Texas forward Jonathan Holmes made a buzzer-beating 3-pointer off an inbound pass Tuesday night to beat No. 22 Kansas State 67-64 and earn another victory in what is becoming an impressive bounce-back season for coach Rick Barnes.
Holmes caught the ball and shot it in one smooth motion and was mobbed by his teammates after an entertaining, back-and-forth game between two of the better teams in the Big 12 Conference.
Texas missed the NCAA tournament for the first time in Rick Barnes' 15 seasons coaching the Longhorns a year ago. The Longhorns finished 16-18 and looked passive and disinterested at times.
Barnes appears to have fixed what ailed his team and building toward a return to the tournament this season with the win over the Wildcats bolstering the case.
A win over North Carolina earlier in the season no longer looks as impressive because of how the Tar Heels are playing this season, but the Longhorns don't really have a loss on their record to be embarrassed about either. Three of those four losses came against teams ranked in the top 25 this week.
Barnes has a potential star developing at center in Cameron Ridley, who scored 18 points with six rebounds and three blocks in Tuesday's win. Ridley is complemented nicely by a solid backcourt of Demarcus Holland and Javan Felix, who led the Longhorns with 23 points, though he missed two key free throws that made Holmes' shot necessary.
Then there is Holmes who can be a matchup nightmare and proved against Kansas State he isn't afraid of the big moment.
Barnes deserves credit, to this point anyway, for retooling and leading his program back to respectability very quickly. The Longhorns (15-4, 4-2) are a win away in mid-January from matching their win total from last season.
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