Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Texas as a No. 1 Seed?

Every since Texas' impressive demolition of Texas A&M on Monday night, 77-50, in Austin, there has been a growing buzz about the Longhorns' candidacy as a potential No. 1 seed come Selection Sunday. Andy Katz mentioned it several times on ESPNU's "Inside the Polls," and other people have began to catch on. In fact, Kirl Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman penned a column today regarding this exact subject, saying the committee should take a long look at Texas when it comes to seeding:

"Texas has power wins over Kansas, UCLA and Tennessee, two of them away from these city limits. It's got a couple more over tournament-climbers St. Mary's and Oral Roberts. Three of UT's losses came on the road, including one to the Big Ten's Michigan State. Plus, two of the defeats were before front-court addition Gary Johnson joined the team.

"Texas has beaten five of the seven ranked teams it has played. Texas is 8-3 in games away from Austin. Texas has won eight of 11 against clubs with top 50 RPI cache. Want more? It's tied with the Jayhawks atop the Big 12 standings, and it owns the tie-breaker with Kansas."

I've said since early December that no one in the country would have a better combination of non-conference wins than Texas' victim-duo of UCLA and Tennessee. Since the Longhorns defeated Kansas last week, it is now not even close -- in a head-to-head resume battle, it is tough to top their collection of good wins. Furthermore, Texas (along with Tennessee) has the most top-50 wins of any team in the country. The Longhorns have the No. 3 SOS, the No. 5 RPI and are an impressive if not spectacular 8-3 away from home.

On the negative side, Texas has a loss at Missouri. However, while it is worse than the forthcoming two defeats, it is not entirely unlike Tennessee's loss at Kentucky or Duke's loss at Wake Forest.

Honestly, while I don't think Texas will get a No. 1 seed -- road games at Texas Tech and Kansas State loom, as do Big 12 Tournament games against potentially Kansas, KSU, A&M, etc. -- if you stack-up the Longhorns' current resume to many of the top-seed candidates outside of Memphis, you'd be surprised to see who has the better profile.

Yup, it's the Longhorns.

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