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

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

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?

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

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

The Volunteers have struggled since their blowout victory over Texas. Rick Barnes’ team will need to heat up to make a tournament run.

Gonzaga resurgence

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

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

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

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.

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?

Representing Texas

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.

Story originally appeared on Longhorns Wire