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Oklahoma State Non-Conference Schedule Review

Oklahoma State is entering the third year of head coach Michael Boyton’s tenure, and his team has expectations to compete for an NCAA Tournament bid. The Cowboys went 12-20 last year, but with all five starters returning, plus a top-25 recruiting class, this time around could be different.

How the Cowboys do in the non-conference will be crucial to their admittance into the Big Dance, and they have a collection of tests ahead of them, with six games against power conference competition and dates with some of the best programs outside of the major leagues.

It’s difficult to say which games will be the biggest on Oklahoma State’s non-conference docket. It has several teams on the schedule that have question marks heading into the season but have talent and could find themselves in the tournament come March. Undoubtedly, the Cowboys will get games against NCAA Tournament-caliber sides in the out-of-league of their schedule. The question right now is, who will those teams be?

A couple of opportunities will come in the NIT Season Tip-Off in Brooklyn, New York, on Nov. 27 and 29. First, Oklahoma State will face Syracuse, then in its second game will be tasked with either Ole Miss or Penn State depending on results. The Orange and Rebels were both tournament teams a year ago, and the Nittany Lions toppled some impressive teams in the later part of the 2018-19 campaign. All of these teams could be playing in March, and they will be helpful for Oklahoma State’s resume numbers.

For the Big 12/SEC Challenge, the Cowboys will travel to a familiar place: College Station, Texas. Texas A&M will host Oklahoma State on Jan. 25, potentially giving the team a great shot at a quality win without the threat of a conference loss in the final handful of weeks of the season based on how first-year head coach Buzz Williams has his boys.

Other marquee games include home meetings against Yale on Nov. 17, facing the Ivy League representative in the 2019 NCAA Tournament in an NIT Season Tip-Off campus game, Georgetown on Dec. 4 as part of the Big 12/Big East Challenge, and Wichita State on Dec. 8. Oklahoma State will match up with Minnesota on Dec. 21 at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma and go on the road to play Houston, a Sweet 16 team last year, on Dec. 14.

Oklahoma State is going to get multiple games against well-ranked NET opposition in its non-conference, and that is going to be supremely helpful come Selection Sunday. The committee cares about your numbers, and it cares if you challenged yourself outside of league play. Proving you’re willing to play anyone, anywhere, will do wonders for your odds of inclusion and seeding in March.

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