Skip to main content

Texas begins its postseason journey with a Big 12 Tournament battle versus Kansas State

Joe Cookby:Joe Cook03/13/24


The Texas Longhorns embark on their Big 12 Tournament journey in Kansas City, Mo. looking to repeat as conference tournament champions and bolster their resume for an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament.

[Join Inside Texas and get ONE MONTH of Longhorn intel for just $1!]

The Longhorns rank No. 25 in the NCAA Evaluation Tool, or NET, the primary sorting method the committee uses when assessing resumes. They also rank No. 23 in KenPom, an advanced analytical ranking that the NCAA selection committee has access to when making their choices.

The work done by Rodney Terry‘s team during a 20-11 (9-9 Big 12) regular season has them solidly in the field of 68 according to most projections. has the Longhorns in the tournament according to 88 gathered projections and likely as an eight or nine seed.

Terry believes his team is playing some of its best basketball of the year with March Madness and a Big 12 Tournament matchup with the Kansas State Wildcats on the horizon.

“As the season started, we knew our team was going to be evolving throughout the course of the season because of the adversity we had deal with in terms of guys coming from injuries, surgeries, and things of that nature, so we knew we weren’t going to have our team for the better part of the first quarter of the season,” Terry said Tuesday. “Even then, each time a guy came back, our team changed. This is the team right now, playing at the level we’re playing at right now, that we envisioned as our guys got back in the fold.”

The Longhorns have 2023 Big 12 Tournament MVP and 2024 first-team All-Big 12 selection Dylan Disu heading the attack with 16.1 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. He’s joined by second-team All-Big 12 selection Max Abmas, who’s 16.8 points per game leads the team.

They’ve been the tip of the spear for the Longhorn offense, an offense that has scored 80 points in each of its last four games. What Terry wants to see take a step up during the Big 12 Tournament is his defense.

“We’ve got a good offensive team,” Terry said. “I think we can score and we’ve shown we can score against some of the better teams in the Big 12. We’ve got some elite defenses in the Big 12 and I think we finished second in scoring points wise. Our numbers offensively were really really good this year. I think wins and losses get down to your defense and having a defensive mindset, and I think we’ve improved over the course of the season with our defense.”

Texas faces Kansas State for the second time this seson at approximately 6 p.m. on Wednesday night. In the first matchup in Austin on February 19, Texas defeated the Wildcats 62-56. Disu was the only Longhorn in double-figures as he added 20 points along with eight rebounds. For K-State, Arthur Kaluma scored 17 points while Tylor Perry added 13 and David N’Guessan put up 12. K-State shot 36 percent from the field and 26 percent from three in the contest.

The winner of Wednesday’s game faces two-seed Iowa State on Thursday at approximately 6 p.m. Central. The loser heads home and waits to hear from the selection committee.

Before those steps, Terry and company have their eyes fixed on the Wildcats. If they want to play four games in four days in the Big 12 Tournament, that’s who they’ll have to get through first.

“We’re going to take it 40 minutes by 40 minutes,” Terry said. “We’re playing a really good Kansas State team that we have a lot of respect for. We know we’re going to get their best game. We’re going to try to bring our best game in terms of how hard we compete on both ends of the floor. We’re going to come in and compete at a high level.”

[Subscribe to the brand new Inside Texas YouTube channel!]

The Longhorns and Wildcats will stream live on ESPN+ starting approximately 6 p.m.

You may also like