Posted by Ryan Clark at 4:17PM

In the midst of a three-game losing skid, Texas dropped from both the AP and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll for the first time since February 19, 2007. The sudden plummet ended a streak of 37 consecutive weeks ranked in the Coaches Poll and 39 straight weeks in the Associated Press rankings. The Longhorns still received votes in both tallies, which put them at 27th in the Coaches Poll and 28th according to the media.

Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri are still the only three ranked representatives from the Big 12 conference, with the Sooners holding firm to their grasp on second place in both polls. The Jayhawks are slotted 16th by both groups, while the Tigers were placed 15th and 17th by the media and coaches, respectively.

The losing skid is hurting Texas in more important ways, as their NCAA outlook is getting cloudier by the day. Fortunately, many other teams across the country are stumbling at the same time, but it still hasn’t stopped the Longhorns from sliding another line in today’s Bracketology, where Lunardi slots the Horns as a 7-seed in Dayton. Andy Glockner still believes the Longhorns should be in the field of 65, but he echoes Lunardi’s sentiments and tabs Texas as a 7-seed.

If you were here back in the infancy of Longhorn Road Trip — or perhaps just attended the first two rounds of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic back in 2006 — you might remember tiny Chicago State guard David Holston lighting up St. Bonaventure for 43 points at The Drum. Now just two years later, Holston is the NCAA’s third-leading scorer, averaging 25.6 points per contest. Sports Illustrated’s Bill Trocchi shed some extra light on the “little package of dynamite” in a piece on their website a few weeks ago. Be sure to check it out.

Posted by Ryan Clark at 3:30PM

Bill Self might be in trouble for saying hello to recruit John Wall. Really? AAU coaches and family members of recruits are hired on staffs or paid to speak at camps and clinics, and this is what catches the NCAA’s attention? Basketball recruiting needs some cleaning up, but this kind of crap is not what they should be focusing on. Hell, if the Dallas Morning News could dig up the dirt on the Big 12, then certainly the NCAA could do some actual good instead of policing interactions like the one Self and Wall had.

Andy Glockner debuted his Bubble Watch this week, with seven Big 12 teams worthy of consideration in the field of sixty-five. OU is his only lock thus far, but Baylor and Texas sit just outside that coveted circle at the moment.

Don’t look now, but St. Joseph’s might be hitting its stride as A-10 play kicks off. The Hawks certainly aren’t a candidate for an NCAA at-large bid at this point, but they’ve opened league play at 3-0 and are helping Texas’ computer numbers with every win. The Atlantic 10+4 is clearly Xavier’s to lose, but St. Joe’s has the luxury of only having to play the Muskies once in the league’s unbalanced round robin — and the Hawks get to host the game at their temporary home, The Palestra.

Posted by Ryan Clark at 3:54PM

Texas slid in this week’s polls as a result of its meltdown in Norman last Monday night, dropping to 14th in the AP and 15th in the ESPN/USA Today rankings. The Sooners and Longhorns are the only Big 12 teams in the AP poll, while Baylor clings to 23rd in ESPN’s rankings after their road loss to A&M last Wednesday. Kansas and Missouri also received votes in both polls.

Joe Lunardi’s latest Bracketology has the Horns dipping to a 4-seed and playing their first two games in Portland. After a nice trip to Spokane two years ago for the NCAA tournament, we’d love another roadie to the Pacific Northwest. But, of course, the selections are still two months away, and absolutely anything can happen.

We’ve had our share of interesting moments in the O-Zone over the years, including the time former OU guard Bobby Maze had to be held back by a teammate during pre-game warm-ups. Even more intense was the incident with a Colorado forward (who will remain unnamed) that exchanged shoves with a Texas student during the 2003-04 season. But nothing that’s happened in the Erwin Center can hold a candle to the video below, where a Clemson student tackles Chas McFarland. Good thing it wasn’t Ron Artest…

Posted by Ryan Clark at 5:17PM

Lots and lots of news for the Horns now that the regular season has come to a close. And that starts with the Big 12 conference awards, where Rick Barnes took home Coach of the Year in a season where his Longhorns set a school record for regular season victories. D.J. Augustin was a unanimous selection to the All-Big 12 First Team, while A.J. Abrams and Damion James were named to the second team. The king of hustle, Justin Mason, was named to the All-Defensive Team.

In the latest Bracketology from Joe Lunardi, the Horns are still a 2-seed playing in the Phoenix regional with UCLA as the 1-seed. God forbid this projection actually holds, as good ol’ Joe has a potential second-round match-up for Texas with Arkansas…in Little Rock. Hardcore amateur bracketologists will be happy to know that Joe is now going daily with his picks from until Selection Sunday.

Andy Glockner’s Bubble Watch — now also a daily feature — has the Big 12 with three “locks” in Texas, Kansas, and OU. He feels that Baylor and K-State are solidly in, and barring a Bear implosion against Colorado on Thursday, I would have to agree. That leaves A&M in the “work left to do” category, which could be something of a misnomer. As long as the bubble doesn’t contract further with cinderella auto-bids, the Aggies should be fine. But while they don’t actually need another win, they certainly can’t afford to somehow lose to Iowa State.

While everybody is focused on seeds and bubbles, there is still that weekly tradition of the polls, which saw Texas climb to 6th in the AP and 8th in the ESPN/USA Today.

Although there’s no Big Monday, there’s more tournament action from Championship Week tonight. Auto-bids will be handed out in the Southern Conference (8 PM CST, ESPN2), where bubble team fans will be pulling hard for Davidson. At the same time, those nervous folks will be hoping that Gonzaga can stave off San Diego in the WCC Championship (8 PM CST, ESPN). And just underway in Albany, Rider and Siena are battling for the MAAC title on ESPN2.

Posted by Ryan Clark at 5:24PM

We’re just hours from the last Big Monday of the year, which means that conference tournaments are right around the corner. Cornell already punched their NCAA ticket in the tournament-less Ivy League, while the Big South, Ohio Valley, and Horizon all kick off their conference knockouts tomorrow.

The road loss to Tech didn’t hurt the Horns too much, as Texas slid four spots to #9 in both rankings. North Carolina was the benefactor of Tennessee’s loss in Nashville, with the Heels taking over first in both polls. Kansas was the only other Big 12 team to be ranked (5th by the AP and 6th by the coaches), while Baylor received votes in both polls and A&M earned three points in the AP despite losing four of their last five.

The loss also knocked Texas to a 2-seed in Lunardi’s latest projection, although it put the Horns back in Houston for the second weekend. Kansas also earned a 2-seed in this projection, with Kansas State (8), Baylor (9), Oklahoma (9), and Texas A&M (10) also making the field.

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