It's a feeling Texas fans have become all too familiar with the past two seasons- bullish expectations, followed by the ascent to the top of the rankings, and now, the downward spiral. Jordan Hamilton, Tristan Thompson and the rest of the Longhorns rose from a pre-season No. 25 ranking, all the way to the No. 2 spot just two weeks ago; ever since, the club has dropped three of its last four, including a home contest to the surging Wildcats of Kansas State last night. Just a year ago, Texas rode a 17-game winning streak to start the season all the way to the No. 1 ranking and then collapsed down the stretch, losing 10 of their last 17 games, including a first round NCAA Tournament game to Wake Forest.
Last night's loss was a combination of one team being hot (Kansas State) and the other potentially fading (Texas). Jordan Hamilton, Texas' leading scorer, was just 5-for-18 from the floor and is now 15-of-58 (25.9 percent) from the field in the team's last three losses. But it's not just the offense- it's the defense too. Ken Pomeroy's statistical analyses state that Texas is the nation's best defense in efficiency, field-goal percentage and top six in both 3-point perimeter and 2-point defense.
Earlier this week, Texas led Colorado by 15 at halftime and appeared well on their way to their 13th victory in 14 games. But an astronomical defensive collapse allowed the Buffs to score 58 points in just 20 minutes in the upset. After holding opponents in check all season, Texas allowed Kansas State to become the first team to shoot 50-percent from the floor at Texas this season.
What does this mean for the Longhorns NCAA Tournament seeding? With one remaining regular-season game for the Longhorns, they are now a half-game behind the Kansas Jayhawks for first place in the Big 12 and are rapidly declining from a No. 1 seed a week ago to a 2, possibly a 3 seed now.