AUSTIN (KXAN) — No. 12 Texas is on the verge of at least sharing a Big 12 regular season title after their regular season finale at Kansas State this Saturday.
Currently, Texas (22-8, 13-4 in Big 12) is tied for first in the conference with No. 16 Oklahoma (23-5, 13-4 in Big 12).
The Sooners narrowly defeated Kansas State in overtime on Wednesday night to keep pace with the Longhorns.
Kansas State is playing much better basketball since their first meeting with Texas, when the Longhorns trounced them 87-41 on December 31st.
“We got an opportunity on Saturday,” said Longhorns Head Coach Vic Schaefer. “We’re excited about that opportunity. We look forward to going to Manhattan and playing a really good [Kansas] State team.”
This game sets up a simple scenario: If Texas beats Kansas State and Oklahoma loses to Oklahoma State, Texas wins the Big 12 regular season championship outright for the first time since 2003. A Texas loss and Oklahoma win gives the Sooners the outright regular season title, if both end their respective games Saturday with the same result, then they will share the championship.
A Big 12 regular season title would be a tremendous accomplishment for the Longhorns, as they have not won even a share of the conference championship since the 2003-04 season.
“That’s hard to fathom,” said Schaefer about Texas having not won a conference title in nearly two decades. “These kids have put themselves in a great position. I’m really proud of them. Now let’s go close the deal.”
Texas has had their depth tested in a major way this season with key injuries to a number of players. It was clear in their loss to Baylor how thin the team was, missing Sonya Morris and Ndjakalenga Mwenentanda. Excuses about a lack of rest and strain on the players are easy to come by, but the Longhorns head coach doesn’t want to dwell on it.
“Let’s just put our head down and go to work. People always talk to me about working and [being] up here late at night. I just tell them I’ll sleep when I’m dead. I’ll rest when I’m dead. Right now man, it’s go time.”
Texas will face Kansas State Saturday in Manhattan, Kansas. Tipoff is set for 4pm.