Where Texas basketball ranks in updated ESPN Bilas Index

The latest edition of ESPN's BIlas Index pegs Texas basketball as an NCAA Tournament-caliber team heading into the stretch run of the season.
Jay Bilas
Jay Bilas / Calvin Mattheis/News Sentinel / USA

Less than a month remains until Texas basketball embarks on its quest to defend its Big 12 Tournament crown. That means only a handful of games are left until the end of the first full regular season for Texas under head coach Rodney Terry.

Terry's first full season as Texas's head coach has brought plenty of ups and downs, especially in Big 12 play. But the Longhorns have an opportunity to clinch a single-digit seed in the NCAA Tournament and an advantageous path in the Big 12 Tournament if it closes out the regular season on a high note.

Texas basketball ranked by Jay Bilas as a top 30 team in mid-February in college hoops

Texas has found some decent success in Big 12 play in the last two weeks, winning two of its last three contests. And while the Longhorns are currently tied for ninth place in the conference standings, with a record in Big 12 play of 5-6, they are only two games behind third place.

The most recent rendition of the "Bilas Index" from ESPN's Jay Bilas reflects the up-and-down nature of Texas's run in the Big 12 this season. But it also shows that the Longhorns have real potential to make a run down the stretch and in the postseason, largely thanks to the senior duo of big man Dylan Disu and guard Max Abmas.

Bilas ranked the Longhorns as the No. 29 team in college basketball entering the stretch run of the regular season. He mentioned how difficult it is playing in the Big 12 and how that could be playing a role in Texas's inconsistent results in conference play this season.

" The Big 12 is a gauntlet, which might explain why the Horns have won back-to-back games just once in the new year."

Bilas also discusses the value that Disu and Abmas bring for the Longhorns this season in Big 12 play, and how integral they will be for this team's success down the stretch.

"Dylan Disu has been a consistent force since getting back to full strength after missing the start of the season due to injury, and Max Abmas provides a big-time, shot-making presence."

If the Longhorns can pull the big upset of the No. 3 Houston Cougars on the road this weekend, that would be a huge first step to getting on the path to earning a solid single-digit seed in March Madness.

Texas must also continue to perform well on its home court at the Moody Center if it wants a shot at a winning record in the Big 12 to close out the regular season.

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