After Wednesday night, fans across the nation were asking whether or not the Texas Longhorns were for real. They’d just unseated No. 14 North Carolina on their home court to get their 10th win of the season. The other nine wins were not as spectacular and their lone loss was to the BYU Cougars by a close margin. All that really means is that Texas is unproven. The Longhorns would not have to wait long to prove that their win at Chapel Hill was not a fluke.
This time the game would be at home for the Longhorns, and they would be playing Michigan State. North Carolina and Michigan State are strategically worlds apart. The Spartans have been around the block and are a veteran squad. Adreian Payne, the Spartans’ senior forward, had a monster game which resulted in the Spartans being able to outlast the Longhorns 92-78. Payne’s 33 beastly points and nine boards led the way. Texas did not have an answer for him, and shot 11 percent less than their opponents. It would have been a great win for the program that is trying to regain respectability in the Big 12 Conference as a top-flight program.
Texas still sits at 10-2 with an RPI of 25. The Longhorns have one more non-conference game remaining against Rice. There will be plenty of chances for the Longhorns to add to their resume in conference play, but Texas has to be kicking themselves after blowing a big chance at upsetting a second ranked opponent in back-to-back games.
Jack Dooley is a Big 12 Basketball writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JackDooleyOCS.