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Destiny? What a Final Four Berth Would Mean for Texas

Mitch Lovell
Mitch Lovell

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.

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