At the beginning of the year, many people thought — just as Longhorns fans did with Mack Brown — that Rick Barnes would be on the hot seat. And after tonight’s buzzer-beating win against #22 Kansas State, the question that everyone is now asking is whether or not Texas will be ranked come Monday.
It’s been a season of ups and downs for the Longhorns, but following the win against the Wildcats tonight and the wins against #8 Iowa State and West Virginia, Texas seems to have hit their stride. Especially, with the fact that they’ll be taking on Baylor on Saturday and Kansas (who seems to be the hottest team in college basketball) next week.
Fortunately for Texas fans, it seems as if the Longhorns’ team and staff know that this is now or never, which makes this win such a significant one.
Coming into this game against Kansas State, Texas knew that if they allowed the Wildcats to take open threes and to reverse the ball — which has given them the edge in many games with their assist totals — then they’d have no chance. And fortunately, the Longhorns held K-State to 4-16 shooting from 3-point range.
The game started off in usual fashion for the Longhorns as they exchanged leads throughout the first half ultimately garnishing a 36-32 lead going into halftime thanks to 12 points and strong play by Cameron Ridley.
Over the course of the second half, Kansas State’s Thomas Gipson and Will Spradling made huge baskets in key moments, but it just wasn’t enough as Texas’s Jonathan Holmes hit a three with 1 second remaining to win the game 67-64.
Many fans will argue that Texas’s big wins have only come at home, and that is true in a sense, but with the resiliency that the Longhorns played with tonight, it’ll be interesting to see where the voters place them come Monday.
Texas will face off against Baylor on Saturday in what will be a key conference game at 1:30 ET on ESPN3 and the Longhorn Network.