College Basketball Regional Power Rankings: Can the Texas Longhorns win the Big 12?

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Feb 1, 2014; Austin, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns forwards

Jonathan Holmes

(10) and

Connor Lammert

(21) react against the Kansas Jayhawks during the second half at the Frank Erwin Special Events Center. Texas beat Kansas 81-69. Mandatory Credit: Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

1. Texas Longhorns (17-4, 6-2 Big 12)

Texas might be playing better than any team in the country right now. They have now knocked off four ranked opponents in a row, after an 81-69 thrashing of  number six Kansas in Austin. The Horns received great offensive production from freshman Isaiah Taylor (23 points) and junior Jonathan Holmes (22 points). Defense is where this team is really thriving, though. According to, Texas is now 20th nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency and third in block rate, swatting away 18% of opponents’ field goal attempts. Much of the credit for these impressive numbers can go to big man Cameron Ridley, who had four of the team’s 12 blocks against the Jayhawks. Point guard Javan Felix is out for the TCU game on Tuesday, but I can’t imagine that will make a difference since the Horned Frogs are helpless at 0-8 in conference play. Look for Horns to face a real test when they battle Kansas State in Manhattan on Saturday afternoon.