The Texas Longhorns are your 2023 Big 12 Tournament champs, cruising past the Kansas Jayhawks 76-56 courtesy of an incredible performance on both ends of the floor.
Here are a few quick thoughts overall thoughts from Texas’ Big 12
This might have been Texas’ most impressive win of the entire season. Between the magnitude of this stage with a conference title on the line, being down one of their top two players in Timmy Allen, and completely dominating on both sides of the floor, Texas may have just had their best game of the season, and at the perfect time. The Longhorns were crisp, fluid and decisive offensively and it led to a remarkably impressive showing on that side, and the defense mostly smothered the Jayhawks, especially around the rim. Just from top to bottom, this was an impressive win for the Longhorns and it came at an especially rewarding time.
Texas appears to be peaking at the right time. Not too long ago, the concern was that Texas had dropped four of their last seven games. Now, Texas is riding the high of a four-game winning streak, which includes two completely dominant showings over the projected top overall seed in Kansas, with the latest earning Texas a Big 12 title. That slump Texas suffered certainly wasn’t ideal, but they’re suddenly looking like one of the hottest team’s in the country, and playing with some ever-important confidence. What better time for that than March Madness?
Entering the Big Dance, it’s hard to label Texas’ season as anything other than a resounding success. Given where things stands now, that would have been true even with Chris Beard, and it’s especially true that Texas still managed to enter the NCAA Tournament with 26 wins and a Big 12 Tournament title despite the adversity they faced just before the conference slate kicked off. And now, there probably isn’t any team in the best conference in the country feeling as good as Texas does right now, and it’s hard to have asked for a better ultimate outcome entering the season.
Marcus Carr, right on time. Shots haven’t exactly been falling for the Longhorns’ star guard as of late — he was just 14-60 from the field in his last five games before tonight. But in Texas’ biggest game of the season, he was back to form, and at his best in the second half as part of a 17-point (8-15) display for the Horns. Consistency is key in March, but Carr remained aggressive and it was a massive factor for the Longhorns, who are now the Big 12 champs thanks in large part to Carr’s performance.
Did Texas play its way into a 1-seed? Coming into what became their Big 12 Tournament title win — one that wasn’t even close — over the projected No. 1 overall seed, Texas was already pretty much locked into a 2-seed. But now, amid a four-game win streak, including two wins over Kansas by a combined 36 points, and a Big 12 title, there has to be some chance that Texas lucks into the 1-line. And it would require a bit of luck, but Texas seems to have handled its business well enough to earn that consideration.