The Texas Longhorns, fresh off the heels of winning their first Big 12 Conference tournament title in program history, now have a set opponent in the Abilene Christian Wildcats heading into the 2021 NCAA March Madness Tournament this weekend. Date, network, and location are still yet to be announced, but you can still stream all the action on the CBS Sports app and the NCAA March Madness live app by downloading either/or on your smartphone or tablet.
The Texas Longhorns enter the NCAA Tournament as the third seed in the East Regional, averaging 75.2 points, 38.7 rebounds, and 13.2 assists per game, along with a 45.4 overall field-goal percentage. The Abilene Christian Wildcats enter the tournament averaging 77.6 points, 36.3 rebounds, and 18.2 assists per game along with an average 46.0 field-goal percentage.
“We knew coming into this game was going to be a heck of a battle. We knew there was going to be a lot of plays made both ways. I thought our guys did a good job of starting off with good energy, good juice, and you know, throughout the game we knew we were going to have to withstand some runs and withstand some made shots by [Oklahoma State’s] Cade [Cunningham] and other guys on their team,” said Texas head coach Shaka Smart during his postgame interview, “But I thought our guys were just poised against the press and ability to make free throws, you know, was a big, big difference.”
Texas forward Brock Cunningham scored two critical three-pointers late in the second half as well as an easy two-pointer after a steal, thereby averaging a perfect 100.0 field-goal percentage for the game.
“I just know we got a good squad right now and we’re confident in our ability,” said Cunningham when asked if Texas could be considered an underdog heading into the tournament.
Star guard Matt Coleman III, the game’s Most Outstanding Player, had a 71.4 field-goal percentage and an 80% scoring efficiency rating from the three-point arc.
“Since day one when we stepped on campus, when we got the whole team in, I looked to my left and I looked to my right, and I was like ‘We got some guys! Like, we got the makeup to do some really special things this season,” said Coleman postgame after the team’s conference championship victory.
Texas enters the NCAA Tournament as the third seed in the Midwest regional. Not only would they be phased with ACU in the Round of 64, but they would potentially play either one of three teams in the same regional: Michigan State, UCLA, or BYU, should any of the aforementioned teams advance into the Round of 16 within the next week. Deeper into the tournament are formidable teams such as Alabama, Maryland, and UConn, all of which pose defensive threats for the Horns. But in any case, if you’re a passionate Horns fan, then this year’s tournament should definitely be a fun and exciting one to pay attention to because of the Texas Longhorns’ recent win streak heading into March Madness!