The 2012 regular season is over at last. A difficult year has come to an end, and now Texas can look forward to the Big 12 tournament on Thursday. But Before that, what conclusions can be made about the season that Texas had? One word comes to mind: Average. And it has a 9-9 conference record to prove it.
Texas has finished the regular season below 20 wins for the first time since 2002. That season only saw the Longhorns play 28 games, instead of the 31 they played this season. The year may have been disappointing to Texas fans, but it was still one with lots of potential. Right now we're talking about a decent team with no major wins or any kind of signature moment in the season. One four game span could have changed all that.
From January 21 to January 30, Texas played three top 10 teams, and lost by a combined nine points. If one of those games has a different result, then Texas is a 20 win team with a very good win and a sure lock to make the Big Dance. Two wins, and Texas is a very dangerous tournament team. All three, and Texas is a giant killer and sleeper to make a decent run in the tournament. But things didn't work out that way, Texas didn't get those wins, and the Longhorns are struggling to secure a bid to the NCAA tournament, still trying to fill out the resume.
On to Saturday. Texas hung around with Kansas for a while, and actually didn't have a poor game. It just didn't have the horses to keep up with the Jayhawks, who slowly pulled away. J'Covan Brown had another good game against his favorite team with a 33 point outing. In five games against Kansas, he is averaging 25 points, with a low of 17. By comparison, he is averaging 20 points per game this season.
The only glaring stat from the game is that Kansas outrebounded Texas by nine. But Texas had a better assist-to-turnover ratio than the Jayhawks, but the Kansas defense at home on senior night was too much for Texas. The Longhorns shot 37% from the field, and made a pedestrian 17% of their three-point shots.
Losing Wangmene didn't help their cause either. After getting within two points of the Jayhawks, Texas came down on defense where Chapman was knocked to the floor, taking out Wangmene's footing, causing him to fall awkwardly. With the senior out for the rest of the game, Texas was more vulnerable in the paint, where Kansas got scored 30 points, with 13 second chance points.
Over the past 10 seasons, Texas is 5-12 against Kansas, sweeping the season series only once in 2004(regular season and tournament. Only played once in regular season up to this year). Almost all the contests have been close, especially of late. The average margin of victory between these two teams is only 10 points, with nine of the 17 matchups being won by 10 points or less with six single digit results. Each team has one 25 point victory, otherwise, there are no margins greater than 15 points.
The games may be close, but they usually end in Kansas' favor. 5-12 is the record of a good program against a great program. While Texas may be one of the top three or four basketball programs in the Big 12, Kansas is one of the top five programs in the nation, standing toe to toe with Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, and UCLA. Rick Barnes' best Texas team went to the Final Four, but could not win in the Phog Allen Fieldhouse. The last truly great season the Longhorns had was in 2008, where they made a run to the elite eight. Kansas one upped them again but shutting them out of Big 12 tournament finals, and winning the National Championship against the cheaters(Looking at you Calipari) who sent Texas home. Simply put, Texas wants to be Kansas. Athletic envy isn't a common thing at Texas, but when it comes to basketball, it has no choice but to bow to the kings of the Big 12.