After winning the Big 12 Tournament title and finishing with 14 Quad 1 wins, the Texas Longhorns landed the No. 2 seed in the Midwest Region with an opening matchup against the Colgate Raiders, winners of the Patriot League.
Head coach Matt Langel’s team finished 26-8 with a 17-1 conference record and stormed through the Patriot League Tournament, winning by an average of 18 points — the Raiders were clearly the best team in the conference and proved it decisively in the postseason.
Colgate faced two Power Five opponents during the 2022-23 season, winning a road game against Syracuse by 12 points and getting blown out by Auburn by 27 points. It’s the fourth straight NCAA Tournament appearance by the Raiders.
In KenPom.com’s adjusted efficiency rankings, Colgate has the No. 44 offense and the No. 231 defense, buoyed by shooting 40.9 percent from three-point range, No. 1 nationally. What’s notable, though, is that despite shooting threes at such a high level, the Raiders rank No. 71 in made three-pointers per game at 8.3. The Raiders also lead the country in effective field-goal percentage and rank seventh in two-point shooting percentage — this is an extremely efficient offense that doesn’t play particularly fast, but can make shots and doesn’t turn the ball over frequently. Defensively, the Raiders control the glass effectively and limit free-throw attempts for their opponents while struggling to get stops, allowing opponents to shoot 51.9 percent from inside the arc and 34.9 percent from beyond it.
Five players average double digits for Colgate, led by guard Tucker Richardson at 13.9 points per game and 6’10, 250-pound forward Keegan Records at 13.0 points per game, although both are poor free-throw shooters with Richardson at only 51.0 percent. Richardson is also the team’s leader in assists and steals. The most dangerous shooters on the team are guard Oliver Lynch-Daniels (50.3 percent) and forward Ryan Moffatt (45.6 percent) — Texas will have to be diligent in running both players off the three-point line.
Texas faces Colgate in Des Moines on Thursday at 6:25 p.m. Central on TBS.