Texas Basketball: ESPN has UT making the NCAA Tournament

Rodney Terry and Texas basketball are in the NCAA Tournament according to the latest bubble watch this weekend from ESPN.
Rodney Terry, Texas basketball
Rodney Terry, Texas basketball / Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman /

After a dominant 94-58 blowout win over the West Virginia Mountaineers on Feb. 10 at the Moody Center in Austin, Texas basketball (16-8, 5-6 Big 12) is sitting in a pretty good spot to get into the NCAA Tournament.

Texas needed a sizable win over West Virginia to build confidence and momentum playing on their home court in the Big 12 and pad the resume for March Madness. Head coach Rodney Terry and the Longhorns delivered on that big win with a 36-point romping of West Virginia this weekend.

Senior big man Dylan Disu and senior guard Max Abmas were tremendous to spark the Longhorns to the biggest blowout win that any Big 12 team has had in conference play this season.

Texas basketball on track to make the NCAA Tournament if it ends the season on a high note

While there are plenty of positive takeaways for the Longhorns following the dominant win over West Virginia at the Moody Center this weekend, this team still has work to do down the stretch. Terry's squad must continue to rake in the big wins in conference play through the remainder of the regular season to give themselves some assurance entering Selection Sunday in about a month.

ESPN has the Longhorns among the teams on Bubble Watch that "should be in" the NCAA Tournament this postseason. Texas was listed among four Big 12 teams that aren't locks, but "should be in" for the Big Dance.

The other teams included in this group of bubble teams that would likely be in the NCAA Tournament field if Selection Sunday were today from the Big 12 are the Oklahoma Sooners, TCU Horned Frogs, and Texas Tech Red Raiders.

The recent stretch that saw the Longhorns win four of their last seven games, all but one coming against ranked opponents, has boosted their tournament resume heading into the stretch run this season.

Terry's squad should be targeting the 20-win mark down the stretch this season. Four more wins wouldn't mean the Longhorns are a lock, but it would be close.

Per TeamRankings projections, if Texas wins 19 games during the regular season, the Longhorns have a 45 percent chance of making the NCAA Tournament. If Texas wins 20 games, the percentage chance that it makes the Big Dance nearly doubles (86 percent).

Texas will be tested on the road down the stretch in the Big 12

Terry and the Longhorns have a few more opportunities against manageable Big 12 foes to get more wins on home court in conference play down the stretch this season. All three of Texas's remaining Big 12 games at home come against unranked opponents, including a matchup at the Moody Center against the Kansas State Wildcats in a couple of weeks (Feb. 24).

The upcoming road stretch to close out the regular season promises to be much more daunting for Terry and the Longhorns. All four of Texas's remaining road games in the Big 12 are against ranked foes, including three in the AP Top 15 (No. 13 Baylor, No. 4 Kansas, and No. 5 Houston).

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