AUSTIN (KXAN) — As the Big 12 Conference regular season comes to a close, the anticipation of Selection Sunday grows as the Texas Longhorns put the finishing touches on their March Madness resumé.
In the NCAA tournament selection committee’s first release of their top 16 seeds Feb. 18, Texas came in as the No. 5 overall seed, just one spot out of contention for a regional top seed. With two games left on the Big 12 slate, including a Moody Center showdown with Kansas on Saturday, now is the time for teams to impress the selection committee to get the best seed they possibly can.
The Longhorns can gain two more quadrant one wins against TCU on Wednesday and Kansas, plus any wins they pick up in the Big 12 tournament would more than likely qualify as quadrant one wins. Those could potentially sway the committee to boost the Longhorns to a top-four overall seed depending on how teams ahead of them do.
Regardless of how the end of the Big 12 season goes, Longhorns head coach Rodney Terry has said his team has played “March basketball” for the past two weeks and getting in that mindset knowing they’ll get a good seed.
“Every game in the Big 12 has been a real game,” Terry said. “TCU is the next game on our schedule and will be a big 40 minutes for us.”
In the latest NET rankings with data through Feb. 27, Texas has held steady at No. 10 with 10 quadrant one wins, the third-most in the country. Quadrant one wins come against teams ranked high enough in NET for the committee to consider “good wins,” and factor into seeding decisions. Kansas and Baylor, both Big 12 opponents, are the teams with more such wins.
In conjunction with the NET rankings, the committee uses its members’ observations (commonly known as “the eye test”) and other metrics to select and seed teams, which explains why the committee felt comfortable moving Texas up five spots from its NET ranking in its top 16 release. Nothing is final until March 12 when the committee actually makes its selections, but there’s a good chance Texas receives either a No. 1 or 2 seed in their region.
“February was separation month, and March is about finishing,” Terry said. “The teams that embrace that mindset advance deep into March. Every possession matters and you have to play with urgency on both ends of the floor.”