The Texas Longhorns have quickly reinserted themselves into the Big 12 and national title conversation.
That, in combination with the massive Texas brand, makes the Longhorns an enticing team to bet on.
Texas Longhorns Men’s Basketball History
Overall, Texas’ basketball program has left fans with a lot to be desired. In a state with a vast talent pool and at a university with a huge budget, the Longhorns have mustered just three Final Fours and zero championships.
The good news is that the program is trending upward.
In its early years, Texas made sporadic appearances and runs in the NCAA Tournament, but it was never a consistent contender.
In the ‘90s, that began to change with Coach Tommy Penders. Although Penders never quite turned the Longhorns into true national title threats, he took them to the Big Dance in 8 of his 10 seasons.
Rick Barnes took over at Texas in 1998 and helped the program take another step forward.
In his fifth season, Barnes and point guard T.J. Ford led the Longhorns to a 1-seed and their first Final Four since 1947.
Unfortunately for Texas, they ran into Carmelo Anthony and eventual national champion Syracuse in the semifinals.
Barnes would make two more Elite 8 appearances with the Longhorns, but perhaps his most talented team was one that got bounced in the second round of the tournament.
In 2007, NBA superstar Kevin Durant played his lone college season in Austin and racked up averages of 26 points and 11 rebounds. Despite Durant’s historic season, he and D.J. Augustin couldn’t lead Texas back to the Final Four.
When Barnes left, Shaka Smart was supposed to be Texas’ saving grace, but it never worked out. The Longhorns never made it past the first round of the NCAA Tournament with Smart at the helm.
Unfortunately, the 2021 Texas legislative session ended before any real progress was made toward legalizing sports betting. The next session does not begin until January 2023.
Despite the slow legalization process, many prominent Texans – including Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban and Houston Rockets’ owner Tilman Fertitta – support the initiative and believe it will get passed.