Three college basketball programs in the DFW area, and each having different issues going into season's end and toward the future.
If any one has the best chance at punching their ticket to the Big Dance, it may be the squad from Arlington, looking to make one final statement in the league they only had one year in.
Despite losing their last two games, both on the road, the Mavericks still finished at 11-7 in the Western Athletic Conference including 6-3 away from College Park Center in conference.
In their only season in the WAC, the Mavs posted wins against every opponent except Louisiana Tech and Denver, who finished tied for the regular-season championship. UTA is set to begin the tournament Thursday against Utah State, who they beat twice this season.
The Mavs are coming off a 69-66 loss at New Mexico State, where they ca,e back from 15 down at halftime to lead 66-64 with 15 seconds left only to see Sy Banja's three-pointer give the game back to the Aggies. Prior to that, they lost 84-55 at Denver; the Pioneers have been UTA's toughest opponent given that their two losses have been by a combined 44 points.
The UTA Mavs know they will be headed to the Sun Belt following this season. For the SMU Mustangs, things are a little more muddled.
In its final year in Conference USA and first under head coach Larry Brown, the Mustangs finished 5-11, 11th in the 12-team league. SMU will face Alabama-Birmingham Wednesday in the lower-seed opening round games.
SMU was looking toward moving to the Big East starting in fall 2013. Now, not so much.
After weeks of talk, it was announced that seven Big East Schools will break away from the conference July 1, taking the conference name with them and leaving SMU and the remaining schools needing to re-assemble themselves.
At the very least, TCU is the one school that knows it will still be in the same conference next year. However, they still have a lot of work to do to build.
In Trent Johnson's first year as coach, the Horned Frogs struggled to a 2-16 finish, never being able to build off of their shocking upset of Kansas for their first ever Big 12 win. They were at least able t cap off their regular season with a 70-67 win over Oklahoma at Daniel Meyer Coliseum.
The Frogs will open in Kansas City Wednesday against a Texas team that is also looking to the tournament to overcome a struggling season, as the Longhorns only managed a 15-16 season with a 7-11 conference record. The Horns had to deal with a stung loss to Chaminade and Myck Kabongo's suspension.