College sports five takeaways as longhorns earn ncaa tournament berth, prepare to face nevada in opening round sportsday west la college westside extension

College sports five takeaways as longhorns earn ncaa tournament berth, prepare to face nevada in opening round sportsday west la college westside extension

Nevada enters the NCAA tournament following a semifinals appearance in the mountain west tournament. The winner will face either no. 2 cincinnati or no. 15 georgia state on sunday.

Despite texas being just one of three at-large teams to enter the tournament with under 20 wins, the selection committee still rewarded the burnt orange with a no. 10 seed on sunday. A key reason why: the longhorns faced one of the toughest slates in the country this season. Texas squared off against the no. 3 hardest schedule in the nation per kenpom ratings, battling NCAA tournament stalwarts duke and gonzaga in non-conference play.

Texas’ big 12 schedule didn’t hurt, either. The selection committee opted to take seven teams from the conference, tied for most in big 12 history.

Sporting four top-six seeds, the big 12 held the requisite top-end power and depth to send texas to the tournament despite a sub-.500 conference record.Burnt orange

Despite feeling comfortable in their standing on the bubble, the longhorns entered selection sunday with worries about their seeding. Texas still remained as a contender to play in one of the first four games on tuesday and wednesday, an added roadblock to advancing in the NCAA tournament.

But those fears didn’t hold on sunday afternoon as texas was awarded a no. 10 seed, avoiding the dreaded play-in game. And the longhorns’ received an added bonus in their seeding, waiting to take the court against nevada until friday. The burnt orange will now have additional time to rest standout freshman mo bamba, who is currently nursing a left toe injury.

Texas avoided a power 5 program in its first round matchup, but don’t be fooled; nevada will still be favorites on friday.NCAA tournament the wolfpack rolled through mountain west play in 2017-18, going 15-3 to claim the regular-season crown and a no. 1 seed in the conference tournament. Nevada also defeated tourney teams rhode island and davidson in the regular season.

Nevada has experience against big 12 teams, too. It faced off against TCU and texas tech in early december, losing the two contests by a combined 10 points. One good trend for the longhorns: texas has faced ten top-50 teams since jan. 31 per kenpom ratings, while the wolfpack haven’t squared off against a squad ranked that highly since the calendar turned to 2018.

Despite losing in the quarterfinals of the big 12 championships, the longhorns enter the NCAA tournament with a semblance of momentum. Texas defeated west virginia and iowa state to secure a tourney berth after sitting firmly on the bubble, securing its place among the field of 68.Burnt orange and texas’ youngsters have continued to show growth as march madness approaches.

Sophomore guard jacob young had his strongest showing of the season against the red raiders on thursday night, erupting for 29 points on 11-17 shooting. And with bamba hampered over the past two weeks, fellow freshman jericho sims has stepped up in the frontcourt. The minnesota native tallied three 10-plus point performances and a 15-rebound effort in the longhorns’ past five games.

Longhorns’ head coach shaka smart entered the 40 acres with the reputation of a tournament wizard, tallying one final four and two second-round appearance with mid-major VCU. But over the past half-decade, smart has experienced his fair share of march woes.

Before missing the big dance with texas in 2016-17, smart and the longhorns fell in the first round of the NCAA tournament the year prior, losing the northern iowa on a game-winning buzzer-beater.NCAA tournament prior to that, smart’s squads at VCU lost in the first round in two consecutive seasons. Smart hasn’t captured an NCAA tournament victory since 2013, but he’ll will get another chance on friday as texas takes on nevada.