It all began back on Nov. 19 when the Texas Longhorns were upset by Chaminade in the opening round of the Maui Invitational.
A brutal non-conference schedule quickly set Texas back and lowered expectations well prior to the start of the new year. Following a regular season in which the Longhorns finished 15-16 overall, the possibility of finishing the season out as a sub .500 program is at the forefront. Texas will have to win at least two games within the Big 12 Tournament or they will finish below .500, something that Longhorn fans are certainly unaccustomed to.
This season will snap a 14-year NCAA Tournament appearance streak, barring of course a highly unexpected run within the conference tournament. In all however, the Longhorns have won just two games within the Big Dance since an Elite 8 run back in 2008.
Given the heavy pressure to perform at a top school like Texas, the question must be asked: Will Rick Barnes find himself on the hot seat at the conclusion of this year’s postseason?
Barnes has had tons of success at Texas and in fact, this will be the first year that one of his Longhorn teams does not qualify for the NCAA Tournament. That’s a remarkable run, so why would things all of a sudden change?
Well, that could hinge on Myck Kabongo. If the star point guard, who was held out by the NCAA for nearly the entire season this year, makes the decision to return, well then Texas instantly becomes a threat near the top of the Big 12 in 2013-14. If he doesn’t, well then who knows what expectations they will have.
The bottom line is this: Barnes has done enough in his time at Texas to warrant one sub-par season, he really shouldn’t go anywhere, especially with a young and inexperienced team. The pressure to win next year however, should increase, but his past resume speaks for itself.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS