With Big 12 tournament a month away, Texas not back in AP men’s rankings


AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Longhorns men’s basketball team split home games in the past week and subsequently received fewer votes than the previous week in the latest Associated Press rankings released Monday.

Texas received nine points in the poll to finish fifth from the bottom of the others receiving votes category, down from 10 points last week. The Longhorns lost to No. 10 Iowa State 70-65 and clobbered West Virginia 94-58 to finish the week’s play 1-1. The team has another big game ahead of them at No. 3 Houston on Saturday. The Cougars moved up two spots from No. 5 in this week’s poll.

The Big 12 has six teams in the poll with three inside the top 10. Along with Houston and Iowa State, Kansas is slotted at No. 6, down two spots from last week. Baylor moved up one to No. 12 and BYU rose two spots to No. 19. Oklahoma moved back into the rankings at No. 25. Texas Tech, TCU and the Longhorns all received votes but didn’t crack the top 25.

Connecticut and Purdue remained at Nos. 1 and 2, and Marquette moved up three spots to No. 4 behind Houston. Arizona also rose three places to No. 5 and North Carolina tumbled four places to No. 7 behind the Jayhawks. Tennessee fell two spots to No. 8 after getting crushed by Texas A&M 85-69 while Duke held at No. 9 ahead of Iowa State, who moved up four spots.

St. Mary’s stayed undefeated in West Coast Conference play and re-entered the poll at No. 18. Virginia (No. 21), Indiana State (No. 23) and Oklahoma moved into this week’s rankings after not being included last week.

Texas is tied for ninth place in the 14-team conference at 5-6 with Kansas State. The Longhorns have seven conference games remaining before the start of the Big 12 tournament March 12. The tournament includes all 14 teams and has been extended to five rounds. If the Longhorns drop to 11th or lower, they’ll have to play in the tournament’s first round. The top four teams receive a bye to the quarterfinals March 14 with the rest of the teams entering the tournament in the second round March 13.