That was brutal. Just a terrible way to lose.
The Texas Longhorns jumped out to an early lead behind some outstanding first half shooting and exceptional defense. Rick Barnes' squad took an 11 point lead into halftime, playing perhaps its best ball of the season against a dangerous opponent.
But for Iowa State, is has been a season of big second half comebacks. Not a terribly good approach for a team coached by a man with a serious heart condition.
It would take quite some time for the comeback to begin. Texas spent much of the second half taking the air out of the basketball, allowing Isaiah Taylor to attack the rim off of the dribble. And for much of the second half this approach worked. The Longhorns shortened the game, and managed their lead.
Everything seemed to be going smoothly when shortly after the final media time out of the game, two Demarcus Holland free throws put Texas up by ten points, 67-57. The Longhorns would not score again.
Texas' remaining possessions were empty trips, while consecutive Iowa State possessions netted four points at the free throw line.
At this point, Texas was clinging to a six point lead. For the Cyclones, the next few possessions would be critical. On the next trip, Fred Hoiberg's squad earned multiple shots, tracking down several offensive rebounds before Georges Niang found Dustin Hogue in the corner for an open three. After a Texas turnover another Monte Morris three with just under two minutes tied the game at 67.
In only two minutes the Cyclones had gone on a 10-0 run, and now the final two one minute and fifty seconds would be tense. Both teams had empty possessions before Texas called a timeout with 38 seconds remaining.
The situation of the game at this point was as follows: Texas had the ball, but there was still enough time on the shot clock for Iowa State to get a final possession. But after Isaiah Taylor missed a mid-range attempt, a Connor Lammert offensive rebound reset the shot clock, and Texas could hold the ball for the final 19 seconds before taking the last shot of regulation.
At least, in principle that is what they could of done. It didn't happen. Javan Felix surprised everyone by attempting a three point shot with ten seconds still on the clock, Iowa State rebounded the miss, called a time out, and you know what happened next.
And now Texas waits, no longer able to add wins to an NCAA tournament resume that sits right at the edge of qualification. Are they in, or are they out?
We will be along later to take a look at how the NCAA bubble is shaping up.