2022 NCAA Tournament: Can the Longhorns Make a Deep Run to New Orleans?

The 2022 NCAA Tournament officially tipped off on Thursday and the Texas Longhorns are looking to make a deep run to the Final Four in New Orleans. Let’s take a look at the Longhorns path to cutting down the nets and give you everything you need to know about their chances at becoming tournament champions.

Longhorns’ Seed and Region

With a 21-11 record, Texas drew a 6-seed in the East Region headlined by in-state rival Baylor Bears. The East Region also includes the 2-seed Kentucky Wildcats, 3-seed Purdue Boilermakers, and 4-seed UCLA Bruins. It’s considered by many college basketball experts to be one of the most competitive of the four regions, with former the defending National Champion Baylor Bears at the top and an array of blue-blood programs throughout.

The Longhorns first round matchup will be the 11-seed Virginia Tech Hokies.

Matchup vs. Virginia Tech

Va Tech finished the season 23-12 overall, 11-9 in their conference, and ended up in 7th in the standings at the end of the regular season. Virginia Tech rode the momentum of four wins in the conference tournament to win the ACC title, beating Duke in the championship 82-67, and earning the automatic tournament bid. Now, as one of the hottest teams in the country, will face the Texas Longhorns at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, WI.

Despite their 12 total losses, Virginia Tech is one of the top rated teams in the country by many metrics. According to KenPom (a popular rating system that accounts for a variety of on-court variables), they’re the 22nd-ranked team overall. They shoot 46.7% from the field (49th) and 38.8% from three (6th). Overall, they’re the type of team who matchup analytically with just about any team in the country.

Comparatively, Texas is rated 15th overall. Their defense is their strong suit, holding opponents to only 59.5 points per game. One of the most important aspects to a tournament run is leadership and experience and Texas has that in spades with three senior starters in Timmy Allen, Andrew Jones, and Marcus Carr.

How to Watch

You can watch tomorrow’s (6) Texas vs. (11) Virginia Tech game on TBS at 3:30PM CST. Or, for those on the move, the NCAA March Madness app is free to download and you can watch every game live with a cable log in. Or, head to one of Austin’s best sports bars to catch all of the action with cold beer and good friends.

Prediction

This is a matchup of the two age-old tournament adages — momentum vs. experience. The momentum of Virginia Tech’s recent success vs. the trio of senior experience Texas provides. Because this game is played on a neutral court there is no advantage to either side. The Longhorns enter this first round tilt as a short one-point favorite, with a game total of 123.5.

We’re taking our Longhorns in this one to win a close game as the higher seed. The senior leadership and Chris Beard’s pedigree as a tournament coach from his days at Texas Tech are enough to squeeze Texas by.

Texas 62 Virginia Tech 60

Featured Image Credit: Longhorns USA Today

 

 

 

 

 

 

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