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NCAA Basketball Texas Longhorns

Are Texas Longhorns the Team to Beat in the Big 12?

Texas Basketball

Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 19 Texas Longhorns are one of the most surprising teams in college basketball. Their preseason hopes were low, but they now find themselves 19-5 after a big win over the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Javan Felix hit six threes en route to an 87-68 victory over the overpowered Cowboys.

A lot of critics would say that Oklahoma State isn’t a tough opponent without star Marcus Smart, who had been suspended after pushing a fan. That assumption is somewhat true, but no team is easy in the Big 12, even without their top player. The Big 12 is the top conference in college basketball, and Texas have proven themselves to be one of the better teams in the conference.

The more I see Texas play, the better they look. They aren’t a one- or two-player team that’s extremely fun to watch like most top teams in college basketball, but their all-around talent level will help them once the 2014 NCAA Tournament swings around. If Isaiah Taylor and Felix can keep playing like they have, expect major things from the Longhorns moving forward.

The Longhorns aren’t the best team in the Big 12; the Kansas Jayhawks are hands down the best team. However, in college basketball, it’s sometimes better to improve game after game than start off with a top team that won’t improve as much come tournament time. Texas continues to get better and will carry that momentum into March. The Longhorns are set to bust brackets in the Big Dance and wins like the one over Oklahoma State are perfect examples of this capability.

Taylor Sturm is an SEC Basketball Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TSturmRS, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.