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Texas Longhorns Basketball was predicted to finish eighth out of 10 teams in the Big 12. Remember last year, when Texas missed out on the NCAA tournament for the first time in Rick Barnes tenure? Who would have thought with a little over one month left in college basketball’s regular season that Rick Barnes name would be named alongside with Jim Boeheim, Mick Cronin, Steve Fisher, Jay Wright, Sean Miller, and Gregg Marshall?
Texas had not reached the NCAA tournament’s second weekend since 2008. Rick Barnes seemed to have lost the high standard he established in Austin. On Saturday, the Longhorns (17-4, 6-2 in the Big 12) beat then-No. 6 Kansas, and have defeated four consecutive Associated Press top 25 opponents for the first time in school history. UT jumped ten spots to No. 15 in this week’s AP Poll, climbing to its highest spot since the end of the 2010/2011 season. The Longhorns are only the second team since 1996-1997 to reel off four-straight wins over Top-25 teams; Kansas did so earlier this year.
Taylor (11.7 ppg, 3.7 apg) and guards Javan Felix (12.2, 3.0) and DeMarcus Holland (8.6, 2.6) form a capable backcourt, and Ridley (11.2, 7.8 rpg) and Holmes (12.9, 7.4) anchor the frontcourt.
Rick Barnes stated, “I’ve told our team for a long time, ‘We’re a good team.’ They like each other. They want to win. There is not a selfish guy in the group. They have invested in each other. That’s the fun part of this. You’ll find out how good and tough you are. It’s going to be part of the fun watching the guys grow and handle this. I don’t know the end, well see. I am very happy and excited for our guys, because they went and earned it. They worked hard and deserve this kind of atmosphere. They did that, but the fact is that we are not even half through conference play.”