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Texas releases their 2016 conference schedule

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-UNI vs Texas Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Longhorns released their conference schedule today to much fanfare among the 17 basketball fans who read Twitter regularly.

A few quick thoughts on the schedule:

  • This conference is brutal. I wanted to pick 3 different spots where I think things are rough, then I realized those 3 spots account for 80% of the schedule. There are no breaks in the Big 12.
  • Playing away games against Baylor and Kansas 4 days apart seems like a tough draw, but overall the schedule is relatively balanced. After those two, Texas gets a pair of home games against OU & Tech followed by a visit to TCU, which is as close as the Big 12 gets to ‘easy’. There are only 2 pairs of away games in the whole schedule, and one of them - at OSU & at OU - seems relatively attainable as far as things go.
  • The three-game stretch of West Virginia, at Baylor, and at Kansas will go a long way to determining the ceiling of this team’s Big 12 aspirations. If they could somehow manage to take 2 out of 3 (or all 3) then this team gets to start thinking less about making the NCAA tournament and more about how high they want to be seeded.
  • Only 3 of the games (Oklahoma State, TCU, Kansas State) will be on LHN, the other 15 games are on one of the ESPNs or CBS. If you want to check out this team and don’t live near Austin, you’ll have plenty of chances.

If you want more insights into this year’s squad, including discussions over the players, Shaka’s system, and the full schedule, myself and Jeff Haley of Burnt Orange Nation are putting together a season preview titled ‘Smart Texas Basketball’. It is coming out in mid-October and will be available on multiple eBook platforms. We’ll post more details as the publishing date gets closer.