ESPN’s Joe Lunardi: Texas one of last four teams in NCAA Tournament

Sabrina Tran

According to an updated bracket from ESPN, Texas and USC are expected to face off for a play-in game to the NCAA Tournament. After a big overtime win against No. 20 West Virginia this past Saturday, the Longhorns now stand with a record of 18–13 and a conference record of 8–10. This has been another up-and-down season for head coach Shaka Smart’s team, but the Longhorns still have this week’s Big 12 Tournament left to help with their March Madness hopes.

The seventh-seeded Longhorns tip off Wednesday evening against 10th-seeded Iowa State in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament. If the Longhorns are upset by the Cyclones, a team Texas beat twice this year, it could hurt their chances to even make it into the NCAA Tournament. There is additional concern heading into the game since freshman forward Mo Bamba is still nursing his sprained toe, which caused him to miss the West Virginia game.

Smart is in his third season with Texas. After making the NCAA Tournament in his first season, Texas took a step back last year and finished with an 11–22 record. The Longhorns have been up-and-down this season, but Smart knows his team still can finish the season strong.