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March Madness: Longhorns set to face Nevada in opening round of NCAA Tournament

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Photo: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Longhorns earned an invitation to the NCAA Tournament on Sunday evening, their 34th appearance, and will face the Nevada Wolfpack in Nashville, Tennessee (South Region) on Friday.

https://twitter.com/TexasMBB/status/972958701513531394

The Longhorns appear as a 10 seed and the Wolfpack, which play in the Mountain West Conference, are the 7-seed in the region.  Nevada finished the season at 27-7  (15-3 in the Mountain West).

Nevada is coached by Eric Musselman, who assumed the head coaching position in 2015.

Texas makes their second appearance in the Big Dance under head coach Shaka Smart, who is still in search of his first win in the event.  The Longhorns were upset in the first round by Northern Iowa in 2016 on a half-Court buzzer-beater.

Aaron Carrara is the founder and publisher of HornSports and has covered University of Texas athletics since 2011. Aaron is a member of the Football Writer's Association of America and the U.S. Basketball Writer's Association and is a proud father to three boys.

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Texas picks up commitment from 2019 4-star SG

The Longhorns secured their first commitment of the 2019 class from SG Donovan Williams earlier today

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Shaka Smart picked up his first commitment in the 2019 class Wednesday morning, when Fort Bend Elkins SG Donovan Williams verbally pledged to the Longhorns. The 6’5, 180 pound guard took his official visit to Austin this past weekend, and it didn’t take long for him to pull the trigger. Williams chose Texas over Arizona State, Texas A&M, Miami and Georgia.

Williams is currently ranked as the 111th overall player in the 2019 class, according to the 247sports composite rankings.

Here are some highlights from Williams at the NBPA Top 100 Camp:

http://www.cbssports.com/general/video/7a8d31be-0e91-4108-ba33-243774040bc7

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Texas Longhorns Basketball

Jacob Young announces transfer from Texas Basketball program

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Photo: USA TODAY Sports Images

University of Texas head coach Shaka Smart lost another player on Thursday, just two days after true freshman Mohamed Bamba announced his decision to leave school early and declare himself eligible for the upcoming NBA Draft.  Sophmore guard Jacob Young, who averaged 16.2 minutes and 6.2 points per game for the Longhorns this season, announced via twitter that he would seek a transfer.

“I appreciate all of the effort that Jacob has given to our University over the past two seasons,” said head coach Shaka Smart in a statement.

Young was a 4-star recruit out of Yates High School in Houston and was ranked as the 23rd best point guard in the country.

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Texas Longhorns Basketball

NCAA Tournament Preview: Texas vs Nevada

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Nevada Wolf Pack- Photo Courtesy of USA TODAY Sports Images

After a one year absence, 10 seed Texas is set to return to the NCAA tournament on Friday against 7 seed Nevada. This will be the Longhorn’s second tournament appearance under third year head coach Shaka Smart, with the first appearance in 2016 ending with a 1st round exit to Northern Iowa on a half-court shot at the buzzer. Nevada returns to the tournament for the second consecutive season, bowing out in the first round last year to Iowa State, 84-73.

On the court, the Wolf Pack are led by the Caleb and Cody Martin. The twins have combined to average 32.7 PPG and 11.6 RPG. Cody is also the team leader in assists at 4.2 per game. There is not much to dislike about Nevada offensively. They shoot well from the field (46.8%), shoot well from 3 (39.8%) and rarely turn the ball over (9.9 turnovers per game). Despite the positives on the offensive end, the Wolf Pack will have several factors working against them heading into the first round match-up. Starting point guard Lindsey Drew has been sidelined for a month with an achilles injury, and his absence has left Nevada short handed. The Wolf Pack will likely only play 7 players against the Longhorns, and Nevada also loves to foul. The inside presence of Jericho Sims and Mo Bamba could cause trouble if Wolf Pack players start finding themselves in foul trouble.

The Longhorns are coming off a 73-69 loss to Texas Tech in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament. Bamba returned to action against the Red Raiders after missing the previous 2 games with a toe injury. The star freshman claims to be 100% healthy heading into the NCAA tournament, and it would be a welcome site for Shaka Smart and company to have their star player back on the floor at full health.

With Eric Davis still out due to an ongoing NCAA investigation, Smart will continue to lean on rising guard Jacob Young, who has elevated his play the past few games. Young poured in a career high 29 points against Texas Tech, and played 32 minutes. The Houston native has given the Longhorns a much needed shooting boast from beyond the arc.

Texas and Nevada is set to tip at 3:30 CST on TBS. The winner for face the winner of 2 seed Cincinnati against 15 seed Georgia State. Follow along at HornSports.com for live updates.

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Big 12

Longhorns fall to #14 Red Raiders in Big 12 Quarterfinals 69-73

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Photo: William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

Mo Bamba made his return to the court off the bench and Jacob Young’s career-high 29 points weren’t enough to propel Texas to an upset win over Texas Tech in the Big 12 Quarterfinals.  Texas Tech shot 56.3% from 3-point range and out-rebounded the Longhorns 37-28, which proved to be the difference for head coach Chris Beard’s Red Raiders.

Bamba, who is averaging a double-double in scoring and rebounds this season, finished with 10 points and 4 rebounds.  The true freshman missed the last two games of the regular season and the first game of the Big 12 Tournament with a toe injury.

Freshman point guard Matt Coleman had a productive night for the Longhorns, finishing with 20 points, 4 assists and 3 rebounds.  Coleman was a perfect 10-10 from the free-throw stripe.

Junior forward Dylan Osetkowski had a quiet evening, scoring just 2 points from 2-9 shooting from the floor.

Texas Tech senior point guard Keenan Evans led the Red Raiders in scoring with 25 points and freshman Jarrett Culver scored 13 points in the victory, which earned the  the Red Raiders a trip to the Big 12 Semifinals. Texas Tech will face the winner of the West Virginia vs. Baylor game which takes place later on Thursday evening.

Texas shot 43.1% from the field compared to Texas Tech’s 47.3%.  The Longhorns had 7 turnovers in the game while the Red Raiders turned the ball over 10 times.

Selection Sunday is just days away and while it appears the Longhorns have done enough to earn an invitation to the NCAA Tournament, nothing is set in stone until that invitation is official.  The Eyes of Texas will be tuning in to TBS on March 11th at 5:00 PM CST, hoping the Longhorns have in fact, done enough to play in the Big Dance.

Has Texas has done enough to earn a spot in the field of 68?

Join the discussion and let us know.

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