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Texas cracks the AP Top 25 following Las Vegas Invitational

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A win over North Carolina launched the Longhorns into the top 25 for the first time in two years.

NCAA Basketball: Texas at North Carolina Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

After entering the Las Vegas Invitational on Thanksgiving Day with an unblemished 4-0 record and adding a marquee win to that effort with a 92-89 victory over then-No. 7 North Carolina, the Texas Longhorns have climbed into the AP Top 25 for the first time since 2016.

Though the Longhorns followed up their win over North Carolina with a 78-68 loss to then-No. 11 Michigan State, Texas is now sitting at No. 17 nationally, marking the first time the Horns have been ranked since Nov. 2016, and the highest Texas has been ranked throughout the Shaka Smart era.

The last time the Longhorns enjoyed a place within the AP Top 25 was entering the Legends Classic at the front end of the 2016-17 season, in which No. 22 Texas’ 3-0 start quickly became 3-3 with back-to-back-to-back losses to Northwestern, Colorado, and UT Arlington.

Texas’ ranking will be tested this time around as well.

Set to begin a six-game home stand on Friday, the Longhorns final non-conference stretch features meeting with VCU, No. 19 Purdue, and Providence. Once the Big 12 slate begins, Texas will be immediately tossed into the gauntlet, as road trips to No. 12 Kansas State and Oklahoma State, and home matchups with West Virginia, No. 20 Texas Tech, and No. 2 Kansas await.

Following a full week away, Texas will be back in action on Friday to welcome Radford (4-1). The game is set to tip-off at 6:00 p.m. CT and will be televised on Longhorn Network.