Poll-Vaulting: Texas Basketball At No. 2

Turns out Texas still has a shot at going to Arizona this month for a match-up between the nation’s No. 1 and No. 2 teams -- in basketball, that is. No, it’s not the Fiesta Bowl; it’s the Longhorn men’s basketball team that is ranked No. 2 (the program’s loftiest status in school history) in the latest Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today (Coaches) rankings.

Texas replaced Kansas in the No. 2 spot after the Horns knocked off Seton Hall at the Space City Classic in Houston Saturday to improve to 4-0. The Jayhawks dropped two games over the weekend and fell to No. 14. Other ranked Big 12 teams include No. 6 Oklahoma and No. 15 Missouri.

If Texas can get through a tough weekend unscathed, it would set up an historic duel in the desert against top-ranked Arizona, December 15. Fox Sports Net is set to televise the 3:30 p.m. (CST) matchup.

Before Texas goes west, however, the Horns head east this weekend for the BB&T Classic at the MCI Center in Washington, D.C. If Rick Barnes bunch gets past George Washington at 12 p.m. (CST) Saturday, Texas could face No. 9 Maryland in the Tournament final, 2:30 p.m. Sunday. (Raycom Sports is televising the event.) The Terrapins face Notre Dame in front of what should be partisan crowd for the defending national champions.

The next couple of weekends will certainly test the Horns' lofty status before Texas returns home December 19 for a four-game tune-up preceding conference play.

"All of our games have been tough up to this point but for different reasons," Barnes said. "We’re excited about going up to D.C. because we know we’ll get a weekend test in a lot of different ways with the different style each team plays. We know we have to be on top of what we’re doing and improve on our last time out."

Barnes said during the preseason that his squad can go 10-deep and, so far, the numbers prove it. Nine Longhorns are averaging at least 11.5 minutes per game through the team's first four contests.

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