Big 12 Tournament: Texas Heads in on Top

After winning their 74th conference championship in school history, the Texas Longhorns go into the Big 12 conference tournament as the No. 1 seed and with a great shot at locking up a very favorable path to Omaha.

Even without a good showing the conference tournament, Texas could still get one of the top eight seeds, but a great trip to Oklahoma City and Bricktown Ballpark would solidify the Longhorns' place, allowing them to be the host team in their regional of next month's NCAA tournament.

Due to construction at Disch-Falk Field, if Texas "hosts" a regional, it'll be at the Dell Diamond, but the short trip up to Round Rock certainly beats College Station, Houston or Gainesville, Florida.

With the top record in the Big 12 at 21-6, Texas gets the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament, meaning the Horns get Kansas State, the No. 8 seed, first. The Wildcats barely squeezed into the tournament over the Kansas Jayhawks with a 10-16 conference mark, one game over Kansas' 9-17 record.

Texas' starting pitcher is still TBA, but Texas head coach Augie Garrido said he's going to give a lot of thought to whom he sends out there to face the eighth-seeded Wildcats.

"There's no easy seed. Every team in this league can win. We aren't going to say, ‘Oh, we can start whoever.' About every time you do that, it's 32-0," said Garrido after his team finished off the Aggies in the final regular season game.

Whoever the Longhorns do send to the mound, they'll face Kansas State RHP Trevor Hurley (1-3, 4.66 ERA).

The stats say that the Wildcats are better than their record indicates. Despite sitting near the bottom of the conference in the standings, they sit right in the middle in the hitting, pitching and fielding stats. What Kansas State struggled with the most was finishing out opponents, and it won't get any easier against the Longhorns, who have been coming through in the clutch as of late.

The Kansas State batter to watch out for is Byron Wiley. Wiley has the fifth-best batting average in the league at .379. He also totaled 44 RBI this season with 7 home runs and is a very measured hitter, drawing 40 walks.

Texas will next face the No. 5 seed Texas A&M on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. After taking Friday off the Horns will face the No. 4 seed Nebraska on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. The two teams with the top records in each pool of four will face each other in Sunday's championship at 1 p.m.

Complete schedule:

Wednesday, May 23
(4) Nebraska vs. (5) Texas A&M 10 a.m.
(1) Texas vs. (8) Kansas State 1 p.m.
(2) Missouri vs. (7) Oklahoma 5 p.m.
(3) Oklahoma State vs. (6) Baylor 8 p.m.

Thursday, May 24
(1) Texas vs. (5) Texas A&M 4:30 p.m.
(4) Nebraska vs. (8) Kansas State 7:30 p.m.

Friday, May 25
(2) Missouri vs. (6) Baylor 4:30 p.m.
(3) Oklahoma State vs. (7) Oklahoma 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 26
(5) Texas A&M vs. (8) Kansas State 10 a.m.
(1) Texas vs. (4) Nebraska 1 p.m.
(2) Missouri vs. (3) Oklahoma State 5 p.m.
(6) Baylor vs. (7) Oklahoma 8 p.m.

Sunday, May 27
Championship Game 1 p.m.

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