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Quick Thoughts: Texas secures first NCAA tournament win in 8 years

Jameson McCausland
Jameson McCausland

The 8-year drought is over. Texas got the monkey off their back and got their first NCAA tournament win since 2014. Here are some quick thoughts and takeaways from the 81-73 win over Virginia Tech.

  • Oftentimes the NCAA tournament comes down to getting good guard play, and Marcus Carr picked a really good time to have perhaps his best game of the season. The transfer from Minnesota has had an up and down year, but delivered in a big way today as he poured in 15 points and dished out 9 assists. He also only had 1 turnover. The game seemed to turn when Carr connected on a shot beyond half court to end the first half and give Texas a 34-32 lead.
  • Andrew Jones had a team high 21 points and was red hot from behind the arc in the first half. Jones finished the game 5 of 7 from deep and provided the Longhorns some much needed offense as Texas struggled shooting the ball for much of the first 20 minutes of the game.
  • Chris Beard's hallmark is defense, and Texas limited a Virginia Tech team who relies on the 3 to only 33% shooting from beyond the arc. The Longhorns did an excellent job all afternoon of contesting shots and forcing the Hokies into uncomfortable possessions.
  • Dylan Disu only finished the game with 4 points and 2 rebounds, but he appears to be moving around a lot better and has looked more active the last few weeks. He provided some valuable minutes when Christian Bishop was forced to the bench with foul trouble. Texas will certainly need him again on Sunday against a Purdue team who has some size.
  • Big picture wise, it was a big win for Chris Beard in his first season at Texas. The preseason expectations were high, but the Longhorns looked somewhat shaky over the last few weeks and a tournament win was not a given. Chris Del Conte hired Beard because of his success in March, and in his first season he was able to do something his predecessor could not. 

What's Next?

Texas will face a really good Purdue team on Sunday. The Boilermakers are the 3-seed and cruised to a win over Yale earlier today. Purdue shoots the 3 extremely well and has the size inside to potentially give the Longhorns a lot of problems. Texas will need a similar shooting performance from deep as today if they hope to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2008.

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