Texas Advances to Big XII Semifinals

Survive and move on. Survive and move is definitely the name of the game in March, and Texas did exactly that this afternoon over the Kansas State Wildcats, 61-58. The Longhorns (22-10) may not have done a ton right in their rematch with Kansas State, but it doesn’t matter because Texas came out victorious. The ‘Horns march on to face Baylor, surprising winners in the first quarterfinal over top-seeded Kansas, in the first Big XII semifinal on Friday. Tip time 6 pm on the Big XII Network.

Good:

  • Dexter Pittman is putting on quite a show in Oklahoma City. A day after dominating the smaller Colorado frontline, Sexy Dex took it to the bigger Kansas State defenders just the same. He has been unguardable in two games thus far. Dexter went for 19 points and 20 rebounds in 34 minutes of action. He has been successful in gaining and holding excellent low post position while also showing good balance. And unlike the final regular season game at Kansas, Dexhas been able to finish most of his easy ones around the rim. If he’s got anything left in the tank, we could easily see more of the same against the undersized Baylor Bears.
  • Hat tip to Varez Ward. After spending most of the last couple of weeks in the Rick Barnes’ doghouse, Varez came up huge off the bench as AJ Abrams was forced to sit in foul trouble. Ward attacked the basket off the dribble, finished near the rim over taller defenders, and played solid on-the-ball defense as well. Ward scored a surprising nine points with three rebounds, two blocks, and an assist in his productive 19 minutes of play.
  • Smaller hat tip to Clint Chapman too. Chappy still plays soft too often but did come through with nine points, including a critical and one lay-up late in the game, a rebound, and a blocked shot in eight minutes.

Bad:

  • There were two areas in which Texas struggled the entire game: turnovers and protecting the defensive glass. The long, physical K State defense forced 22 Texas turnovers! And the more aggressive Wildcats also grabbed 20 offensive rebounds!! In most games, those two stats alone spell doom. However, behind Dexter in the post and because of some awful field goal shooting by Kansas State, Texas advanced.

There really was nothing pretty about today’s performance except for the final score. Survive and move on.

Post your own game thoughts here.

Box Score

Next Game: vs. Baylor Big XII Semifinals – 6 pm Friday, March 13 Big XII Network

My crashed computer is preventing further analysis. PB will be around this evening to preview the Baylor game.
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