Texas Pushed Closer to the Bubble

Just one week ago, you would've been laughed at for mentioning "Texas" and "bubble" in the same sentence. The Longhorns were 4-1 in the Big 12, 15-4 overall, and looked to be on track to claim a protected seed in the NCAA tournament. After three straight losses -- including Saturday afternoon's 58-55 defeat at the hands of Nebraska -- it's probably time to reassess that notion.

Texas held a seven-point lead at halftime, and was up 12 after a 5-0 run to begin the second half. But Nebraska chipped away at that, and the game was back and forth for the final eight minutes.

The Huskers took their first lead since 22-21 when Cookie Miller hit a three with just over six minutes left to put them up 46-45. Two more threes, by Sek Henry and Ade Dagunduro -- both late in the shot clock, and the former from 25-feet out -- kept Nebraska in control down the stretch.

Texas star A.J. Abrams, who had 16 points, got the Longhorns within one with a trey from the top of the key with 34.4 remaining. He had a chance to put his team ahead on the next possession, but was harassed on the perimeter, before eventually attempting an off-balance jumper with a hand in his face.

With a 4-4 conference record, and early wins against UCLA, Villanova, and Wisconsin, the Longhorns are not yet in danger of missing the tournament, but they're getting dangerously close. To stay on the right side of the bubble discussion, they need to take at least two of their next three -- against Oklahoma St., Colorado, and Texas A&M -- before Oklahoma comes to Austin on February 21.

Rather surprisingly, Nebraska is starting to make a case that they too should be involved in bubble talk. The same team that lost at home to UMBC in December is now 5-4 in the Big 12, with home wins over both Texas and Missouri. With no notable non-conference wins, Nebraska will have to continue to beef up their Big 12 resume -- extending their current win streak to four next Saturday would be a big step in that direction.

Texas Pushed Closer to the Bubble originally appeared on NCAA Basketball FanHouse on Sat, 07 Feb 2009 16:25:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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