Bracket Update: Texas’ seeding and other notable rankings
March Madness commences for Texas as it begins its bid for a Final Four berth in Houston. As it stands now, the team will have solid positioning in the field.
ESPN bracket expert Joe Lunardi has the Texas Longhorns (23-8) as a No. 2 seed slotted against Vermont as its No. 15 seed opponent. Vermont has made the tournament eight times since 2003, including last season.
The highly competitive Big 12 conference could have something to say about Texas’ tournament seed on Thursday, as the Longhorns face the Oklahoma State Cowboys (18-14) whose tournament fate is not yet certain.
Elsewhere in the Big 12 Tournament, Oklahoma and Texas Tech were sent home in Round 1. Their losses effectively end their seasons, with both out of contention for an NCAA Tournament bid.
Let’s take a look at some of the notable bracket rankings in Joe Lunardi’s bracket update.
Texas on the No. 2 line
see y'all tomorrow 🤘 pic.twitter.com/dZPALpOTT8
— Texas Men’s Basketball (@TexasMBB) March 9, 2023
It comes as little surprise that Texas is a No. 2 seed in the latest projection. The Longhorns could solidify that ranking with a win over Oklahoma State on Thursday night. To make an unlikely push for a No. 1 seed, Texas will need to win the Big 12 Tournament. That should be incentive to give a strong effort over the weekend.
Oklahoma State on the bubble
How many Bedlam W's, KB? 🤔#LetsWork | #GoPokes pic.twitter.com/AbLK7P3t12
— OSU Cowboy Basketball (@OSUMBB) March 9, 2023
As it stands now, the Cowboys are a No. 11 seed in a play-in matchup. In other words, a loss to the Longhorns puts its tournament hopes in jeopardy. Oklahoma State might need to win or at least play Texas competitively to move forward.
Texas A&M-Texas in the NCAA Tournament?
📍 @BrdgstoneArena#SECTourney x #GigEm pic.twitter.com/2eTd8F0Aq6
— Texas A&M Basketball (@aggiembk) March 9, 2023
Texas A&M is currently slotted as a No. 7 seed. Although Lunardi doesn’t have the Aggies in the same bracket, it appears there’s potential to match up Texas with its Lone Star rival in the round of 32 should the bracket avoid significant movement in the next few days. If the NCAA is looking to sell tickets, it could pair Texas and Texas A&M in the same first weekend bracket.
No. 2 Purdue
And that's a wrap on #MarchMadness in Milwaukee
Purdue beats Texas and moves on to the Sweet Sixteen pic.twitter.com/iIXvgLoVS6
— 97.3 The Game (@TheGameMKE) March 21, 2022
Perhaps the nation’s best team, and certainly the Longhorns’ most challenging potential matchup, lands on the No. 2 line. Texas needs Purdue to stay there. It’s well documented how much difficulty the Longhorns have with taller post players. Zach Edey likely takes Christian Bishop’s offense away from Texas and puts ace defender and scorer Dylan Disu in trouble. Keeping the Boilermakers out of the Longhorns’ bracket could be the key to a Final Four run.
No. 3 Tennessee
start it up pic.twitter.com/eVCYlhPknt
— Tennessee Basketball (@Vol_Hoops) March 8, 2023
The Volunteers have struggled since their blowout victory over Texas. Rick Barnes’ team will need to heat up to make a tournament run.
Championship 𝙙𝙤𝙢𝙞𝙣𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 🏅🎞 📺 pic.twitter.com/8mU8r81mxV
— Gonzaga Basketball (@ZagMBB) March 9, 2023
All of the sudden, Texas’ win over Gonzaga looks much better. The Zags check in as a No. 3 seed in the same bracket as the Longhorns in this projection.
Oral Roberts as a No. 12 seed
Why use the ladder when you can reach up to the net yourself 🤣 @ORUMBB
— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) March 8, 2023
Oral Roberts reached the Sweet 16 in 2021. It could be a trending NCAA Tournament upset pick. Texas may want to avoid facing the mid-major this postseason.
Kansas at the top
This is 𝙈𝙖𝙧𝙘𝙝‼️ pic.twitter.com/tcxOXOtC1l
— Kansas Women's Basketball (@KUWBball) March 9, 2023
The Kansas Jayhawks are projected here as the No. 1 overall seed despite falling to Texas last weekend. They can lock up the top seed with a strong performance in the conference tournament.
Kentucky and Duke occupy the middle
As expected, Oscar Tshiebwe received the loudest applause tonight during senior ceremony.
I loved that he hugged every one his teammates and each of their family members.
One of the most beloved players in Kentucky basketball history. #BBN pic.twitter.com/RBYnDEhIC1
— Tristan Pharis (@TristanUda) March 2, 2023
You could count Kentucky as a dangerous team, especially since it operates under-the-radar in this No. 6 prediction. Duke joins Kentucky as a sleeper tournament team as a No. 5 seed.
Louisiana on the No. 14-line.
𝙏𝙍𝙐𝙎𝙏 𝙏𝙃𝙀 𝙋𝙍𝙊𝘾𝙀𝙎𝙎 𝘼𝙉𝘿 𝙂𝙀𝙏 𝙍𝙀𝙒𝘼𝙍𝘿𝙀𝘿#GeauxCajuns #cULture pic.twitter.com/aE0iRyYD0B
— Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns® Men's Basketball (@RaginCajunsMBB) March 9, 2023
Even some of the lesser heralded nonconference foes Texas faced could be dancing in March. A then one-loss Louisiana team fell to the Texas Longhorns 100-72 earlier this season. Could the Ragin’ Cajuns make a run?
FROM WAYYYY DOWNTOWN, FLAGL3R HITS IT AT THE BUZZER!😤
BU 41, ISU 38 | 00:00 1H#SicEm | #CultureOfJOY pic.twitter.com/a2tswIz1L7
— Baylor Men’s Basketball (@BaylorMBB) March 9, 2023
Baylor (No. 2) and Houston (No. 1) join Texas as top seeds looking to make it to the Final Four in Houston. There’s a decent chance at least one of the three represents the Lone Star State in the National Semifinals.