Hoops: Horns crack AP Top 25

After several weeks on the outskirts of the polls, Texas crept back into the national rankings Monday. Well, into one of those rankings.

The 13-4 Horns came in at No. 24 in the latest AP poll but remained on the outer fringes of the ESPN/USA Today rankings. Despite a six-game win streak and victories in 12 of 13 games, UT continues to be snubbed by the coaches' poll voters. The Horns actually lost ground in this week's ESPN/USA Today poll, falling in the Others Receiving Votes category from last week's No. 29 spot to No. 30. Texas Tech actually jumped past Texas in the poll. You may remember that the Horns beat the 14-3 Red Raiders on their home court last week. Apparently, the coaches forgot that little tidbit of information when voting in this week's poll.

Regardless of the coaches' poll idiocy, Texas remains in very solid shape in the simulated RPI rankings. Through Sunday's games, the Horns are at No. 6 in the RPI, behind Kansas (15-2), Arizona (13-4), Duke (16-1), Oklahoma (14-2) and Georgia (15-3). In the voting polls, the Bulldogs at No. 17 are the lowest ranked of that elite RPI bunch.

Look for UT's RPI ranking to take at least a minor beating this week whether or not Texas puts a major beating on A&M in Austin on Wednesday and Baylor in Waco on Saturday. Games with the No. 171 Aggies and No. 111 Bears will be a strength of schedule hit for the Horns.

The Big 12, though, looks strong at the top. Along with consensus No. 2 KU (4-0 in league play), OU (3-1) also is No. 6 in both polls, while Oklahoma State (2-3) and Missouri (4-1) both reside in each poll's top 20. The Horns, 4-0 in conference after their 77-66 win over Nebraska Saturday, beat OSU in Stillwater back in early January and will face the Cowboys again, this time in Austin, on Feb. 20. The Jayhawks visit the Erwin Center for a Big Monday match-up on Feb. 11. Texas gets the Sooners first in Austin on Feb. 2 and travels to Norman on Feb. 23. UT travels to Columbia Feb. 17 to take on the Tigers.


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