Two weeks ago I wrote an article giving my reasons why the Longhorns deserved to be number one. At that point the team had won 11 straight games, and just had the number one ranking laid in their lap by Kansas. There were no thoughts or even worries by most of the fan base that the Longhorns would lose the game to Nebraska later that week. It was a fore gone conclusion that the Horns would be the new number 1 and they would hit 12 straight victories. Well, there is a reason they play the games, and given the fact that the Longhorns were believing the press clippings and didn’t bother to show up until it was too late.
The loss at Nebraska come as a stunner to most fans and everyone was thinking that this was just a fluke and that the team would correct itself before the next game. Which it did, they came out and had a very strong showing against Iowa State. So, the team is back on track, and everything looks good, right? Well after the first half at Colorado, the faithful were thinking this was just a come out and play a little defense and go home with a win. But the team must have had a case of defensive amnesia at the half, because they came out and choked away a 17 point lead. Now things were a little iffy on the 40 acres and across Texas, a team that everyone said was a lock for a number 1 seed in the tournament is slipping at the worst possible time. But Texas hasn’t lost back to back games all season, and Kansas State at home should be a big win, especially since K-State has owned Texas in the last few years.
Well, K-State did it to the Horns agian, on the road none the less. Now the Longhorns have suffered two losses in three games and now everyone is left to wonder, did this team peak to early? Simply put, this is a troubling occurance under Rick Barnes, he has lead Texas to national concionse, and yes there have been a Final Four appearance, a couple Elite Eight apperances, but mostly this team dies in the Sweet 16. If they even make it that far, Barnes’ teams have been known to catch fire in the mid season, and build good momentum. But when it comes to March and the Big XII tournament and even the NCAA Tournament, there isn’t much history of constant or long term succsess.
With Baylor on the horizon as the season finale, the Longhorns need to focus and find a way to catch a win in Waco, or else they will be limping into the Big XII tournament and risk losing a potential 2 or 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament. This is probably one of the most talented teams top to bottom Texas has had in a long time, but I think Barnes let them hit cruise control to soon and now when they need to put the pedal to the metal, they can’t catch that momentum again.
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