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Quick thoughts from No. 9 Texas’ 75-59 win No. 3 Kansas

That’s certainly a way to end the regular season and enter March Madness.

NCAA Basketball: Kansas at Texas Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

In a key game for Big 12 Tournament and potentially even NCAA Tournament seeding, the No. 9 Texas Longhorns enjoyed one of their most electric wins of the season and had no problems handling the No. 3 Kansas Jayhawks, 75-59.

Here are a few quick thoughts from Texas’ dominant win to end the regular season.

That’s certainly the way Texas wanted to enter March Madness. The last few weeks haven’t been the Horns’ best, dropping four of their last seven and back-to-back contests to let the Big 12 regular season title slip away. Along the way, among many other factors, Texas just didn’t seem like a confident bunch down the stretch, and that wasn’t exactly ideal. Well, maybe this is just what the Longhorns needed. They completely dominated the No. 3 Jayhawks pretty much from the start, playing with energy and enthusiasm and confidence, as well as an intent to impose their will. This all led to Texas building and maintaining a double-digit lead throughout more than half of the contest in a game where it never felt like one of the nation’s elite teams ever really had a chance, and the final score was indicative of that. And now, Texas is fresh off of arguably its biggest win of the season to secure a 2-seed in the Big 12 tournament and get back on the right side of momentum ad the win column to kick off March Madness.

The Moody Center completely changed the mood around Texas basketball. With one season now in the books, the Longhorns undoubtedly have a home court advantage for the first time since who knows when, and the atmosphere on Saturday was a ideal example of that. The students surrounding the court, the compressed arena, the rejuvenated energy surrounding the program and more has been a massive lift for the program, and the results are in the record. In 18 sellouts at the Mood, Texas is a remarkable 17-1 and a perfect 6-0 over ranked opponents — No. 2 Gonzaga, No. 7 Creighton, No. 17 TCU, No. 11 Baylor, No. 23 Iowa State, and now No. 3 Kansas. If this kind of energy and atmosphere and energy carries over from season to season, Texas is going to win a ton of games here.

Rice cooked. Another game, another complete showcase for the best sixth man in the country. Offensively Sir’Jabari Rice sliced his way through the Jayhawk defense for one silky finish after another and drained a couple threes to lead the game with 23 points, all completed by seven boards, two assists and a block. It was one of those nights where he was just in a groove and his shooting numbers reflected that, going 9-14 from the field. He’s arguably been Texas’ best player this season, and he was at his best on the big stage.

Tyrese Hunter’s aggressiveness was significant, and if Texas gets its way, will continue to be. In such a key game for Texas’ Big 12 Tournament and potentially, their NCAA Tournament seeding, Hunter was outshined by only Rice. He caught fire early, sinking back-to-back threes to give Texas a 12-point cushion, And that was just a brief highlight of his 20-point effort, which was even more needed with Marcus Carr struggling from the field. Carr sank three looks from deep and was especially aggressive driving towards the rim and drawing fouls, where he made the most of his free throws and netted 9-10. And all the while, he looked to be having fun and playing loose and confident, and that could be significant for the Longhorns in March.