It's the part of the year where ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi is updating his projections almost nightly, so you can bet tensions are high in gyms across the nation. While some teams, like Baylor, have played their way back into the NCAA Tournament picture, others, like Oklahoma State, have seriously misfired. Here's a look at the local teams eyeing an NCAA at-large berth: Texas Longhorns Record: 20-6 Big 12 record: 9-4 AP Ranking: 19 RPI: 21 Best wins: vs. Iowa State, vs. Kansas, at North Carolina Bad losses: None Notable: Texas dropped a 85-76 game to Iowa State on Monday, but all that really does is make the Cyclones look better. Sure, Texas could have used a win to help it seeding (Lunardi has the Longhorns projected as a No. 5), but games against Kansas, Baylor and Oklahoma can help out just as much. Texas just has to make sure it doesn't trip up against TCU or Texas Tech in closing out the regular-season. Baylor Bears Record: 17-9 Big 12 record: 5-8 AP Ranking: Unranked RPI: 50 Best wins: vs. Kentucky (neutral), at Oklahoma State, vs. Oklahoma State, vs. Kansas State Bad losses: at Texas Tech Notable: Baylor weathered its stretch of six losses in seven games with three straight wins, including back-to-back in overtime, to get back into the conversation. The Bears have five games left, and they really can't afford to lose more than one. Games against Kansas State and West Virginia, two fringe tourney teams, present a great way for the Bears to sneak in. Oklahoma Sooners Record: 19-7 Big 12 record: 8-5 AP Ranking: 31 RPI: 27 Best wins: at Baylor, vs. Oklahoma State, at Texas, vs. Iowa State Bad losses: vs. Texas Tech Notable: Other than a hiccup against an up-start Texas Tech team last week, the Sooners have been cruising. Oklahoma is in the 'team's that should be in' category according to ESPN analyst Eamonn Brennan, but a pair of games against the Kansas teams can help further solidify Oklahoma's seeding. Lunardi has the Sooners as a No. 6 seed on the rise. Oklahoma State Cowboys Record: 16-10 Big 12 record: 4-9 AP Ranking: Unranked RPI: 45 Best wins: vs. Texas, Colorado (neutral), vs. Louisiana Tech, vs. Memphis Bad losses: at Texas Tech Notable: Ranked in the top 10 a month ago, the Cowboys have absolutely imploded with seven straight losses, including two in overtime. While Oklahoma State's RPI is strong, OSU must reach the 20-win mark to feel strong about its 'lock' status. In Lunardi's most recent bracketology, he has the Cowboys as a No. 11 seed, but among the last teams making it into automatically to the Round of 64. SMU Mustangs Record: 20-6 AAC: 9-4 AP Ranking: 29 RPI: 49 Best wins: vs. Connecticut, vs. Memphis, Vs. Cincinnati Bad losses: at South Florida, at Temple Notable: The Ponies took a curious step back with their 71-64 loss to AAC bottom-feeder Temple (7-17, 2-10). SMU faces three ranked teams in the final five games of the regular season, and you have to imagine a win in any of those (at UConn, vs. Louisville, at Memphis) would sew up SMU's at-large bid without a shadow of a doubt
NCAA Tournament projections: Longhorns looks good; Baylor back in picture; how much did loss hurt SMU?
Dallas Morning News | Feb 20