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Texas earns No. 3 seed in 2021 NCAA Tournament, will face No. 14 Abilene Christian

The Longhorns enter the NCAA Tournament with their highest seed since 2008, when No. 2-seeded Texas made a run to the Elite 8.

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Conference Tournament-Oklahoma State vs Texas Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Longhorns (19-7, 11-6) are back in the Big Dance, earning a No. 3 seed in the East Region of the NCAA Tournament, where they begin by facing the No. 14 seed Abilene Christian Wildcats on March 20.

Placed in the East Region with No. 1 seed Michigan, Texas avoided potential matchups against Gonzaga and Baylor, but for that to matter, the Longhorns need to take care of business against lower seeds.

This marks the third NCAA Tournament appearance for Texas under head coach Shaka Smart after previous trips in 2016 and 2018, though Smart is still searching for his first tournament win at Texas.

This time around, they’ll enter the with the highest seed the Horns have earned in the NCAA Tournament since 2008 when No. 2-seeded Texas made a run to the Elite 8, and they’ll do so as one of the hotter teams in college basketball. Capped by a Big 12 Tournament title on Saturday evening, Texas has won six of its last seven games and five straight, including ranked wins over No. 17 Kansas, No. 16 Oklahoma, No. 20 Texas Tech, and No. 12 Oklahoma State.

Now, as we enter the win-or-go-home portion of the schedule, a battle-tested Texas squad led by its veteran guard trio of Matt Coleman III, Andrew Jones and Courtney Ramey will aim to capture the program’s first NCAA Tournament win since 2014, when the No. 7-seeded Longhorns beat Arizona State before falling to Michigan in the Round of 32.

Overall, this is Texas’ 35th trip to the NCAA Tournament, good for the 11th most all-time.

Abilene Christian earned the automatic bid out of the Southland Conference after beating No. 1 seed Nicholls State 79-45 on Saturday. Ranked No. 86 in’s adjusted efficiency rankings, the Wildcats are 23-4 and making the school’s second appearance in the NCAA Tournament.