Thursday, March 13, 2008

If You Are Going to Own Someone, Make it a Top 10 Team

This season has been nothing short of a roller coaster for the Lady Longhorns basketball program. In their first season under Gail Goestenkors, the Lady Longhorns spent much of the year hovering right around #25 in the country. Much of this ranking probably had to do with the reputation of the former Duke women's coach, as opposed to the talent on the floor for the Horns. This became more apparent as the Longhorns stumbled to a 7-9 conference mark, rebounding late in the season to even achieve that.

The only bright spot in conference play was probably a one point loss to the top-10 Baylor Bears in Waco, followed by a 10 point win over them in the return matchup in Austin. Well the domination of the Bears has continued as the Lady Longhorns throttled the Bears 76-61 in the quarterfinals of the Big XII Tournament last night, erasing a 16 point second half deficit. Baylor must have played the second half shorthanded or something as Texas outscored the Lady Bears 52-21 in the second half.

The victory makes things interesting for the Lady Longhorns. The Horns had some work to do to keep alive any hope of the NCAA tournament, but now at 21-11 with two victories over Baylor this season, and their continued run in the Big XII Tournament, the Horns may have played themselves safely into the field of 64. Things also are shaping up for them favorably for the rest of the tournament. The #1 and #2 seeds are both gone from the tournament, and the Longhorns facing #18 Oklahoma State, who they split the season series with tonight.

The Horns have now won 5 straight games, and their late push is securing a tournament resume. But any more wins they can find along the way will only improve their seeding in the tournament. They face Oklahoma State tonight, with the winner going on to face the winner of Iowa State (Tournament #8 seed) vs. #11 Texas A&M (Tournament #4 seed).

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