Commentary

Texas just too much for Missouri

Toppling the nation's best defense isn't impossible -- but it won't be easy

Updated: February 24, 2011, 12:42 PM ET
By LaRue Cook | ESPN Insider
Jordan HamiltonFile photoIf Mizzou can keep Jordan Hamilton and the Longhorns out of the paint, it might stand a chance.

After the Texas Longhorns snapped the Kansas Jayhawks' 69-game home winning streak, Insider contributor John Gasaway posed this question: Is UT for real?

Even with the No. 1 defense in the country -- 83.7 points per 100 possessions -- and a top-25 offense, Gasaway isn't so quick to praise the only remaining undefeated club in Big 12 play.

Yes, Jordan Hamilton is third in the league in scoring (19.2), top five in rebounds (7.4) and top six in 3-point percentage (43.2). Sure, Texas is holding opponents to just 28.2 percent from behind the arc (ranked sixth) and a paltry 39.6 percent on 2-pointers (ranked third).

But to quote Gasaway, "There's a book on Texas." It reads: Pack in the D to control the paint, keep the Horns off the boards, force UT to hit 3s and then push the pace. Seems simple enough. Yet only three teams -- Pitt, UConn and USC -- have been able to pull it off this season.

The question now: How is Missouri supposed to become the first to halt the Longhorns on their march through the Big 12 when the teams play Saturday night? Let's break down the ways: