No. 13 Iowa State was down by as much as 16 points against Texas in the first half. They were down 15 with 17 minutes left in the game and 10 with just 3:35 left on the clock, but the Cyclones caught fire when they needed to.
Iowa State closed the game on a 12-0 run, the last bucket being this game-winner from Monte’ Morris:
Morris was phenomenal. He finished with 24 points, five steals and three assists — shooting 4-for-5 from three — while Georges Niang added 22 points and six assists in the win. Iowa State will face the winner of tonight’s No. 15 Oklahoma-Oklahoma State matchup.
The bigger story, however, is Texas.
The Longhorns had a chance to lock up their NCAA tournament bid on Thursday. Up by double-digits for the majority of the game, all Texas had to do was avoid a collapse down the stretch, and they couldn’t do it.
The question now will be where the Longhorns end up on Selection Sunday. They have three quality wins this season — West Virginia, Baylor and Iowa — and their worse loss is against Stanford, who was a borderline top 25 team at the time that they played. The problem? They’re now 3-12 against the top 50 and 20-13 overall, and while they did go 8-10 in the loaded Big 12 this season, six of those eight wins came against the three teams at the bottom of the league standings.
Texas is going to have to sweat out Selection Sunday while spending the next four days rooting against every team with even the slightest chance of playing their way into an at-large bid.
Right now, they’re probably in. But … a Miami win over No. 11 Notre Dame? A Stanford win over No. 17 Utah? A UCLA win over No. 5 Arizona? A run by someone like Richmond or GW to the Atlantic 10 tournament title? Those are the kind of things that could ensure Texas a trip to the NIT.