Hoops: Horns Hold Steady at No. 10

Texas remained at No. 10 in both polls for the second consecutive week while the Horns' Big Monday opponent Oklahoma State slipped a bit after a loss last Tuesday at Mizzou. The Cowboys host Texas Monday night (8 p.m., ESPN) with the winner of the game guaranteed at least a tie for the Big 12's regular season title and the No. 1 seed in next weekend's league tourney, plus a solid shot at a No. 2 seed in the Big Dance. The loser of the game will be the No. 2 seed in the Big 12 Tourney in Dallas.

The top two spots in the polls remained unchanged, with undefeateds Stanford and Saint Joseph's at No. 1 and 2, respectively. Pittsburgh dropped from the No. 3 spot to No. 6 in both rankings after a Sunday home loss to defending national champion Syracuse. Duke took over the No. 3 position in both polls, followed by consensus No. 4 Gonzaga. No. 5 Mississippi State and No. 6 Pitt. Oklahoma State, Connecticut, Kentucky and Texas occupy the 7-10 spots in the coaches' poll while the Huskies and the Wildcats are reversed in the writers' rankings. After Texas Tech's slide out of the rankings, Kansas is the only other Big 12 team in either top 25 list, coming in at No. 18 in the ESPN/USA Today poll and No. 21 in the AP.

Wake Forest and Providence, two teams that Texas beat earlier in the season, are just behind the Horns at No. 11 and 12, respectively in the coaches' poll and No. 11 and 13, respectively, in the AP rankings.

ESPN.com's weekly Bracketology has Texas projected as a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tourney (sent to the subregional in Kansas City) for the second week in a row. Oklahoma State slipped to a No. 3 following its 1-1 week. Whichever team wins the Big Monday match-up will, with a regular season ending win on Saturday, probably move into a No. 2 slot again next week heading into conference tourney time. Kansas checks in at a projected No. 5 seed again this week despite the loss to Texas last Monday, while Texas Tech is fading down the stretch run, barely holding on to a tourney berth with a projected No. 12 seed (about the lowest an at-large team will be seeded; the rest of the low seeds typically come from minor conference champs). Both Missouri and Colorado are making a late push for inclusion in the Dance, with the Tigers projected as a No. 10 despite a 15-10 overall record and the Buffs sneaking in under the Bubble with a projected No. 13. Oklahoma, which had been hanging on for several weeks in the Bubble range, dropped out of the projected brackets this week.

A good sign for a No. 2 seed (with a win in Stillwater) or No. 3 seed (with a loss to the Cowboys) come NCAA time is UT's stellar No. 6 simulated RPI ranking, up from No. 12 last week. Texas bests all Big 12 teams (Oklahoma State is No. 15) and is behind only Duke, St. Joe's, Kentucky, Mississippi State and Stanford. Other league teams in the collegerpi.com simulated RPI rankings: Kansas at No. 19, Missouri at No. 32, Tech at No. 33, OU at No. 44, Colorado at No. 51, Iowa State at No. 65, Nebraska at No. 77 and the Horns' final regular season opponent K-State at No. 119.


Horns Digest Top Stories