Tied with a just a few seconds left in the game, it looked like the crucial Big 12 matchup between the No. 22 Kansas State Wildcats and Texas Longhorns would go into overtime. However, a buzzer-beating three by Longhorn Jonathan Holmes saved the win for Texas, and may also have saved their 2014 NCAA Tournament chances.
The story of the game was the play of Texas’ Javan Felix and Cameron Ridley, who had 23 and 18 points, respectively. Kansas State had a huge performance from Thomas Gipson, who finished with 24 points, but the Longhorns were able to escape with a 67-64 win.
At 15-4, Texas’ win over Kansas State may have been their most important of the season. The Longhorns have wins over the then No. 8 Iowa State Cyclones and No. 14 North Carolina Tar Heels, but play in the most difficult conference in all of college basketball, the Big 12, so there will most likely be a few more losses down the stretch.
Of the Longhorns’ 12 remaining games, eight are against ranked opposition. If they can pull off one or two upsets over teams like the No. 24 Baylor Bears and No. 25 Oklahoma Sooners, they’ll be in the 2014 NCAA Tournament for sure. At the moment, however, they’re just a bubble team.
Although the win over Kansas State is a huge step in the right direction, Texas can’t afford to step off the gas now. If the Longhorns are to make the 2014 NCAA Tournament, they’ve got to keep beating tough opposition and keep this four-game win streak alive.