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Quick thoughts from No. 2-seed Texas’ 81-61 NCAA Tournament win over No. 15-seed Colgate

A veteran performance from Texas led the Horns take control early and always keep a cushion.

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Colgate v Texas Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The No. 2-seed Texas Longhorns remain one of the hottest teams in the country after a strong display to comfortably beat the No. 15-seed Colgate Raiders, 81-61, in the opening round of the 2023 NCAA Tournament in Des Moines.

Here are some quick thoughts from imposing win.

Overall, a pretty impressive opening win. Texas caught fire — specifically from three — and started fast, handled some runs from Colgate with composure and routinely answered to keep a cushion, came up with timely defensive stops and got some big-time individual performances. The plan to prevent the nation’s most efficient three-point shooting team from beating them from deep worked especially well with Colgate hitting just 3-15. Much went into all of that, but it was just a veteran, poised performance from the staff to the players, so Texas enjoys a first win that was always in control and finished with Texas up 20 points.

Sir’Jabari Rice and Dylan Disu stole the show. Rice changed the game for Texas and created the cushion Texas played with throughout about two-thirds of the game. A 15-12 game quickly turned into 35-18 when Rice netted five treys in about four minutes to headline his game high 23 points (8-14, 7-10 from 3). Then after dealing with foul trouble in the first half and sitting much of it, Disu was a playmaker down the stretch with seven points and as many rebounds in the last six minutes or so as part of his 17 and 9. Both were playing some of their best basketball and at complementary times, which was needed for Texas.

The perimeter paved the way for Texas — on both ends. Texas limiting a Colgate squad that shot upward of 40 percent on the year to just 3-15 (20 percent) is notable enough, especially considering how a team Patriots could ride their sharpshooting to upsets in a tournament like this. But offensively, thanks in large part to Rice’s seven threes, Texas hitting their most in a game 13-25 (57 percent) would be hard for any team to keep pace with. This kind of volume isn’t the norm, but it mattered tonight.

Rep the Horns during March Madness with help from Breaking T.