AUSTIN -- Junior Nolan Kingham thought he was going to start Friday night against Texas Southern. His body thought otherwise. Kingham caught some sort of bug following the Big 12 Tournament, and though he improved throughout the week he took a step back as the regional approached. “It was ongoing on Thursday and I told [Texas head coach David] Pierce ‘I don’t know about Friday, man. It’s pretty close,’” Kingham said. “He gave me an extra day and it worked out.”
When Texas A&M was announced as one of the three teams traveling to Austin for an NCAA Tournament regional, this was the outcome the committee, fans of both teams, and (most likely) both teams wanted to see.
NASHVILLE -- Shaka Smart’s Texas squad played the game it wanted to through the first 20 minutes of its first round matchup against 7th seed Nevada. The second half and overtime played to the Wolfpack’s style, and that allowed them to erase a 14-point deficit to win in overtime, 87-83.
Texas is in. The Longhorns will make their 34th overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament and 18th in the last 20 seasons. Texas is one of six schools to appear in at least 26 of the last 30 NCAA tourneys.
Texas’ placement in the West Region typifies the blessing/curse reality of college basketball. It’s an entire region full of flawed teams...Texas is one of them. OKC is the closest geographical location to Austin possible...they’ll be joined at their site by A&M fans, OU fans and VCU fans. The region has arguably the weakest 1 and 2 seed in the tournament...Texas may not make it out of the first round.
After sweating out whether or not they were even going to get a bid to the tournament, the Texas Longhorns find themselves in the odd situation of being the lower seed (11 to Butler’s 6) but the favorite (as high as 2.5 points depending on where you look). Much was expected out of this Texas program at the beginning of the season; we all know how that ended up during the regular season and conference tournament. Butler, on the other hand, wasn’t even picked to be in the top half of their conference; yet here they are after a 22-10 season where they tied for second place in the league at 12-6.