Horns Inch Into Top 10 But Face Immediate Test

Texas climbed back into the top 10 in both polls released Monday afternoon following a week with wins over Texas A&M and OU. The high ranking will immediately be put to the test, though, with No. 18/20 Kansas visiting the Erwin Center Monday evening. For the Horns, a victory over the Jayhawks will keep Texas in the conference's second spot, within striking distance of league leader Oklahoma State, which continued its long climb up the charts with a No. 6 ranking this week.

Stanford and Saint Joseph's remained at No. 1 and 2, respectively, in both polls, while Pittsburgh came in at No. 3 in both polls, displacing now No. 4 Duke in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll. The Blue Devils slipped to No. 5 in the AP poll, behind the Panthers and No. 4 Gonzaga. The Zags are No. 5 in the coaches' poll. In between the Big 12's marquee teams OSU and UT, both polls ranked Mississippi State, Connecticut and Kentucky in the No. 7-9 spots. The only other league team in either poll is Texas Tech, which came in at No. 25 in both polls.

The Horns have notched wins over No. 11 Wake Forest, No. 13 Providence and the 25th-ranked Red Raiders, with losses to No. 4/5 Duke, the sixth-ranked Cowboys and No. 14/17 Arizona.

ESPN.com's weekly Bracketology has Texas projected as a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tourney (sent to the subregional in Kansas City), up a notch from last week's No. 4 projection. Oklahoma State remains slotted as a No. 2 seed while Oklahoma, after back--to-back losses (to OSU and UT) last week, slipped to bubble-like No. 11 (the Sooners are listed in the Last Four In category). The Horns' Big Monday opponent Kansas inched up to a No. 5 and Tech ticked up as well, to a No. 7. Bracketology's four No. 1 seeds: Stanford, Saint Joseph's, Duke and Pitt.

UT's simulated RPI of No. 12 (at collegerpi.com) has it right on the border of a No. 3/No. 4 seed in the Big Dance, although a win over the RPI No. 16 Jayhawks would certainly solidify the Horns' seeding position heading into critical games with RPI No. 30 Texas Tech (Saturday, 1 p.m. in Austin) and RPI No. 6 Oklahoma State (next Monday, 8.m. in Stillwater). Texas already owns big RPI wins over the No. 10 Demon Deacons of Wake Forest and the No. 11 Friars of Providence. Interestingly, in collegerpi.com's projected tournament bracket, both UT (sent to Denver) and Oklahoma State (sent to Kansas City) own a No. 2 seed.

Texas closes its regular season at RPI No. 103 Kansas State on March 6 at 4 p.m. Other Big 12 tourney hopefuls in the RPI: Oklahoma (No. 35), Missouri (No. 46), Colorado (No. 54) and Iowa State (No. 68).


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