The University of Texas basketball team is in an unusual place this February. They are on the cusp of not making the NCAA playoffs. Although they most recently blew Oklahoma State off the court, they had lost the previous three before that. The loses came to Kansas State, Missouri and Nebraska. Not exactly powerhouses.
Rick Barnes’ teams have made it into March Madness in each of his ten seasons at Texas. They haven’t been this solidly on the bubble in some time.
Texas has victories over UCLA and Villanova this season, so it they finish strong they should be in. Five of their next seven games are against teams with losing records in the Big 12 Conference. While that increased the chances of getting a victory, it makes those same victories less impressive.
If they drop a couple of those seven games, and make a quick exit from the Big 12 Conference Tourney, they could find themselves missing the big dance.
Next up for the Longhorns is the Colorado Buffaloes in Boulder at 1pm today.
Colorado has been the poster child of heartbreaking losses this season, with seven being by only one point. They’ve lost five of their last six in Big 12 play.
They scored just nine points in the first half Wednesday in a 70-42 loss at Iowa State. That set a record.
On the other hand, they lost to Oklahoma and Kansas by only five points. Colorado is clearly capable of playing with the big boys.
If Texas goes into Boulder lethargic and unmotivated, as they have too many times this season, they could come home disappointed. If the team that just played Oklahoma State shows up, they won’t have any problem.
I have no idea which team will show up.