Texas doesn’t have a good track record in the NCAA Tournament. The blame is often placed on head coach Rick Barnes…and it should be. If you can’t win a few games with Kevin Durant on your team, something is wrong.
Arizona State’s backcourt is one of the best in the Pac-12. They run their offense through them and take good shots. It helps that they have more than one player who can shoot the lights out from deep.
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In January, Texas had one of the best four-games stretches in college basketball. They beat Iowa State, Kansas State, Baylor and Kansas, all in a row. They couldn’t keep it up, but that kind of success really makes you forget how bad coach Banes is in the postseason. I love the Longhorns front court of Jonathan Holmes and Cameron Ridley. Holmes is a great rebounder and can even hit a 15-foot jumper consistently.
Arizona State is really good at two things, shooting the three and having Jordan Bachynski sit in the paint and block shots. They did those things well enough to go 10-8 in the Pac-12, which outperformed most preseason projections.
I am really interested in watching Bachynski battle with Cameron Ridley. This game will be won in the paint. Holmes and Ridley should be able to do damage. Bachynski can’t defend both of them at the same time. Texas is underrated and could give Michigan a good game in the next round.
Prediction: #7 Texas Longhorns
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.