Welp. That was ugly.
For the second time in two weeks, the Horns have beaten a top-10 team, only to lay ostrich eggs in the following matchup. Following up a dominating win over then third-ranked Oklahoma, they got absolutely demolished by No. 1 Kansas, 86-56, on Senior Night – the worst loss of the season, by far.
Team engine and point guard Isaiah Taylor looked tentative, and stalled at the line, starting 0-8 – many of them open looks. He finished with five points. Texas bigs Shaquille Cleare, Prince Ibeh, and Connor Lammert finished with 11 total points, though Ibeh had 12 boards.
The Horns were never in the contest, as Kansas played loose and without pressure, as they already had at least a share of the Big 12 regular season championship. Short an early exit from the conference tournament, the Jayhawks have likely wrapped up a No. 1 overall seed in the Big Dance. Texas, however, could end up in a variety of scenarios. Though they all lead to an NCAA tourney appearance, their play over the last two weeks does not inspire much in the way of projecting a run of any sort.
The first instance of this flip-flop event came in a Feb. 16 win over West Virginia, then and currently ranked 10th, with a subsequent bouncing by a physically tougher Baylor team, looking for revenge in Austin. Similarly, Kansas' big men controlled the paint, pushing Texas' smallish lineup around. Senior Perry Ellis had 20.
These losses clearly indicate problems with youth, lack of consistent on-court leadership, and their lack of inside offense – which will be troublesome until Cameron Ridley comes back to the lineup. Kansas is a great team, and a Final Four/championship contender – but any armchair expert can see they aren't 30 points better than the Longhorns.
All of this said, the youth movement can't be called anything other than a rousing success. While their current play hasn't always been up to snuff, there are plenty of games ahead to use these experiences to right the ship – starting Friday, at Oklahoma State, their last regular season game.