- Created on Monday, 12 March 2012 22:08
- Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 07:51
- Written by Travis Pulver
The Texas Longhorns had been called a bubble team for much of the last month of the college basketball season, on the verge of being in or out of the annual tournament. Many analysts viewed them as a team in need of a big win to earn their spot.
Their win in the quarterfinal round of the Big 12 Tournament over then No 25 Iowa State must have done the trick along with winning seven of their last 11 games because not only did they make the tournament, but they were named a No 11 seed.
"I knew what we had to do to have this moment,"junior guard J’Covan Brown said. "Stay strong."
With the young talent that head coach Rick Barnes has on the roster there is one question that must now be asked: could the Texas Longhorns be this year’s Cinderella team?
The simple answer to that is yes.
History has treated No 11 seeds well, especially in recent years. Each year there is typically at least one that makes it out of the first round (No 11 seeds win every one out of three in the round of 64). While there have only been three No 11 seeds to ever make the Final Four, two of those three were within the last decade (VCU in 2011 and George Mason in 2006).
Just because the odds give Texas the possibility of winning does not mean that they will. The talented roster they have will take care of that. Freshman point guard Myck Kabongo and junior shooting guard J’Covan Brown are both considered first round NBA picks should they choose to enter the draft this year.
The team has three more talented freshmen that have been growing steadily throughout the season, and could be ready to break out at just the right time. Sheldon McClellan, Jonathan Holmes, and Julien Lewis have all battled inconsistency this year as they made the transition to the college game, but thanks to three players leaving to go to the NBA last year they either had to sink or swim.
Thankfully, for the Longhorn Nation, they’re swimming.
Going forward they will be underdogs, but they have the talent to surprise the world should they be given a chance. Getting past Cincinnati will be a tough road in the round of 64, but the Longhorns match up well with the Bearcats. Florida State has become the flavor of the week after beating North Carolina for the ACC title, but the Longhorns are the better shooting team. Next up will likely be a very tough challenge in the Sweet Sixteen—Ohio State.
Will it be an easy road for the Longhorns? Absolutely not! That’s why they are called Cinderella teams though; because they need a little magic in order to keep dancing.