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Spring Game Thoughts and Takeaways

(Photo: USA Today)
The Orange-White spring game featured a lot of interesting storylines. The debut of Arch Manning, Maalik Murphy getting his first live action with fans in the stands and a revamped WR room featuring AD Mitchell. Let's take a look at some of the biggest takeaways in a game that saw the White team come out with a 21-10 win.
Obviously all eyes were on the quarterbacks, and all 3 of Quinn Ewers, Maalik Murphy and Arch Manning saw significant snaps. Ewers finished the afternoon 16 of 23 for 195 yards and a TD. His brightest moment was a deep ball connection to Xavier Worthy, something that did not happen far too often last year. Murphy was first out to navigate the second team offense and was 9 of 13 for 165 yards and a long TD to Johntay Cook. He likely cemented himself as the clear #2 behind Ewers headed into the offseason. Manning finished 5 of 13 for 30 yards. The early enrollee freshman did not receive much help from his offensive line or receivers, but did have a few nice throws. As expected, the same moved at a different speed than what he was used to in high school. He will be fine. Jaydon Blue stole the show at running back. The sophomore averaged over 5 yards per carry and had a dazzling rushing TD where he displayed elusiveness and accelerated in the open field. Freshman Cedric Baxter punched in a 1-yard TD on 4th down and didn't look out of place. Sophomore Savion Red, fresh off the move from WR to RB, ran hard and finished with 45 yards on 9 carries. Texas appears to have a really good problem at WR. AD Mitchell did not disappoint in his first action in front of fans, grabbing 6 catches for 58 yards and a one-handed TD in the endzone. The Georgia transfer was as advertised and will play a big role on the 2023 team. Jordan Whittington was his usual self (5 catches for 59 yards) and Worthy had a team leading 83 receiving yards. Freshman Johntay Cook and DeAndre Moore both had freshman moments, but played well and should find themselves in the WR rotation come the fall. It is tough to evaluate the OL in a spring game setting, but the most interesting note was Neto Umeozulu running with the first team at LG, allowing Hayden Center to play center for Orange team.  On defense, the first team unit played well. Terrance Brooks, Ryan Watts and Gavin Holmes all flashed in the secondary. T'Vondre Sweat and Byron Murphy made their presence felt up front. Former walk-on Jett Bush also had several nice plays on the afternoon. Overall Takeaway
You don't want to take too much away from a glorified scrimmage, but Texas looks to be in such a better place at so many positions on the field compared to a year or two ago. The Longhorns still have some questions marks (interior OL, LB opposite of Jaylan Ford, pass rush from the edge spots) but it pales in comparison to the question marks Texas has had entering the past two seasons.
This is far and away the most talented roster Steve Sarkisian has had in his 3 years at Texas. It is now time for that to translate to the win column.

Game Day: Orange vs. White

Texas Longhorns quarterbacks Arch Manning and Quinn Ewers throw the football during Texas Longhorns football spring practice at the Frank Denius practice fields in Austin Wednesday, March 8, 2023. Photo: © Ricardo B. Brazziell/American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK
The much anticipated Orange-White Spring Game, presented by Texas One Fund, will take place at 1:00 PM on Saturday at Darrell K. Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium.  The scrimmage will give fans an opportunity to see what the 2003 Longhorns will look like without standouts such as Bijan Robinson, Roschon Johnson and Demarvion Overshown, to name a few. 
The game is part of the "Made in Austin Weekend," which offers three days of events on and around the 40 Acres.
Parking for the Spring Game is complimentary and lots open at 7:00 AM.  Click here for a map of available Spring Game parking.
Bevo Boulevard opens at 9:00 AM and includes an autograph session with members of the football team.  At Gate 28 the Team Shop Fire Sale also begins at 9:00 AM.
Flora & Fawna take the stage at Longhorn City Limits (LCL) on the LBJ lawn at 10:00 AM.  
The Bevo Parade takes place at 10:30 and gates into DKR open at 11:00 AM.  
Kody West takes the stage at LCL at 11:30 and Briscoe will play following the conclusion of the Spring Game.
There are also four FREE additional events for fans:
Texas Women's Tennis vs. Baylor (Saturday - 11:00 AM) Softball vs. Kansas (Saturday - 4:30 PM) Men's Tennis vs. TCU (Saturday - 7:00 PM) Soccer vs. Houston (Saturday - 7:00 PM)
  WHAT:  Texas Longhorns Spring Game
WHEN:  Saturday, April 15, 2023
TIME:  1:00 PM
VENUE:  Darrell K. Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium
TELEVISION:  Longhorn Network Discuss the Orange-White Scrimmage Here

Three Things to Watch for During the Texas Spring Game

Texas Longhorns CJ Baxter during practice field at DKR stadium on Tuesday, March 21, 2023. © Ricardo B. Brazziell/American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK
Saturday is the annual Orange-White Texas Spring Game. It is used to showcase not just the starters but many of the young players to see how they have progressed over the winter and how the early enrollee freshmen are adjusting to college. Fans always look forward to the spring game as they haven’t watched their team in over three months and need a football fix.
There are things you can take away from this game even though it’s an inter-team scrimmage. Texas has enough depth and talent on both sides now that if someone is performing well against their own teammates, it’s not just because there is a lack of talent. That has been the case before and then the season comes and fans wonder why the pass rusher who dominated spring ends the season with three sacks.
Here are three things for Texas fans to watch for on Saturday.
Quinn Ewers Sophomore Improvement
Ewers had an up and down first season in Austin, which was to be expected.  It was his first year playing football since his junior year of high school in 2020. Ewers had his good moments and bad moments like any young QB. Prior to his injury he had Nick Saban searching for answers and was dicing up the Alabama defense. Ewers struggled some after his return from injury but finished the season strong in the Alamo Bowl loss against Washington.
There have been a lot of reports in the spring that Ewers has matured on and off the field. He showed that by cutting the legendary mullet and losing a few pounds. Sark has even mentioned Ewers having a better diet and being more locked-in on the playbook. That is great to hear for Texas fans as Ewers taking another step in development is the quickest and easiest path to success for the Longhorns.
Which EDGE Rusher Emerges Next to Barryn Sorrell?
Junior EDGE Barryn Sorrell emerged as the top pass rusher for Texas in 2022. Sorrell led the team with 5.5 sacks, which isn’t a lot, but when the team only has 27 sacks it is. Sorrell showed signs as a freshman but started to show consistent signs as a sophomore. His breakout game was against TCU where he had 1.5 sacks and 11 tackles. Sorrell was unblockable against a playoff team which is nothing to slouch at.
The glaring issue is the player with second most returning sacks was LB Jaylan Ford with 2.0. Ford is an All American type of linebacker but he isn’t much of a pass rusher. That will need to come from redshirt freshman Ethan Burke, sophomore Justice Finkley or a freshman such as Colton Vasek. Burke has received praise this spring and looks to be in the lead to start at EDGE opposite Sorrell. Burke is big long defender with great athleticism as he was offered to play lacrosse in college as well. Burke very well may be the EDGE Texas has been searching for but only time will tell. Seeing him line up against freshman All American Kelvin Banks Saturday should give Burke quite the test.
Who Will Replace Bijan and Roschon?
Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson were without question the engine for the 2022 Texas Longhorns and the best 1-2 rushing tandem in the country. They leave some big shoes to fill behind them. Ewers' development should help fill those shoes to an extent by not needing to rely on the rushing attack as much. There is no shortage of talent for RB Coach Tashard Choice to work with.
Redshirt Sophomore Jonathan Brooks is the leading candidate to be the lead back. Brooks has done nothing but produce when given the opportunity. In 2021 during limited action Brooks averaged 6.8 YPC and in 2022 he saw a few more carries averaging 6.6 YPC. The most game action Brooks has received was in 2022 vs Kansas. Brooks had 11 carries for 108 yards and 2 TD’s. That included a 70 yard TD. Brooks isn’t Bijan but he can be a quality back, no doubt about it. Behind Brooks is 5 star Freshman Cedric Baxter who was the #1 RB in the 2023 class. Baxter is supremely talented and will look even better physically after a full summer in the strength and conditioning program. Baxter should get a heavy work load in the spring game and it will be interesting to see what he looks like in live action.
Behind those two are redshirt junior Kelian Robinson, Sophomore Jaydon Blue & Sophomore Savion Red. Robinson has been dealing with a groin injury and won’t play in the Orange-White game. Blue and Red should get a lot of reps on Saturday. Blue has great hands for a RB and has some speed as well. Where Blue has struggled is running between the tackles and that is something to look for on Saturday to see if he’s improved in that area. Red is one of the more interesting players on the Longhorn roster. He was a great athlete in high school playing any position he was asked to play. He started his career at WR but has since been moved to running back. Red is someone that always brings the physicality and has received high praise since he has moved positions. He has great hands and brings some juice to the game. He should get a lot of action on Saturday.

Report: Trio of Longhorns to enter Transfer Portal

(Photo: Twitter/BrenenThompson_)
The second portal window of the offseason is set to open April 15th and movement has begun on the Texas roster.
WR Brenen Thompson, LB Trevell Johnson and LB Derrick Brown will all reportedly enter the transfer portal (per Nick Harris of Rivals)
Johnson and Brown did not appear in any games their freshman season, while Thompson had 1 catch for 32 yards. All 3 were members of the 2022 recruiting class.

Texas completes wild comeback for 6-5 win over Kansas State

(Photo: Texas Baseball)
5 days after letting a victory against Oklahoma State slip through their hands, Texas returned the favor on Friday night in Austin against Kansas State. The Wildcats led 5-1 in the bottom of the 8th inning before the Longhorns strung together 5 consecutive hits to tie the game. Tanner Carlson, who entered the game for Jack O'Dowd, then delivered the game-winning sacrifice fly. Zane Morehouse worked around a two out single in the top of the 9th to secure his 5th save of the season.
Texas starter Lucas Gordon labored for the first 2 innings of the game, throwing more than 50 pitches, hitting 3 batters and allowing a pair of runs. The junior eventually settled in and was able to make it through 6 innings without further damage. The Longhorns ran into trouble again in the 7th when Andre Duplantier walked the first two batters of the inning and then threw a bunt attempt into right field, but Chase Lummus entered and prevented the game from getting out of reach. 
The Longhorns led off the bottom of the 8th with a bunt single by Eric Kennedy. Dylan Campbell followed with a double to left-center and Peyton Powell drove home a pair with an opposite field double, which ended the night of Kansas State starter Owen Boerema (127 pitches and 12 strikeouts). Garret Guillemette greeted reliever Ty Ruhl with an opposite field double and Porter Brown tied the game with a RBI triple before being driven in by Carlson.
Texas will go for the series win today as they send Travis Sthele to the mound. The Longhorns currently sit atop the Big 12 standings at 5-2.

A Look at the Longhorns In The 2023 Masters

Apr 5, 2023; Augusta, Georgia, USA; Scottie Scheffler walks with wife Meredith Scudder during the Par 3 Contest at The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Network
The Masters, golf’s biggest major and one of the most prestigious events in all of sports, starts Thursday (4/6) in its usual spot in Augusta, Georgia. Let’s take a look at the two Longhorns participating in the tournament this week, and it may be names you aren’t quite aware of... Scottie Scheffler and Jordan Spieth. Did that joke DRIVE you crazy? Both of these golfers are well respected and known and have realistic chances of winning this weekend, especially Scheffler. Let’s take a look at their recent tournament finishes before the Masters and how successful they have been at Augusta in the past. 
Starting with the #1 ranked golfer in the world, Scottie Scheffler is coming off a 4th-place finish at the WGC-Dell Match Play event that was held in Austin, Texas, at the Austin Country Club. I had a chance to attend that event and the course was absolutely beautiful, as several holes are located right by Lake Austin and the popular Pennybacker Bridge. Scheffler looked as fresh as ever yet ended up losing in the semi-finals against Sam Burns, as they went to a playoff that lasted three holes. He went on to play Rory Mcllroy in the finals consolation bracket yet lost by 2 points. Nonetheless, another great outing for Scottie. Before this, Scheffler won THE PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Florida, as he shot 17-under for the week and won by a total of 5 strokes. He had the best average driving distance with 305.9 yards per drive and had 20 birdies with only 5 bogeys to go along with that. Looking now at the Masters, this will be Scheffler’s 4th appearance at Augusta and he is, of course, the reigning Masters champion as he beat Rory Mcllroy by 3 strokes and finished 10-under for the tournament last year. This was Scheffler’s first major championship title, and the two years before that finished T-19 in 2020 and T-18 in 2021, respectively. Let’s see if the champ can keep his crown, but by the way he’s been playing all season, there is a reason he is the favorite. 
Let’s now shift over to Spieth. Jordan has been playing some solid golf as of late, finishing T-3 at the Valspar Championship in Florida in mid-March and the week before finishing T-19 at THE PLAYERS Championship in Florida as well. Looking at the Valspar, Spieth shot 8-under for the week with 15 birdies and 9 bogeys. In round 1, he was bogey-free and shot 4-under on the day, with 3 consecutive birdies on holes 14-16. He’s only missed one cut in his past 5 tournaments played, and besides that, his lowest finish has been that T-19. Spieth seems ready to go. Now, let’s shift back over to the tournament at-hand. In a career that seems to be filled with inconsistency, the former Longhorn has been effective at the Masters overall and has a chance to quiet the haters with a second victory in his 10th appearance at Augusta. Spieth won the green jacket back in 2015 and has only missed one cut in his 9 previous appearances. Along with the first place finish, he has tied for 2nd twice, came in 3rd place once, and tied for 3rd once as well. The man has experience on this Par 72, 7,510-yard course that has been played on for decades, so it will be very interesting and fun to watch to see if he can continue his Masters success.
Both of these Longhorns are playing efficient golf… let’s see who comes out ahead! 
-Twitter: @RSwantkowski

Longhorns beat Oklahoma State 5-3 in Series Opener, Extend Win Streak to 16

Photo: @TexasBaseball 
STILLWATER, OK -- The #21 Texas Longhorns (20-7, 4-0) defeated the #17 Oklahoma State Cowboys (20-7, 4-3) 5-3 at O'Brate Stadium on Friday night to extend their win streak to 16 games.
Starting pitcher Lucas Gordon pitched a full 7 innings and gave up three runs on seven hits en route to his third win of the season (3-0).
The Cowboys took an early 1-0 lead in the second inning when Nolan Schubart scored on a one-out fielder's choice.
Texas answered in the top third inning as Garret Guillemette hit a two-run homer over the center field wall to give the Longhorns a 2-1 lead.  The 'Horns would add another run in the inning with Jack O'Dowd's left field single which scored Porter Brown.
In the fourth, Jalin Flores hit a two-run shot in right center field which scored Jared Thomas and gave Texas a 5-1 lead.
Oklahoma State homered in both the fourth and sixth innings to cut into the Longhorns' lead 5-3.
David Shaw relieved Gordon and pitched a scoreless eighth inning. 
Things got a little dicey in the bottom ninth.  Shaw gave up a leadoff double to Oklahoma State's Carson Benge and was replaced by Zane Morehouse.  Morehouse walked Colin Brueggemann giving the Pokes men on first and second with no outs.  He then forced a popup and struck out Chase Adkison.  On a 2-2 pitch count he forced a groundout by Ric Riggio to end the game.
The Longhorns and Cowboys will play Game 2 in Stillwater on Saturday at 6:00 PM with RHP Travis Sthele (2-2, 4.55) facing off against Oklahoma State RHP Juaron Watts-Brown (3-1, 2.97).

It's Official: Rodney Terry Hired as Men's Basketball Coach

Mar 24, 2023; Kansas City, MO, USA; Texas Longhorns head coach Rodney Terry cheers from the bench during the first half of an NCAA tournament Midwest Regional semifinal against the Xavier Musketeers at T-Mobile Center. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
After much speculation about the status of the "interim" tag attached to Rodney Terry's title with the Texas Basketball Program, the University announced his official hiring as the 26th Head Coach in UT Basketball history on Monday.
The terms of Terry's deal are reported to be $15.3 million for five years. 
Terry took over the reins of the program on December 12th following the arrest of Chris Beard.  He went on to lead the Longhorns to a Big 12 Tournament Championship and the Elite 8 in the NCAA Tournament, the first for the program since 2008.
Previously, Terry was a head coach at Fresno State (2011-2018) and UTEP (2018-2021).  He served as an assistant under Rick Barnes at Texas (2002-2011) and rejoined the Longhorns under Chris Beard.  His career record as a head coach is 185-164.  
Terry had the support of the fans, current and former players. But, as the postseason continued and no deal had been reached, there was concern whether or not Texas Athletic Director Chris Del Conte was bought-in on Terry. 
He was.

Miami overcomes second half deficit, denies Texas Final Four berth

(Photo: USA Today)
Tyrese Hunter connected on a jumper with just over 13 minutes remaining in the game to put Texas up 13, and it felt like the Longhorns were destined for a berth in the Final Four. Despite hot shooting from Miami all afternoon, the Longhorns had built a lead that seemed comfortable. The lead quickly evaporated though, and Texas was unable to make plays down the stretch as they fell to the Hurricanes 88-81.
Texas matched Miami shot for shot for much of the first half. The Longhorns led 45-37 at halftime thanks to hot shooting from Marcus Carr, Timmy Allen and Jabari Rice. But things began to fall apart in the second half. Turnovers killed the Longhorns and the Longhorns endured a lengthy stretch in the second half without a field goal and it was the crack in the door Miami needed. The Longhorns shot 40% from 3 and 50% from the field, but were unable to slow down Miami defensively. Jordan Miller was a perfect 7 for 7 from the field and 13 for 13 from the free throw line. Texas had no answers for the ability of the Miami guards to get into the paint repeatedly. The Hurricanes shot 32 free throws, a large chunk of which came in the second half. The officiating was questionable at times, but Texas was unable to consistency stay in front of ball handlers. It's easy to play the 'what if' game, but Dylan Disu being able for Texas likely changes the outcome of this game. The Longhorns actually out-rebounded the Hurricanes 25-23, but the lack of a consistent interior presence killed Texas at times. With Disu out, Brock Cunningham and Christian Bishop were both forced to take on bigger roles. This game is going to be a tough pill to swallow for Texas fans. The Longhorns had a path to victory right there in front of them and could not make the winning plays they had made almost all season up to this point. Looking ahead, Texas will first and foremost have to make a decision at head coach. It is reportedly expected that Rodney Terry will have the interim tag removed in the coming days. After naming a permanent coach, all attention turns to rebuilding the roster. Marcus Carr, Timmy Allen, Jabari Rice and Christian Bishop have exhausted their eligibility and will be moving on, and in the age of the transfer portal it is not guarantee that all the players with eligibility remaining will return. It was without a doubt a successful season for Texas. The programs first appearance in the Elite Eight in 15 seasons is nothing to be ashamed of, but this game is going to haunt Longhorn fans for a while. It was right there for the taking.

Elite 8 Game Day: Texas Longhorns vs. Miami Hurricanes

Xavier Musketeers guard Colby Jones (3) rises for a shot as Texas Longhorns forward Timmy Allen (0) defends during the first half of a Sweet 16 college basketball game between the Xavier Musketeers and the Texas Longhorns in the Midwest Regional of the NCAA Tournament, Friday, March 24, 2023, at T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Mo. Ncaa Xavier Texas Ncaa Sweet 16 March 24. Photo: Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK
Following their 83-71 victory over Xavier in the Sweet 16, the Texas Longhorns (29-8, 12-6 Big 12) find themselves one win away from their first berth in the NCAA Tournament's Final Four since 2003.  In order to make it to Houston as one of the last four teams standing, the Longhorns will have to get past a surging Miami Hurricane team that dismantled No. 1 seed Houston 89-75 on Friday night.
The news of Dylan Disu's injury last Friday saw the hopeful emergence of Texas forward Christian Bishop, who stepped up big-time in Disu's absence.  Bishop had his best game of the season, scoring 18 points and 9 rebounds in 24 minutes played against the Musketeers.  Disu's status is day-to-day with a bone bruise on his foot, and he will likely not play against the Hurricanes.
When faced with adversity, Texas has found an answer to win in every game in this tournament.  They will likely need to dig deep to muscle out a win over Miami team that is big, athletic and played in last season's Elite 8 game. 
Miami won the ACC regular season but lost to Duke in the ACC Tournament.
Since their loss to TCU in the regular season, the Longhorns have reeled off 7 straight wins including a Big 12 Tournament Championship.
Today's game is big for both programs.  Miami has never made it past the Elite 8 in program history, while the Longhorns are seeking their fourth trip to the Final Four and first in the last 20 years.
WHAT: No. 2 seed Texas Longhorns (28-8, 12-6 Big 12) vs. No. 5 seed Miami Hurricanes (28-7, 15-5 ACC)
FORMAT:  2023 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - Elite 8
WHEN: Sunday, March 26, 2023
VENUE: T-Mobile Center
LOCATION: Kansas City, Missouri
LINE: Texas -5.5
SERIES/ALL-TIME RECORD:  Texas leads Miami 2-1
LAST MEETING:  Texas defeated Miami 75-72 (March 23, 2008 - Little Rock, AR)

Texas defense smothers Xavier, Horns to face Miami in Elite Eight

(Photo: USA Today)
Many Texas fans feared for the worst as Dylan Disu limped off the court a few minutes into the game on Saturday night. The big man had been the star of the postseason run for the Longhorns but was unable to give it go after suffering a foot injury during practice. 38 minutes of game action later, and Texas had barely missed a beat, cruising past Xavier 83-71 to punch their ticket to the Elite Eight. Here are some thoughts and takeaways
With Disu limited, the Longhorns leaned heavily on Christian Bishop. The Kansas City area native tuned in his biggest performance of the season, scoring 18 points and grabbing 9 rebounds despite battling foul trouble for much of the evening. Speaking of foul trouble, Jabari Rice and Marcus Carr also spent much of the first half with 2 fouls but were able to battle through to make big contributions. Carr matched Bishop's 18 points and Rice scored 16 of his own. The duo combined to go 13 of 26 from the field, including 3 of 5 from deep. Tyrese Hunter played his best game in months on both ends of the floor. The Iowa State transfer scored a team high 19 points and played a key role on the defensive end of the floor. For the third straight game, Texas held one of the best offensive teams in the country mostly in check. Xavier finished the game shooting 44% from the field and only surpassed the 70 point mark thanks to some wide open looks late as Texas looked to run out the clock. With Disu's injury and iffy available for Sunday's game against Miami, Texas will need Dillon Mitchell and Arterio Morris to raise the level of their games. The freshman duo combined for 24 minutes last night, but had 0 points and only 4 combined rebounds. Mitchell in particular is going to need to give the Longhorns quality minutes with Bishop being the only other player above 6'6 on the roster. Miami will offer another stiff test for Texas, as the Hurricanes knocked off #1 seed Houston on Friday evening. Miami is led by a trio of guards that averages 13 points or more. That group includes Kansas State transfer Nijel Pack. Forward Norchad Omier is averaging a double-double for the season (13 points and 10 rebounds).

Sweet 16 Game Day: Texas Longhorns vs. Xavier Musketeers

Mar 23, 2023; Kansas City, MO, USA; Texas Longhorns players warm up during a practice session at T-Mobile Center. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
The No. 2 seed Texas Longhorns (28-8, 12-6 Big 12) will face the No. 3 seed Xavier Musketeers (27-9, 15-5 BIG EAST) on Friday in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.  The Longhorns' last appearance in the round of 16 was in 2008, when they defeated Stanford 82-62 and advanced to the Elite 8 where they would lose to the Memphis Tigers 85-67.
The contest between the Longhorns and Musketeers marks the third time these two programs have met in the Regional Semifinal, with Xavier defeating Texas in 2004 and Texas besting the Musketeers in 1990.
Xavier, coached by Sean Miller, defeated No. 14 Seed Kennesaw State and No. 11 Seed Pittsburg in their bracket to reach the Sweet 16 matchup against the Longhorns.  After plowing through the Big 12 Tournament undefeated, Texas defeated #15 Colgate and #10 seeded Penn State en route to their 11th Sweet 16 appearance all-time.
Senior forward Jerome Hunter is a name to remember for the Musketeers, as he has led his team in points and rebounds through the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament (19 ppg, 5 rpg). Musketeer junior guard Colby Jones trails Hunter in points per game averaged, but not by much (15 ppg) but leads the team in assists (4.3 apg).  Xavier plays solid basketball and averages 81.2 points per game this season.
On the Texas side, senior forward Dylan Disu is having his way with teams in the tournament.  Disu is averaging 22.5 points and 10 rebounds per tournament game (team highs) and is hooting a whopping 71% from the floor.  Last week in Texas' 71-66 win over the Nittany Lions, Disu notched a season high 28 points and 10 rebounds which set a Texas NCAA record for field goals made (14-20).
WHAT: No. 2 seed Texas Longhorns (28-8, 12-6 Big 12) vs. No. 3 seed Xavier Musketeers (27-9, 15-5 Big East)
FORMAT:  2023 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - Sweet 16
WHEN: Friday, March 24, 2023
VENUE: T-Mobile Center
LOCATION: Kansas City, Missouri
LINE: Texas -5.5
SERIES/ALL-TIME RECORD:  Texas leads Xavier 3-2
LAST MEETING:  Texas defeated Xavier 78-76 OT (March 24, 2019 - Austin, TX)

Destiny? What a Final Four Berth Would Mean for Texas

Mar 18, 2023; Des Moines, IA, USA; Texas Longhorns forward Timmy Allen (0) celebrates with guard Marcus Carr (5) during the second half against the Penn State Nittany Lionsat Wells Fargo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
On Friday night the Longhorns will continue their run to the Final Four in Houston. With two more wins, the Longhorns would cement their first Final Four appearance since TJ Ford led the team there in 2003. The path certainly won’t be an easy one, as Xavier awaits them on Friday night and the winner between Houston/Miami next on Sunday. Let’s get into what reaching the Final Four would do for Texas as a program moving forward.
Entering the season the expectations were high for Chris Beard and the team but Beard’s December 12th arrest changed everything. Beard was arrested for domestic violence and suspended indefinitely. We all knew that likely meant Beard would never coach for Texas again. On the night of Beard’s arrest the Longhorns struggled to beat Rice in OT.  This led many to think what was supposed to be a promising season was going to slip away.
Rodney Terry was named interim coach and he hasn’t looked back. Terry has controlled his own destiny to become the next Head Coach at Texas and he couldn't have done a better job. He likely has done enough to be named the permanent Head Coach when Texas' season concludes. A Final Four would be a great selling point to recruits that it wasn’t just Beard’s team. Regardless of what some may think, Terry and his staff recruited this team just as much, if not more than Beard did. Assistant coaches are the ones spending long hours on the road recruiting and talking with players.
Since Terry took over, the offense has taken off, and in general the team has been more enjoyable to watch than a typical Beard team. That is important with the Texas fan base as basketball will never pass football or baseball in terms of interest. An exciting team will draw more interest than a dominant defensive team such as Virginia, for the Texas fan base. The fan base has been great getting behind this team this year and creating a great home court advantage in the opening season of the Moody Center. That is an easy thing to do in the first season of a 400 million dollar arena but moving forward they need an exciting product to draw the level of support that is needed.
With NIL support and the new basketball facilities competing with any school in the country, Texas can take off as a basketball program - and reach heights the Longhorns haven't seen consistently in basketball before. This NCAA Tournament run has been a preview to what the program can be if everything is aligned properly. Texas must play better than they have thus far in the tournament but the good thing is they can. If that happens Texas will find themselves in Houston playing in the Final Four. A trip to Houston means a chance - at winning it all, especially given they will be playing in their own backyard.

Longhorns Complete Sweep of Privateers with 9-3 Victory on Sunday

(Photo: Texas Baseball)
Texas Baseball (14-7) extended their win-streak to 10 games on Sunday after defeating the New Orleans Privateers (11-9) 9-3 at Disch Falk Field.  Sunday’s victory capped the sweep of the Privateers, which was the second consecutive weekend sweep by David Pierce’s team.
Eric Kennedy continues to hit the ball well, going 3-3 on Sunday including two home runs and a double.  Kennedy now has five home runs in his last five games.
After a three-up, three-down top of the first inning by starting pitcher Lebarron Johnson Jr., Kennedy homered over the right field fence in his first at-bat.  
In his next plate appearance, Kennedy smashed another solo shot over the right field fence to give the Longhorns a 2-0 lead.
New Orleans tied things up in the fourth inning after Kasten Furr led things off with a walk and advanced to third on a couple of wild pitches by Johnson.  Johnson then walked Tristan Moore and Miguel Useche. A sacrifice fly to center field scored Furr and a single up the middle scored Moore.  Johnson struck out Anthony Herron Jr. to end the inning but not before the Privateers evened the score at 2-2.
Mitchell Daly’s two-out solo home run in the bottom 4th saw the Longhorns regain the lead at 3-2.
In the bottom 6th, Peyton Powell’s single scored Mitchell Daly who led off with a walk and advanced to second base on Eric Kennedy’s sacrifice bunt.  Dylan Campbell then reached first on an error which moved Powell to second base. Garret Guillemette singled into left field scoring Powell.  Campbell’s score on Jack O'Dowd’s popup to shortstop extended the Texas lead over New Orleans to 6-2.
The ‘Horns increased their lead in the seventh inning to 9-2 courtesy of Dylan Campbell’s three run shot to left field.
Rice transfer David Shaw relieved Johnson on the mound in the 5th inning and pitched a scoreless three full innings to pick up his first win of the season. Chase Lummus pitched a scoreless 8th inning with Chris Stuart working around a sac fly in the 9th to close out the game.
The Longhorns will next host Incarnate Word on Tuesday evening at Disch Falk Field with the first pitch coming at 6:30 PM.

Texas hammers New Orleans 15-1, wins series against Privateers

Photo credit: @TexasBaseball 
After defeating the Privateers 3-1 on Friday night, the Longhorns took the field at Disch Falk for Game 2 of the series against New Orleans on Saturday.
Redshirt sophomore RHP Travis Stehly got the start for the ‘Horns and pitched six innings, giving up just one run on two hits.  Stehly struck out nine en route to his second win of the season (2-2).
Peyton Powell doubled in the first inning and Dylan Campbell’s subsequent home run over the left field fence allowed the Longhorns to jump out to a quick 2-0 lead.
The Privateers added a run (unearned) in the second inning, their only of the game, when Miguel Useche took home on an error by Texas catcher Ryan Galvan.
Things remained quiet until the sixth inning when the Longhorns unleashed an eight-run frame highlighted by Eric Kennedy’s grand slam shot over the right field fence. Peyton Powell also had a two-run homer in the inning and two Longhorns scored on walks by Privateers starting pitcher Brandon Mitchell and relief pitcher Trey Usey.
After six innings, Texas led New Orleans 10-1.
The Longhorns carried the scoring barrage into the seventh inning and it started with a double by Dylan Campbell.  The bases ended up loading, and Jaden Duplantier scored when Tanner Carlson was hit by a pitch. Jalin Flores’ single into left field followed by an error by the Privateer’s left fielder saw the bases clear and Flores ending up at third base. Jared Thomas grounded out to second but scored Flores, giving Texas a 15-1 lead after seven complete innings.
Redshirt freshman pitcher Cody Howard and redshirt junior Sam Walbridge closed things out on the mound following Stehle's exit, and the Longhorns ended the game holding on to their 14 point advantage.
The win was the ninth straight for the Longhorns (13-7) and they will go for the sweep tomorrow with the first pitch coming at 1:00 PM at The Disch.

Sweet 16 Bound: Dylan Disu leads Texas past Penn State

Mar 18, 2023; Des Moines, IA, USA; Texas Longhorns forward Dylan Disu (1) celebrates in the last seconds of a victory over the Penn State Nittany Lions at Wells Fargo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
The 15-year wait ended last night in Des Moines. The Longhorns are headed back to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2008. The 71-66 win over Penn State was filled with plenty of storylines.  Let's take a look at some of the bigger ones that led to the Texas win.
For the second straight game, Texas held one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country in check. The Nittany Lions were 8 for 28 from deep (28.6%), well below their season average of 38%. Texas did a great job in the first half of contesting shots and forcing Penn State into uncomfortable looks. Unlike the Colgate game, Texas could not find any sort of rhythm from deep. The Longhorns went 1 for 13 from beyond the arc, with Sir'Jabari Rice having the lone make. It was obvious early that Texas did not have the shooting touch they displayed Thursday, but the Longhorns did a good job adjusting and forcing more action into the paint. Dylan Disu had another monster game, pouring in 28 points on 14 of 20 shooting and adding 10 rebounds. The Vanderbilt transfer has been playing at another level the past few weeks and is the reason Texas won this game. Texas seemed to control the game throughout, but the Longhorns let things slip away from a brief moment in the second half before regrouping and putting the game on the shoulders of Disu. Texas did an excellent job taking care of the basketball, only turning the ball over 5 times compared to 9 turnovers for Penn State. What's Next?
Texas will travel to Kansas City to face the winner of Xavier-Pitt in the Sweet 16. If the Longhorns were to be victorious, they would face either Houston or the winner of Indiana-Miami in the regional final.

March Madness: How Each Big 12 Team Fared in the First Round

Mar 16, 2023; Des Moines, IA, USA; Texas Longhorns guard Sir'Jabari Rice (10) dribbles the ball against the Colgate Raiders during the second half at Wells Fargo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
It was a successful season collectively for Big 12 Basketball programs as 7 of the 10 teams in the league made it to March Madness this year. Texas, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, TCU, Baylor, and West Virginia all received invitations to the Big Dance. If you have been watching Big 12 teams play this year, you likely understand just how strong and competitive the conference is. With this type of high-caliber play and competition in the regular season, let's take a look at how it translated into NCAA Tournament play in the first round.
Let’s start with West Virginia. 
The Mountaineers, a 9-seed in the tournament, took on the 8th-seed Maryland Terrapins. In a neck-and-neck battle, guard Kedrian Johnson dropped 27 points for West Virginia while former Texas forward Trey Mitchell played all 40 minutes of the game and had 13 points and 6 rebounds. In the 2nd half, the biggest margin between the 2 teams' scores was just 9 points. Maryland had a very different box score than the Mountaineers as they had 4 of their 5 starters score double-digits, with their 5th starter scoring 9 points. Their bench play was poor as their 3 players that saw the floor combined for just 5 points, and it will be interesting to see how successful the Terrapins can be moving forward if this trend continues. So, basically I just spoiled it, but the Mountaineers fell to the Terrapins by a final score of 67-65 in a March Madness classic. 
Let’s look at the Baylor Bears now. The 3-seeded Bears played the 14th-seed UCSB (University of California Santa Barbara) Gauchos on Friday, and the final score did not illustrate how close the game actually was. The Gauchos had a 1-point lead heading into halftime, but Baylor’s 3-pointers really started coming into play in the 2nd half. Baylor had a total of 13 players see the floor with 9 of them playing double-digit minutes. It was a team effort for the Bears all around as well, as 3 of their players scored 10 or more points. For UCSB, they shot just 25% from the 3-point line and had 2 players, Miles Norris and Ajay Mitchell, combine for half of their points. The Bears put the pedal to the metal midway through the 2nd half and avoided, what looked like earlier in the game, a potential unexpected first round exit with a 74-56 victory. They will now face the 6-seed Creighton Bluejays. 
Let’s now change gears and take a look at the Longhorns. Entering the tournament as a 2-seed for the first time since 2008 and fresh off a Big 12 Championship, Texas continued to show how strong of a team they are. With 4 double-digit scorers, including a 23 point performance from College Hoops Today’s National Sixth Man of the Year Sir’Jabari Rice, the Longhorns were firing on all cylinders as they shot a whopping 56.5% from the 3-point line and out-rebounded the 15-seed Colgate Raiders by 10 total boards. The Raiders shot just 20% from the 3-point arc, had only 2 double-digit scorers and never led in the game again after halfway through the first half. The Longhorns, after their 81-61 victory, will now play the 10-seed Nittany Lions of Penn State in the round of 32. 
Now to Kansas, the lone one seed coming out of the Big 12 and into the NCAA Tournament. In a similar fashion to Baylor, the first half of this game was much closer than most people probably expected as the 16-seed Howard Bison had the lead with 5 minutes to go. After that moment though, the Jayhawks started to show their true feathers. Kansas scored an impressive 96 points, had every single starter score 10 or more points, and only had 12 total turnovers. The Bison on the other hand gave it their all but got out-worked in every area of the game while shooting less than 40% from both the field and the 3-point line. Kansas will now play the 8-seed Arkansas Razorbacks after defeating Howard by a final score of 96-68 and tying with Alabama for the most points in the first round by any team. 
Opposite of Kansas’ performance, the Iowa State Cyclones started off slow and… basically stayed like that for the remainder of the game. The Cyclones found themselves in a 20-point deficit just halfway into the first half as the score was 22-2, and after climbing back a bit in the and cutting the lead to just 5 at one point, that deficit remained to be too big to overcome. Looking at the box score, Iowa State actually had 3 starters score double-digits yet only had 1 (!) bench point from the 4 guys that saw the floor. Not only that, but as a team they shot an abysmal 9.5% from the 3-point line and just 23.3% from the field overall. Looking at their opponent in the 11-seed Pittsburgh Panthers, they weren’t too efficient themselves but did shoot over 86% from the free throw line. With the final score being 59-41, Iowa State scored the least amount of points out of every team in the first round. 
Let’s now shift over to the Friday night game between 3-seed Kansas State and 14-seed Montana State. In what was a close game through and through, the Wildcats eventually pulled away and never looked back. They had 3 players with double-digits points, one of them being star forward Keyontae Johnson who had 18, and as a team shot an efficient 58.2% from the field despite shooting just 26.7% from three. Looking at the Bobcats, guard Raequan Battle had 27 points and 3 rebounds while 2 other starters also scored 11 or more points. The problem seemed to be their bench play efficiency as their 3 players off the bench that played 10 or more minutes combined for… 6 points. It also doesn’t help that they shot less than 30% from the 3-point line and only made 9 out of their 17 free throw attempts. So, after Kansas State defeated the Bobcats by a final score of 77-65, they will now face the 6-seed Kentucky Wildcats. 
Lastly, we will take a look at how the 6-seed TCU Horned Frogs fared against the 11-seed Arizona State Sun Devils. This game came down to the wire and man, was it a good one. TCU’s star guard Mike Miles Jr. had a game-high 26 points along with the pass to teammate JaKobe Coles that set up the game-winning floater. Coles had 11 points in 25 minutes off the bench, with the last 2 being the divider between a win or potential overtime play. Just before that game winning shot, Arizona State’s DJ Horne, who led the team with 17 points, hit a huge 3 pointer to tie the game at 70 with just over 15 seconds to play. Even after a play like that though, the Sun Devils were not able to finish it out and lost by a final score of 72-70 in one of the best games of the first round. TCU will next take on the 3-seed Gonzaga Bulldogs in what is sure to be a big-time matchup. 
All this being said, the Big 12 went an impressive 5-2 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Let’s see how they all fare in the second round, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they continued to show how their competition in the regular season prepared them to make a potential tournament run. Oh, and the 16-seed Fairleigh Dickinson Knights beat 1-seed Purdue, making it just the second time in NCAA Tournament history that a one seed has lost to a 16-seed in the first round. Wow.

Longhorns top Privateers 3-1 on Friday Night, Win 8th Straight Game

The Texas Longhorns improved to 12-7 on a chilly Friday evening in Austin, defeating the Privateers of New Orleans 3-1 at Disch Falk Field.  Texas starter Lucas Gordon improved to 2-0 on the season and pitched a solid six full innings, giving up just one unearned run and two hits.
Gordon was relieved by Arkansas transfer and junior Heston Tole, who pitched an efficient two innings and gave up no runs and no hits in his relief outing.
Redshirt junior Zane Morehouse picked up his second save of the season after giving up two singles in the Top 9th but struck out two and forced a popup to shortstop to end the game.
New Orleans scored their only run of the night in the first inning after a leadoff walk to Kasten Furr.  Furr advanced to second base on a passed ball and went to third on a sacrifice bunt by Tyler Bischke.  Miguel Useche's flyout to center field allowed Furr to tag and score.
The Longhorns answered in the bottom first, also leading off with a walk to Eric Kennedy.  Peyton Powell's single advanced Kennedy, and Dylan Campbell's fielder's choice advanced Kennedy to third but got the out at second (Powell).  Campbell stole second base and Kennedy scored on Garret Guillemette's ground out to third.  Porter Brown singled up the right side to score Campbell making the score 2-1 in favor of the Longhorns.
The 'Horns added a run in the third inning when Dylan Campbell reached home from third base on a failed pickoff attempt after leading the inning off with a single, his lone hit on the evening.
The Longhorns and Privateers will play game two at 2:30 PM at Disch Falk Field with Travis Stehle taking the mound for Texas.

Round of 32 Game Day: No. 2 Seed Texas Longhorns vs No. 10 Seed Penn State Nittany Lions

Mar 16, 2023; Des Moines, IA, USA; Texas Longhorns interim head coach Rodney Terry instructs his team against the Colgate Raiders during the first half at Wells Fargo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
After defeating No. 15 seed Colgate 81-61 in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, the Texas Longhorns (27-8, 12-6 Big 12) advanced to the Round of 32 and will face the No. 10 Seed Penn State Nittany Lions (23-13, 10-10 Big Ten).  
Penn State upset No. 7 Seed Texas A&M 76-59 in the opening round and shot 59.1 percent from 3-point range.  Defensively, PSU held the Aggies to 33.9 FG%. 5th year senior guard Andrew Funk shot lights-out from three point range, draining 8 of 9 from beyond the arc to lead all scorers with 27 points.  The Longhorns will need solid perimeter defense on Saturday if they wish to contain Funk and Nittany Lion All-American Jalen Pickett, who had 19 points, seven rebounds and eight assists in the win against the Aggies.  Senior Sethy Lundy is another piece of the puzzle relative to the success of the Nittany Lions.  Lundy is playing at an elite level and averages 14.3 points per game, 6.2 rebounds per game.  
For the Longhorns, they need to continue to ride the hot hand of graduate guard Sir'Jabari Rice.  With the return of Timmy Allen to the lineup, Rice again is playing off the bench but scored a game high 23 points in the victory over Colgate.  Rice netted a career-best 7-of-10 from three-point range in 28 minutes played.
Senior forward Dylan Disu is playing his best basketball to-date and finally looks like the punishing big man he was recruited to Austin to be.  Disu has really come alive in postseason play, averaging 15.3 ppg and 8.8 rpg in his his last four games. 
A win puts the Longhorns in the Sweet 16 for the first time since the 2008 season and gets Rodney Terry even more consideration for landing a permanent head coaching gig in Austin.
WHAT: No. 2 seed Texas Longhorns (26-8, 12-6 Big 12) vs. No. 10 seed Penn State Nittany Lions (23-10, 10-10 Big Ten)
FORMAT:  2023 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament
WHEN: Saturday, March 18, 2023
VENUE: Wells Fargo Arena
LOCATION: Des Moines, Iowa
LINE: Texas -5.5
SERIES/ALL-TIME RECORD:  These two teams have never met before

Texas cruises past Colgate, will face Penn State in Round of 32

Mar 16, 2023; Des Moines, IA, USA; Texas Longhorns guard Sir'Jabari Rice (10) shoots the ball against the Colgate Raiders during the second half at Wells Fargo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
It was not the prettiest of performances, but Texas did what they needed to do in order to eliminate Colgate in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, 81-61. The Longhorns will now face Penn State on Saturday evening with a spot in the Sweet 16 on the line.
Takeaways from the win
Texas held the top 3-point shooting team in the country to 3 of 15 from beyond the arc. The Longhorns seemed content with allowing Colgate to operate in the paint in exchange for not allowing open looks from the outside. The strategy paid off. On the offensive end, Texas was red-hot from deep. The Longhorns shot 56.5% from 3, including 7 makes from Sir'Jabari Rice. Rice finished the game with 23 points and 6 rebounds. The New Mexico State transfer played a big role in the Aggies NCAA Tournament success last year on both ends of the floor and picked up where he left off. The only thing that slowed Dylan Disu down was foul trouble. Disu registered a double-double (17 points, 10 rebounds) in only 21 minutes of action. He sure has picked a good time to take his game to another level the last 2 weeks. Timmy Allen scored 4 points and dished out 5 assists in his first game back from a calf injury. He only played 21 minutes despite no foul trouble so it appears Rodney Terry is going to slowly ease him back into action. Turnovers were biggest negative for Texas coming out of this game. The Longhorns turned the ball over 13 times, including 5 turnovers from Marcus Carr. Carr struggled in transition, throwing the ball away several times when Texas had a chance to go on a run and put the game away early in the second half. Looking ahead to Penn State
Heading into March, it appeared Penn State would be NIT bound. But the Nittany Lions ripped off a 8-2 stretch to end the season and sneak their way into the NCAA Tournament. Similar to Colgate, Penn State loves to shoot the 3 and is quite good at it (38.5% as a team). Guard Jalen Pickett is the straw that stirs the drink. Pickett is averaging 17.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 6.7 assists. Fellow guard Andrew Funk, a transfer from Bucknell, shoots 42% from 3 and drilled 8 of 10 in the opening round win over Texas A&M. 
Penn State does tend to struggle on the defensive end against better competition. The Nittany Lions rank 225th in defensive efficiency and 196th in opponents field goal %. 
This is a dangerous squad playing their best basketball of the season at the right time. The Longhorns will have to have another outstanding game on the defensive end of the floor and find a way to not let Pickett beat them.

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