If Texas had gone 2-0 against Oklahoma State and Baylor last week, they would have wrapped up an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament. Even a split would have put them in fairly decent shape.
Instead, the Longhorns continued their season-long inability to close out games, falling to 17-11 with a 7-8 conference record and slipping into the wrong side of the bubble.
They have a chance Saturday at Texas Tech to rebound and prepare for a game at Phog Allen on March 3. More realistically, the Big 12 Tournament the next weekend, where they will need to make a run to at least the semifinals if they want to keep Rick Barnes' streak of 13 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances intact.
The Red Raiders, in their first year under former Texas A&M and Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie, are entrenched at the very bottom of the Big 12 with a 1-14 conference record, including a 74-57 loss in Austin on Feb. 4.
Jordan Tolbert, a 6'7 210 freshman forward from Fort Worth, is the only Texas Tech player averaging in double digits this season.
For a young Texas team, the big concern will be not taking the Red Raiders for granted and winning this game in the first 30 minutes. A team with an 8-19 record is looking for reasons not to believe in the first half, the Longhorns just need to give them one.
The 3:00 PM game will be broadcast regionally on the Big 12 Network and streamed online at ESPN3.