The Texas Longhorns (11-3, 0-1 Big 12) will head north to Stillwater, Oklahoma Wednesday night to take on the 11th ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys (12-2, 0-1 Big 12).
Both teams are coming off disappointing losses in their Big 12 openers. For the Longhorns, the Oklahoma Sooners (12-2, 1-0 Big 12) got the best of them on Saturday afternoon, winning 88-85 in Austin. Forward Jonathan Holmes and center Cameron Ridley scored 15 and 14 points respectively, but it was sophomore guard Javan Felix stealing the show for the Longhorns scoring a career-high 28 points on 10-of-19 from the field in 31 minutes.
The Cowboys were also upset by the unranked Kansas State Wildcats (11-3, 1-0 Big 12) on Saturday 74-71 afternoon. National Player of the Year candidate Marcus Smart was held to just 15 points on just 6-of-14 from the field. Forward Le’Bryan Nash paced the Cowboys with 20 points in a losing effort.
After the loss, the Cowboys dropped from No. 6 to No. 11 in the AP poll; while the Wildcats jumped into the top 25 at No. 25 for the first time this season.
The Cowboys were playing their first game without starting center Michael Cobbins, who had surgery on his ruptured achilles last Thursday and is out for the year. After Cobbins injury many called into question whether the Cowboys had the depth at the center and forward position to contend for the Big 12 Championship, and after one game that question appears to be valid.
To make matters worse for the Cowboys, backup freshman guard Stevie Clark was arrested for the second time this season last Wednesday for possession of marijuana. Clark was suspended four games earlier this season for the same charge and it appears a lengthy suspension is forthcoming.
Both the Longhorns and Cowboys come into this matchup facing many questions. For the Longhorns, losers of two of their last three games, questions remain as to whether this team can remain in the Big 12 title picture and get past the second round of the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2008.
For the Cowboys, issues on and off the court have distracted the team that is, no doubt, one of the most talented in the country.
After both teams dropped their Big 12 openers, Wednesday’s matchup could be considered a midseason must-win for both teams.
Tip-off is set for 9 P.M ET and can be watched on ESPN U.