Texas Basketball: 3 reasons UT can win the Big 12 Tournament

Texas basketball returns to Kansas City, MO, next week to try and defend their crown in the Big 12 Tournament.

Dylan Disu, Brock Cunningham, Texas basketball
Dylan Disu, Brock Cunningham, Texas basketball / Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
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On Senior Night, Texas basketball reeled in a convincing 94-80 win at the Moody Center over the rival Oklahoma Sooners to sweep the regular season series. Texas won its 20th game to close out the regular season in the finale, which is also its seventh victory in a row against Oklahoma.

The path for Texas basketball to defend its Big 12 Tournament crown

March 9 was an important day for the Longhorns to not only secure a higher seed in the Big 12 Tournament, but to also boost its resume for the NCAA Tournament ahead of Selection Sunday.

Entering this weekend, the latest edition of ESPN Bracketology from Joe Lunardi projected the Longhorns as an eight-seed in the NCAA Tournament. A double-digit win over Oklahoma to sweep the regular season series should either lock Texas in as an eight-seed or potentially get them into the seven-seed conversation after the finale win over the Sooners.

Texas has a shot to continue to boost its NCAA Tournament resume next week in the Big 12 Tournament. The first test for the Longhorns to defend their Big 12 Tournament crown will be on March 13 against the 10-seed Kansas State Wildcats.

Texas is at short odds to win the Big 12 Tournament. But this team isn't to be counted out either given the recent momentum that the Longhorns have found down the stretch this season.

Terry's squad won three of their last four and four of their last six in Big 12 play to close out the regular season.

Here are three reasons why the Longhorns could win the Big 12 Tournament for the second year in a row in 2024.

Dylan Disu continues to shine

Texas's MVP in Big 12 play during the regular season was easily senior big man Dylan Disu. The Big 12's Most Improved Player of the Year and an All-Big 12 First Team selection, Disu has been the biggest reason why the Longhorns have found most of their success in conference play since late last season.

Disu ranks second in the Big 12 in points per game in conference play and leads in three-point field goal percentage. If not for the scoring output of Texas's two best players, Disu and senior guard Max Abmas, the Longhorns probably wouldn't be anywhere close to within reach of a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

When Disu and Abmas are healthy, though, Texas has the skill and scoring to hang with just about anyone in college hoops.

We saw what Disu did last year when he won the Big 12 Tournament MVP. He put the Longhorns on his back with three spectacular performances to help Texas get their second Big 12 Tournament crown since 2020.

Disu has essentially performed at the same, if not at a higher level in Big 12 play this season that he did when he caught fire on the offensive end of the floor down the stretch last postseason. He's averaging two more points per game in conference play than he did in the Big 12 Tournament last year and shooting at a better clip from the field and from beyond the arc.

With how dangerous Disu has been in the Big 12 this season, Texas can challenge any team in the Big 12 Tournament when he's healthy.