Despite the in-game commentary from ESPN’s broadcast crew for the close Texas Longhorns loss to the Texas Tech Red Raiders on Thursday in the Big 12 tournament, the ‘Horns are still in a strong position to make the NCAA tournament, according to the latest Bracketology projections.
In the ESPN version, Joe Lunardi has Texas as a No. 11 seed, playing No. 6-seed Houston in Dallas, with the winner facing off against the winner of Michigan/Bucknell. Remaining in the state to play against an undersized mid-major team would seemingly shape up as a favorable matchup for the Longhorns.
Most notable, however, is the fact that Texas is listed last among the last four byes, so there’s a chance head coach Shaka Smart’s team could end up in Dayton early next week, according to Lunardi. On the flip side, there’s also some buffer between the ‘Horns and the first four teams out.
Sports Illustrated has Texas as the No. 9 seed, facing NC State and then, with near certainty, No. 1-seeded Xavier. Meanwhile, CBS Sports has Texas as a No. 10 seed against No. 7-seeded Seton Hall. As with the ESPN bracket, the Longhorns are not one of the last four teams in.
Overall, BracketMatrix.com reveals that Texas is in the NCAA tournament in 99 of the 101 brackets tracked by the site, with an average seeding of 10.0.
Based on those projections, the Longhorns should be mostly immune to any mid-major upsets and surges from other bubble teams, but if Texas does indeed make the field on Sunday, it will certainly be a relief.