Texas basketball vs. Abilene Christian NCAA Tournament preview

texas basketball

Texas basketball will play Abilene Christian on Saturday, March 20 in a first round matchup for the NCAA Tournament. Texas has a good chance to win today and advance to the second round. Let’s break down both squads.

Texas offense

The Longhorns won the Big 12 Tournament and received an automatic bid to participate in the NCAA Tournament. This offense is consistent for the most part, and the offense is the reason the Longhorns won the Big 12 Tournament. Andrew Jones, Courtney Ramey and Matt Coleman III have to be the primary contributors on offense. When they aren’t, the Longhorns struggle and sometimes even lose the game. Having multiple scorers like this proves Texas is a dangerous team. It just needs to have that same consistency it had the majority of the season.

Texas defense

This is the part of Texas that needs to improve if it wants to have a chance at winning the NCAA Tournament. Defense is crucial especially when your offense isn’t able to score. It has happened a couple times throughout this tournament in other games where an offense struggled and that team must win with defense. So, having a good defense that can make stops, get steals and blocks when needed is important to the Longhorns success in the tournament. This defense needs to step up and get better in this tournament. The defense has been the reason Texas has lost some games, but now it’s time to play well and play with some consistency.

Abilene Christian offense

Like Texas, this offense also has three top scorers that average over 10 points a game. Kolton Kohl, Joe Pleasant and Coryon Mason are what drives this offense. The Longhorns must stop or slow down these three if they don’t want to get upset and knocked out in the first round. Abilene Christian is a good team and earned the right to be in this tournament, but it has played far less tough competition than what Texas has experienced this season. However, this offense is still dangerous and has to be respected like every team should be. It is just not used to playing a team like the Longhorns.

Abilene Christian defense

Where this team is really dangerous is on the defensive end of the floor. This defense averages nearly 10 steals a game. That is a major game changer, and the Longhorns need to keep their turnovers low. That’s how they could get upset and lose this game. This defense is more of the backbone for this team compared to the offense. Texas needs to be prepared for low scoring game and do enough to get the win.

Looking forward

There have been so many upsets in this tournament already. That’s why they call it March Madness, but so far more bigger upsets have happened this year compared to the past. The Longhorns will have a tough road ahead of them after this game, but they should pull this one out. Texas will win this game to advance to the round of 32. The Longhorns win with a final score of 77-68 and will play the winner of the BYU vs. UCLA matchup.

Photo courtesy of Kansas State Athletics