KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Ticker) -- Already with one upset under its belt, Colorado nearly added another shocker.
Marcus Hall narrowly missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer, allowing No. 11 Oklahoma State to escape with an 87-85 victory over Colorado as the Cowboys began its Big 12 Conference tournament title defense.
Hall got a chance to give Colorado (14-16) the win after some late-game strategy by Oklahoma State nearly backfired.
After Joey Graham made two free throws with seven seconds to play, Oklahoma State had an 87-84 lead and decided to foul rather than give Colorado, who upset Texas on Thursday, a chance to hit a game-tying 3-pointer.
"I think Colorado played well. They hit some big shots," Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton said. "You score 87 points, you have got to win in double figures. This team is not very good defensively. I thought we would be better tonight."
Jayson Obazuaye went to the line for Colorado and sank his first free throw and intentionally missed the second. Two Cowboys players came down with the rebound but traveling was called, giving the Buffaloes one last chance for the upset with just 3.4 seconds remaining.
Colorado inbounded to Hall, who was pressured right in front of the Buffaloes bench, but he got a pretty good look that bounced off the front of the rim as time expired, lifting the Cowboys into the semifinals and a matchup with Kansas on Saturday.
"The whole game we had been running the same out-of-bounds play. It was pretty much open," Hall said. "I came up with the intention of getting a good three and he kind of knocked it out of my hand. When I picked it up I turned around, tried to shoot it and unfortunately I missed."
"I thought John really defended well there when they threw it in," Sutton said. "That's one thing we did well there at the end."
Oklahoma State (22-6) had an 83-78 lead when Richard Roby canned a 3-pointer to pull Colorado within 83-81 with 19 seconds remaining. John Lucas made a pair of free throws on the Cowboys' ensuing possession to push the lead to 85-81, but the Buffaloes were not finished.
"We shouldn't have been in that position in the first place. We had a lead by 12 at one point," Cowboy forward Ivan McFarlin said. "They fought back hard and hit some big shots. We were fortunate enough to get out with the win."
Andy Osborn converted from the arc to cut the deficit to 85-84 with eight seconds left, setting up the wild finish.
Graham scored 24 points and Lucas added 18, including five free throws in the final 48 seconds.
Roby scored 21 points, Julius Ashby 19 and Obazuaye 18 for Colorado, which was only 15-of-26 from the line.