OU VS OSU WOMEN

OU’s Vionise Pierre-Louis (0) looks to pass under the basket guarded by OSU’s Braxtin Miller (14) as the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) play the Oklahoma State University Cowgirls (OSU) in NCAA, women’s college basketball at The Lloyd Noble Center on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018 in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

Oklahoma State coach Jim Littell bristled when it was suggested the Cowgirls were only on the bubble to make the NCAA Tournament.

“I don’t know who is saying we’re sitting on the bubble,” Littell said. “That’s something we don’t control, but I know this: We finished third in a good league and the team that we tied with, we swept. So prior to (Saturday night) we had won two against West Virginia, two against TCU and two against Oklahoma.”

OSU had just lost to West Virginia in the quarterfinal round of the Big 12 women’s tournament in Oklahoma City, snapping the brief two-game winning streak that vaulted the Cowgirls to 20 wins.

In the latest ESPN projections, OSU is forecast as an No. 9 seed in the Spokane Regional, slated to face Central Michigan.

In addition to finishing third in the Big 12 standings, only behind No. 8 Texas and No. 2 Baylor, the Cowgirls posted three wins over opponents — West Virginia, UCLA and TCU — that were ranked at some point during the regular season.

But the Mountaineers and Horned Frogs aren’t projected to make the tournament, according to the latest projections. That just leaves OSU with one win over a current top-25 team.

Oklahoma State (20-10, 11-7 Big 12) has played seven games against teams projected to make the tournament field, winning three (UCLA, South Dakota and Southern).

But is the Cowgirls’ resume good enough to be included when the tournament field is officially revealed on March 12?

“I think we had a good year,” Littell said. “We go to Mississippi State, and we lose on possession and they are No. 2 in the country. We played them stronger than anybody in the country right now. Great home win against UCLA and played a tough Tennessee team. I don’t control those things. We will wait and see what happens on Monday, but I think if you look at the big picture we’ve had an outstanding year.”

Kendrick Marshall

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kendrick.marshall@tulsaworld.com

Twitter: @KD_Marshall