For the first time in a long time, Texas cruised to a victory on the hardwood. The 73-57 win over Baylor improved the Longhorns to 20-9 overall and 9-6 in the Big XII. The win was huge for a number of reasons.
First, the win basically assured Texas of their eleventh straight trip to the NCAA tournament. Second, Saturday's trip to Lawrence just became a lot less stressful. Win and Texas probably grabs fourth place alone in the conference (assuming Ok State beats Kansas St on Wednesday) and first round bye in the Big XII tournament. But a loss at Kansas won't be season crippling either. Third, Texas has now won 20 or more games for the tenth straight season. Last, Rick Barnes improved to an impressive 24-0 against Baylor.
This game was never close, thankfully, and seniors AJ Abrams and Connor Atchley got to walk off the Erwin Center floor winners one final time.
A few quick comments:
- Baylor has regressed like no team in recent memory and is way less than the sum of their parts. They have plenty of scorers but play almost no defense and foul. A lot. The Bears squeaked into the NCAA tournament last year with less talent, and I thought before the season, this team was NCAA destined as well. No defense = no ability to win.
- Justin Mason played much better tonight. He was aggressive with the ball, moved well without it, and was disruptive on the defensive end.
- This team misses Gary Johnson badly. Get healthy quickly.
- Dexter Pittman was a beast tonight. He single handedly put the Baylor frontline in foul trouble.
- I would love to see what kind of terror Dogus Balbay could cause with a jump shot.
- Clint Chapman must find some toughness or he isn't going to see the floor.
I may not get to a full review until tomorrow evening, if at all. To me, there weren't too many special things about tonight's game--Texas dominated an inferior and undersized team in the paint, attacked the rim nicely off the dribble and from the post and was rewarded at the line, and contested the Baylor perimeter jump shooters well.
Post your own comments here.
Next Game: at Kansas -- Saturday, March 7th 3 pm CBS