How high has Texas basketball climbed in latest Bracketology

Texas basketball all but cemented its NCAA Tournament bid with an emphatic win over Oklahoma on Senior Day. The question becomes, how high of a seed can the Longhorns climb to over the next week?

Mar 9, 2024; Austin, Texas, USA; Texas Longhorns guard Tyrese Hunter (4) reacts after scoring during
Mar 9, 2024; Austin, Texas, USA; Texas Longhorns guard Tyrese Hunter (4) reacts after scoring during / Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
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Texas basketball (20-11. 9-9) ended its 2023/24 regular season with an emphatic 94-80 win over Oklahoma (20-11, 8-10) inside the Moody Center on Senior Day.

Four Longhorns, Max Abmas, Brock Cunningham, Dylan Disu, and Itheil Horton, were honored in the pregame Senior Day ceremony. That said, junior guard Tyrese Hunter set the pace for the Horns in their 14-point win over the Sooners.

Where Texas basketball sits in post-regular season Bracketology?

Hunter finished with a career-high 30 points on 9-for-13 shooting, including a 3-for-4 mark from deep and a perfect 9-of-9 from the foul line. He added seven assists and three steals in one of his most impressive performances in the burnt orange and white.

The win gave Texas its 20th win of the season, marking the third consecutive season the Horns will finish with at least 20 victories. It also moved Texas into seventh place in the conference, solidifying a first-round bye in the Big 12 Tournament and moving them off the 8/9 line, which would have set up a potential quarterfinal matchup against No. 1 Houston.

Texas will open Big 12 Tournament play on Wednesday, Mar. 13, against the 10th-seeded Kansas State Wildcats (18-13, 8-10). The Horns held off a pesky Wildcat team 62-56 on Feb. 19 and will likely open as a six or seven-point favorite ahead of Wednesday's matchup. If Texas beats Kansas State, they will square off against the No. 2-seeded Iowa State Cyclones on Thursday night.

Regardless of what transpires in Kansas City, the Longhorns are a lock for the 2024 NCAA Tournament field.

Texas finished with a 9-9 record in the toughest conference in America, notching five Quad 1 wins, four of which came on the road. They outperformed their resume in the predictive metrics, ranking No. 21 in KenPom and No. 25 in the NET. This is the Longhorns' first appearance in the top 25 of the NET rankings.

For the Horns, the question has become, how high of a seed could they potentially receive on Selection Sunday?

When looking at bracketology updates, the public tends to lean on the work of ESPN's Joe Lunardi and CBS Sports' Jerry Palm. While they are two titans in the industry, BracketMatrix.com does a terrific job of surveying the complete landscape of bracketologists.

In BracketMatrix's Sunday morning aggregation of 106 bracketology forecasts, the Longhorns received an average seed of 8.22. This slots them in as the third No. 8 seed and the No. 31 team in the country.

The highest seed Texas received was a No. 6, seen in three brackets, and the lowest was a 10-seed, seen in four brackets. This tells us that the Horns are right on that 7/8 cut-line. The difference between playing a No. 9 or No. 10 seed in the first round is minimal, but looking at how the current bracket is shaping up, avoiding a No. 1 seed in the second round is paramount if Texas wants to make some noise in the 2024 NCAA Tournament.

Houston, UConn, and Purdue have established themselves as clear No. 1 seeds and are in a tier of their own when comparing the best teams in the country. The Tennesee Volunteers are likely to lock down the fourth No. 1 spot. This season, we have seen a significant disparity between the consistency of the top three teams in the country and those vying for a two-seed.

If Texas can climb up the seed line and avoid playing a No. 1 seed in the second round, this team could become dangerous in the bottom half of a region.

If the Horns want to move into a solidified seven-seed, they must pick up a Quad 2 win over Kansas State on Wednesday. At that point, Texas will be toeing the line with the No. 7 mark and would surely be vaulted into that spot with a quarterfinal win over Iowa State.

As you are watching conference tournament action next week, here are some teams to root against that are also currently in the 7/8 seed range with the Longhorns: Boise State, Dayton, Florida, Florida Atlantic, Gonzaga, Michigan State, Nevada, Northwestern, and Saint Mary's.

Texas basketball enters Kansas City as the reigning Big 12 Champions. Despite being the No. 7 seed, the Longhorns have a lot to play for and could use a strong run in a tournament atmosphere to prep them for the Big Dance.

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