2. A win is needed against Providence
The last marquee matchup that remains on the slate for Texas basketball before Big 12 play commences comes against Providence on Dec. 21. Providence is likely the last team that the Horns face in non-conference play that could be a potential NCAA Tournament team when it’s all said and done.
Moreover, Providence carries a record of 7-3 right now with some nice wins already on its resume. It took down quality teams in its first 10 games of the regular season like the South Carolina Gamecocks, Rhode Island Rams, and Boston College Eagles. Its three losses aren’t too shabby either.
If there’s one thing we know for sure about Providence, it won’t be afraid of the spotlight at the Frank Erwin Center against the Horns on Dec. 21. Providence already faced some big-time teams that it learned from in losses to the Wichita State Shockers and Michigan Wolverines. Texas can’t rely on the home field advantage or pressure that will be on Providence to perform to get an edge.
Both Texas and Providence have some easier games to get winning streaks built before the two teams meet up later this month. Texas gets Grand Canyon and Providence gets Central Connecticut State and UAlbany before this key Dec. 21 matchup on the Forty Acres. And, Texas could use this win to add to its NCAA Tournament resume before the start of Big 12 play.