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The calendar has officially turned to March, meaning Texas basketball is entering the most important stretch of the season. Shaka Smart's team is safely in the NCAA tournament but is hoping to continue to boost their resume in the final week of the regular season before the Big 12 tournament kicks off next week. The Longhorns were able to start their week off on the a good note, cruising to a 81-67 win at Iowa State.

Despite the Cyclones 0-15 record in Big 12 play entering Tuesday's matchup, Iowa State had been showing signs of life over their previous few games. The Cyclones gave 2nd ranked Baylor all they could handle in Waco last week, nearly pulling off the upset in a 76-72 loss and followed it up with a near upset of TCU on Saturday. The Longhorns put the pressure on Iowa State early by going on a 17-0 run in the first half to take a 28-11 lead. The Cyclones battled back to trim the deficit to 10 points at the half, but were never able to go on a run during the second half to put the pressure on Texas. 

Early foul trouble forced Texas to give Kai Jones significant minutes off the bench, and the freshman responded by leading the team with 17 points and adding 8 rebounds. The Longhorns also received a shot in the arm by Jase Febres, who connected on 3 of 4 three pointers and continues to round into form as he works his way back from a knee injury. Matt Coleman (12 points), Courtney Ramey (14 points) and Andrew Jones (9 points) turned in steady performances but struggled with taking care of the basketball, combining for 11 turnovers.

Biggest Takeaway

Iowa State was clearly outmatched, but the Longhorns had the opportunity to run away with the game much earlier if it wasn't for turnover issues and foul trouble. Jericho Sims got two quick fouls and ended up fouling out after playing only 10 minutes. Sims might be the best rebounder and interior defender the Longhorns have, and the drop-off is noticeable when he is not on the floor. The Longhorns will need him if they hope to make a deep tournament run.

Big Picture

Texas is currently sitting comfortably as a 4 seed with 2 regular season games remaining. A 2-0 finish would put Texas on the doorstep of a 3 seed if they were to perform well in the Big 12 tournament. A 1-1 finish combined with an early exit in the conference tournament would likely push Texas down to a 5 seed. 

What's Next?

Texas will travel to Norman on Thursday to face Oklahoma. The Sooners defeated a short-handed Texas squad in Austin earlier this season and the Longhorns will look for an opportunity to add another quality win to their resume. 

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  • 2021 Texas Football Schedule

    Week
    Opponent
    W/L
    9/4
    Louisiana
    9/11
    @Arkansas
    9/18
    Rice
    9/25
    Texas Tech
    10/2
    @TCU
    10/9
    Oklahoma
    10/16
    Oklahoma State
    10/30
    @Baylor
    11/6
    @Iowa State
    11/13
    Kansas
    11/20
    @West Virginia
    11/27
    Kansas State

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