AUSTIN, Texas — After a 21-point blowout loss to Oklahoma State in the regular season finale, the NCAA Tournament hopes of the Texas men's basketball team are now in question.
The Longhorns fell to the Cowboys 81-59 on Saturday, snapping a five-game losing streak and dropping them to 9-9 in conference play.
"This is a game for a long, long time that I think anyone in our program will point to and say we really want that one back," head coach Shaka Smart said.
Texas never seemed to find their footing, and Oklahoma State never lifted their feet off the gas pedal. The Cowboys, a group that began the year 0-8 in league play, started the game on a 20-3 run and finished with 81 points – the most Texas has allowed since its last loss.
"You could see on their faces early after [Oklahoma State] got up, they couldn't believe it was happening," Smart said.
The aggressiveness and energy that have been hallmarks of the Longhorns' recent surge were nowhere to be found, and the biggest crowd of the season was left with very little to cheer about.
"This game kind of leveled our heads back to reality," sophomore guard Courtney Ramey said.
"The only way that we can be good with the group that we have and the guys that we have out is we have to flat out go after it," Smart said. "That's what they've done such a nice job of of late. We didn't have that today."
Texas will likely have to win a game at the Big 12 Tournament to make it to the NCAA Tournament. Their resume now includes three losses of more than 20 points to three teams at or below .500 in conference play.
The four-seeded Longhorns will take on five-seed Texas Tech on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. in Kansas City.
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