In Matt Coleman’s freshman year, Texas lost to Nevada in overtime during the first round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament. Playing in March Madness was a dream of Coleman’s ever since he realized college basketball was his future path.
When the buzzer sounded in Saturday’s Big 12 Tournament final, years of pent-up emotions finally surfaced. Texas head coach Shaka Smart produced a celebratory yell that momentarily tore away the intense but measured demeanor he brings to the sideline. His players celebrated a program first, a Big 12 Tournament title, and cut down the nets in Kansas City.
Texas basketball returned to the hardcourt Wednesday for the first time since being pulled off the floor of the 2020 Big 12 Tournament. Twelve players who made that truncated trip to Kansas City returned for the 2020-21 season, beginning their 27-game campaign with a 91-55 win over UT-Rio Grande Valley.
With the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament, the 2019-20 men’s college basketball season is over. Shaka Smart’s Texas Longhorns were set to duel Texas Tech in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament in what would likely have served as a de facto play-in game to make the field of 68 until the Big 12 pulled them off the floor, and sports as a whole came to a halt.
An 81-52 loss at Iowa State on February 15 appeared to leave the Texas Longhorns’ NCAA Tournament hopes for dead. Losing to a middling team without its best player not only added another loss to Texas’ record and dropped them to 4-8 in conference, but it was also a demoralizing defeat.
AUSTIN -- Texas plugged into a hyped-up crowd to run down No. 12 Oklahoma in the second half Saturday, beating the Sooners 79-74 in a raucous - and full - Frank Erwin Center. Trailing 40-35 at halftime while shooting just 40 percent from the field, the Longhorns blitzed the Sooners in the second half, outscoring Lon Kruger's team 44-34 to earn the win. Matt Coleman and Kerwin Roach led the second-half rush to push the Longhorns to a 15-8 overall record and a 5-5 Big 12 mark.