Last Saturday, an announced crowd of 7,368 watched as the Texas men’s basketball team took a 56-46 victory in Oklahoma State. There was also another spectator in a nearby hotel.
The Texas women also played in Stillwater that evening. The hotel where the Longhorns were staying did not have ESPNU, but Texas head coach Vic Schaefer was able to broadcast the game in the team’s conference room. As his team ate after the firefight, Schaefer watched the UT fighters.
That 10-point win came four days after the men’s program led to 116 points in a home loss to Kansas State. Last week also fired head coach Chris Byrd, who was previously arrested on charges of domestic violence. To add words to an already long paragraph, a burst pipe near their team’s hotel left the Longhorns without running water for most of their stay in Stillwater.
Knowing this, Schaefer developed a message on how to respond to adversity. The men did just that. Undoubtedly women, too, could cope with the trials and tribulations of their season.
“It didn’t work,” Schaefer countered on Monday.
That evening, UT lost to Oklahoma State 86–82. Of the 83 games Schaefer has coached in Texas, his defense only scored more in a 92–58 loss at West Virginia in 2021.
However, the Longhorns have another chance to practice what their third-year coach has preached. There are no long periods of inactivity during the season. This week, Texas will host the ranking teams of the states of Kansas and Iowa.
Texas enters the week with an 11-5 overall record. The Longhorns did not receive a single vote on any of the 28 ballots used by the Associated Press to vote this week.
On the one hand, the Longhorns don’t have much reason to worry about the impression left by their season resume. Texas is in the top 15 of the NET rankings. Texas doesn’t have major defeats as the University of Connecticut, Marquette, Louisville and Oklahoma State qualify as Quadrant 1 contenders, and a 70-65 loss to South Florida is hardly a Quadrant 2 defeat.
But of UT’s 11 wins, only a 62-48 knockout of USC last month on neutral ground is currently considered a Quadrant 1 win. By comparison, four of Texas’ 11 Quadrant 1 wins last season were in the first 16 games, and one was a 61-56 loss to perennial Stanford.
To register as a Quadrant 1 win or loss, an opponent must have a top 30 net rating if the game was played at home, a top 75 net rating if the game was played away, or a top 50 net rating if the game was played at home. The teams met on a neutral ground. The NCAA uses the NET rank as a measure to evaluate resumes and determine seeding for the postseason.
“We had a good schedule early on. Again, if I had a different non-conference schedule like other teams, we would have one loss right now. But I didn’t have such a schedule,” Schaefer said. “We have a lot of opportunities ahead of us. I think this is where we are. We have to take advantage of what’s in front of us right now.”
What’s ahead of Texas is Tuesday’s showdown with No. 23 from Kansas and Sunday’s showdown with No. 15 from Iowa. The Longhorns also have games this month against No. 18 Baylor and No. 19 Oklahoma. The home games against Iowa State and Kansas State and the trip to Baylor on Jan. 22 are currently treated as Quadrant 1 events.
Texas has won five games in a row at the Moody Center. In them, Texas was behind by a total of 27 seconds and showed an average advantage of 50.6 points.
But of the five teams that Texas lost, only Kansas State plays in the Power Five conference. The Wildcats are also the only opponent in this stretch with a winning record.
Texas and Kansas Women Return to the Basketball Court After Notable Big 12 Losses
The Kansas Veterans team will have a tougher test on Tuesday. Kansas (12-2) boasts a 27-point victory over a team from Arizona, which is ranked 14th in the nation this week. The Jayhawks lost to Baylor 75–62, with their other defeat decided in triple overtime.
Kansas is 75.9 points per game, 58.6 behind. Guard Zakia Franklin and center Tyanna Jackson were the top 12 players of the week this season.
“Another well trained team with great players,” Schaefer said. “A year ago, we had two knockdowns with them. I’m sure we’ll have to play very, very well tomorrow night.”
game on tuesday
No. 15 Kansas (12-2, 2-1) v Texas (11-5, 2-1), 19:00, LHN, 105.3