It’s March, and it’s just about time for the madness to begin.
Now, all that remains for the No. 9 Texas Longhorns is their regular season finale showdown with No. 3 Kansas, the Big 12 Tournament, and then finally, the Big Dance. The NCAA Tournament picture is slowly but surely becoming a bit clearer and as for the Longhorns, for better or worse, a lot can still change between now and Selection Sunday.
As is, the most recent bracketology projections still favor Rodney Terry’s ball club.
ESPN’s Joe Lunardi, FOX Sports, and USA Today each still have the 22-8 Longhorns slotted as a 2-seed in the tourney, although those projections all came before Texas’ Wednesday evening road loss to No. 22 TCU — not that that loss should hurt the Horns’ entirely too much. Elsewhere, even after the loss to the Horned Frogs, CBS Sports Jerry Palm still has Texas as a 2-seed.
So, it seems the back-to-back Q1 losses didn’t hurt Texas too much — having 10 Q1 wins, being 3-0 against Q2 and 9-0 against Q3 and Q4 certainly helps — and if the current projections actually come to fruition, it will mark Texas’ highest seeding since also being a No. 2 seed in 2008 before ultimately making an Elite 8 appearance.
To that end, much of the same expectations seem to be holding true as far as the NCAA Tournament title odds are concerned, with Texas currently owning the eighth-best odds to win it all at +1800, per DraftKings.
But again, projections are just that, and they could quite easily swing — not upward much given a 2-seed and top-10 title expectations is about as good as it will get — in the other direction depending on how the next week or so plays out.
On Saturday, Texas will have its hands more than full hosting the Big 12 regular season champion Jayhawks, and then of course, the gauntlet that is the Big 12 will continue — ideally for a few more games — if Texas can find some success in Kansas City. So, it’s quite possible and even more likely than not that Texas drops another game or two before Selection Sunday, and in that case, it would be safe to assume they’ll drop a seed or two from their current projections.
But as of now, the ball is in their court. Despite some recent struggles and losses, the odds still seem to be in their favor as a potential 2-seed, and if they can steal one on Saturday and then another couple in Kansas City, Texas’ could enter the dance battle tested and with some ever-important momentum on their side.