Texas and Nevada have contrasting styles.
One team, the seventh-seeded Wolfpack, is great on offense, small on size, loves an up-tempo attack, possesses experience in the Big Dance and is a proven success on the road.
The other, 10th-seeded Texas, has one of the country’s best (and tallest) frontcourts, plays at a more deliberate pace, has only one player with NCAA Tournament experience and has fewer road wins this season than all but two of the 68 squads in this event.
Shaka Smart recruited a couple of the Nevada players so he knows what to expect.
Caleb has a lead-scorer personality and a sweet outside shooting stroke. Cody is more like a Draymond Green-type jack-of-all trades, able to slide into different roles as needed, whether it be as a lock-down defender or playmaker (team-high 4.6 assists per game) or proverbial “glue guy.”
The first and second games could be great match ups for Texas.
In a second round matchup, if I was the University of Cincinnati, I’d prefer to play the offensive team from the mid-major conference that my No. 2-ranked defense in the country can lock up, than the defensive team with size and athleticism from a power five conference that’s played almost exclusively tournament teams for three months. Oh, and we rarely bring it up, but Texas does have a coach who took a team to the Final Four once. I’d probably still take UC to win, but it’s a terrible matchup for the Bearcats.
Andrew Jones was the inspiration for the Horns’ March run.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. This has been a season of adversity, but Texas has persevered.
But rather than rip the Longhorns apart, all the hardship – a teammate’s battle with leukemia, the FBI’s claws digging in, a nagging toe injury to the team’s most important player – caused the group to forge an even stronger bond. The pack grew stronger.
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Texas better win or Kevin Durant has to wear a fanny pack.
The Texas-Oklahoma hate never ends.