Lady Horns Come Up Short
No. 4 Baylor (33-1, 17-1 Big 12) still has the number of seventh-ranked Texas (28-4, 15-3 Big 12), earning yet another Big 12 Championship – with a 79-63 win on Monday – to go along with their regular season title. Just never quite able to get over the Baylor hump, the Horns have lost all three matchups this year, including a 74-48 crushing in the season finale.
However, as we do every March, we begin a new season with the NCAA tournament. Texas is still stacked, and likely to land a No. 2 seed. They're equipped to make a significant run, perhaps into the Final Four – as long as they stay clear of Baylor, whom they haven't beaten since 2010.
Imani Boyette won Phillips 66 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, based on her dominant, season-long play on the boards (9.5 per game in Big 12 play) and blocks (3.6). She also earned her second consecutive All-Big 12 First Team nod, as well as unanimous All-Big 12 Defense selection.
Isaiah Taylor picked up a First Team nod in the Men's selection, with Javan Felix making Honorable Mention. Eric Davis Jr. and Kerwin Roach Jr. made All-Newcomer.
Horns Begin Their March
The Longhorns are forecasted as a No. 6 seed in the NCAA tournament – seeding that could improve, depending on their showing at this week's Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City. On Thursday, they lock up with a team that's given them fits – fifth-seeded Baylor. Back in February, the Bears' bigger, meaner front line bossed Texas around the full 94 feet, in a 78-64 thrashing – the final score actually closer than the game tape says.
Fortunately for the young Horns, their own bully will be back on the black, and just in time. Cameron Ridley could return this week, with coach Shaka Smart proclaiming he's "really, really optimistic" about Ridley's return. Smart told ESPN: "It depends on how he responds, but he's not definitely out [for the Big 12 tournament]. It all depends on how he does and how he feels later this week."