Oklahoma State vs. Kansas State preview: Big 12 finals spot on the line

USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma State and Kansas State will meet for the third time this year. Will it be as wildly entertaining as the last two times?

The Oklahoma State Cowboys and Kansas State Wildcats meet in the Big 12 semifinals on Friday in what promises to be an entertaining game. The winner will face either Kansas or Iowa State in the championship round.

Both teams are locks for next week's NCAA Tournament, but they would love to improve their seeding positions. SB Nation's Chris Dobbertean currently projects the Cowboys as a No. 5 seed and the Wildcats at No. 4.

The last time these two teams met, the Cowboys won a 76-70 thriller thanks to star freshman Marcus Smart (15.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 4.3 apg). The Big 12 Player of the Year has been on fire recently, scoring 20 or more points in three consecutive games. He's been helped out by Markel Brown (15.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg) and Le'Bryan Nash (14.2 ppg, 4.1 rpg).

The Wildcats have plenty of star power of their own, led by senior Rodney McGruder (15.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.1 apg). He's been on a hot streak himself, racking up 24 points against Texas in the first round of the tournament. Sophomore point man Angel Rodriguez (11.5 ppg, 5.5 apg) is no slouch himself, although he was shut down by the Cowboys in their last meeting, shooting only 3-for-16. Much like last week's game, taking out the supporting cast and reducing McGruder to a one-man army could make the difference in this rematch.

Time and TV listing: 10 p.m. ET, ESPNU/Big 12 Network

Location: Sprint Center, Kansas City

Line: Kansas State by 2

SB Nation coverage: For more on Kansas State, check out Bring On The Cats. For more on Oklahoma State, check out Cowboys Ride For Free.

More in College Basketball:

Your Bracketology update

The life and death of Earl Badu

Full coverage of the ACC tournament

Full coverage of the Big East tournament

Full coverage of the Big Ten tournament

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