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Quick thoughts from No. 9 Texas’ 75-73 loss to No. 22 TCU

Another slow start proved to Texas downfall yet again as the Horns drop another key game down the stretch.

NCAA Basketball: Texas at Texas Christian Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

In a must-win game for their hopes of at least sharing the Big 12 regular season title, the Texas Longhorns showed up to Fort Worth a little, digging themselves into too deep of a hole en route to a 75-73 loss.

Here are a few quick thoughts following Texas’ underwhelming loss to TCU.

This was another one Texas probably didn’t deserve to win. If you want to steal road games over top 25 competition in the Big 12, you have to act like it — or at least not show up to the action 20 minutes late. Texas tried to fight back and got close down the stretch, but digging yourself into what was at one point a 16-point hole is hardly ever a recipe for success, and that was the case tonight in a game where Texas never once led and the score was closer than the game actually was. But when you get out-rebounded by 18, let the opponent run wild in transition, and play half the game like it doesn’t mean much, losing is a pretty likely outcome.

Where’s the sense of urgency? At this time last week, Texas was in a prime position to finish the regular season as the Big 12’s best team. And now, that’s an impossible feat after the Longhorns have spent far too much of their time playing without much energy or discipline or execution. And thus, Texas loses another one that was hardly ever really in doubt for the other guys. That’s just incredibly unideal at this point in the season. And to that end...

This probably isn’t how Texas wanted to be playing in March. They’ve now dropped four of their last seven, haven’t really looked competitive in any of their losses save for some brief stretches, and now the Big 12’s best team comes to Austin on Saturday. And it’s not just that Texas is dropping what were essentially must-win games that derailed their regular season title hopes, but in the process, Texas likely played itself off the 2-line in the NCAA Tournament and possibly into a 4-seed. This is the time of year when the games start to matter much more and before too long, one loss will end a season. And this doesn’t seem like a Texas group that’s cognizant of that or playing nearly up to its standard and the energy level needed in March.