.  Well, beautifully enough, that is exactly who the Zags drew in the round of 64.  The Cowboys are one of the sexy picks to make a deep run in this tournament and Vegas has given them the slight edge over Gonzaga, naming them a one-point favorite at this time.

We'll have much more on the Cowboys during the week but they have been one of the more fascinating teams of the season.  Between November and mid-January, they only dropped two games and when they lost to Kansas in January, they were the No. 9 team in the nation.  From that point until mid-February they lost 8 games and won just 1.  During that time, they lost Marcus Smart to a suspension when he shoved a fan during a game at Texas Tech.

Since Smart's return in late February, they have been one of the better teams in the country as they possess outstanding talent across the board.  Their only two losses since mid-February came to Iowa State and Kansas, both in overtime.