Texas Longhorns: 2012 NCAA tournament

Chat Reminder: 11 a.m. CT with Sean Adams

March, 23, 2012
Join Sean Adams today as he chats with SportsNation about the Longhorns, spring football, recruiting, March Madness, and pretty much anything else on his mind.

Submit your questions here.

Also, check out Sean Adams daily on 104.9 the Horn, ESPN Austin as he hosts "The Adams Theory."

Chat leftovers: Hoops future, recruiting talk 

March, 21, 2012
HornsNation's William Wilkerson chatted with readers Tuesday. Here's the full transcript.

If you didn't get your question answered, send it in the HornsNation mailbag.

Here are a few highlights from the chat:

Chat reminder: 2 p.m. CT today

March, 20, 2012
We're chatting today. Join William Wilkerson today at 2 p.m. CT when he'll be talking recruiting, pro day, spring football, the tourney, pretty much anything you want to talk about.

Submit your questions here.

Three Deep: Tough weekend for hoops 

March, 19, 2012
1. Tough hoops weekend: It wasn't a fun weekend for Texas basketball. Both the men’s and women’s teams lost in their opening games. The men fell to Cincinnati, 65-59, and the women lost to West Virginia, 68-55.

As the game ended in Nashville and Rick Barnes’ team once again saw an early NCAA tournament exit, the thought for most Texas fans turned to what happens next? Will junior J’Covan Brown leave early? Will Myck Kabongo be a one-and-done? Answers to these two questions will do more to shape next season than anything else.

Chad Ford has Brown as someone leaning toward the draft and projects him as a second round pick. Kabongo doesn’t appear ready for the NBA after his struggles running the offense this season, but Ford cites that he could be a better pro if he finds a system that fits his style.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Its 19-point lead had been chipped away to nothing, and Cincinnati’s Yancy Gates looked around at his teammates' eyes and liked what he saw.

There wasn’t any panic, only opportunity.

“That’s the way it’s got to be, and that’s the way it’s been all season for us,” Gates said. “We knew they were going to make a run, but we knew we’d be there with an answer. We're used to being in these situations. It's like that every night in the Big East."

Gates did a lot of the answering himself, as No. 6 seed Cincinnati held on to beat 11-seed Texas 65-59 in the second round of the NCAA tournament’s East Regional at Bridgestone Arena.

It was a strange game from the outset, mostly because the basket might as well have been a pin hole for the Longhorns, who were just 4-of-25 from the field in the first half.

“We were up in them pretty good, trying to make everything tough,” said Cincinnati senior guard Dion Dixon, who helped hold Texas’ leading scorer, J'Covan Brown, to 6-of-15 shooting and five turnovers.

“There were some shots that they just missed, but our defense was pretty good. It wasn’t as good as it needed to be when they made their comeback, and that’s something you can’t have. The important thing is getting stops when you’ve got to have them.”

Gates, who led the Bearcats with 15 points and 10 rebounds, made perhaps the biggest shot of the game when he absorbed contact then buried his leaning hook in the lane to put Cincinnati back on top 54-52 with just under three minutes to play.

His basket came after Texas had come all the way back from 19 points down early in the second half. The Longhorns actually had a chance to take the lead, but Brown lost the ball out front.

Gates knew the Bearcats couldn’t give the Longhorns any more openings.

“We got those stops, and we knew we had to turn those stops into some points,” Gates said.

The 6-foot-9 senior added a jumper from just inside the 3-point line to put the Longhorns away once and for all with 1:14 to play. It was almost as if Texas senior center Clint Chapman dared him to take it, and Gates didn’t hesitate.

“It was just confidence, even from teammates telling me to shoot it earlier in the game, where early in the season, I wouldn’t have shot that,” Gates said.

Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin said Gates is a different player from the one who was suspended for six games after throwing punches in the Xavier brawl back in December. It's a big reason the Bearcats (25-10) have won eight of their last 10 games and are pointing toward a deep March run.

“You know, he’s come a long ways. ... He’s matured so much as a player,” Cronin said. “I’ve just got to make sure I get him rest. That’s the biggest issue at times. In the second half, I should have gotten him out earlier, and I didn’t get him early rest.”

Even with its rotten start, Texas (20-14) managed to claw its way back into the game.

But when the Longhorns had chances at the end, they couldn’t capitalize.

"Defensively, I thought we played hard throughout, but we tied the game and actually had two chances to take the lead, and sort of where our season has been, [we] turned it over and [didn’t get] a very good shot," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "But I’m really proud of the fact that these guys fought.”

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Chat Reminder: 11 a.m. CT

March, 16, 2012
We're chatting today at 11 a.m. CT. Join Sean Adams for a lively discussion of Texas' first round NCAA tournament game, spring football and more.

Submit your questions here.

Three Keys: Texas vs. Cincinnati 

March, 15, 2012
Texas freshman Jonathan Holmes wanted to make one thing perfectly clear after the matchups came out on Sunday night: “I’m not afraid of Yancy Gates. I’m not afraid of anybody.”

Maybe Holmes did not see the right hook Cincinatti’s Gates laid on Xavier’s Kenny Frease in their brawl back in December. Of course neither did the unsuspecting Frease. The point is Gates has some fight in his game. And Texas has to be more than a punching bag. The No. 11 seed Longhorns (20-13) have to throw a few haymakers of their own as they match up with the No. 6 seed Cincinnati (24-10) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Nashville Friday.
Pierre Jackson, Jonathan Holmes
Kevin Jairaj/US PresswireTexas will need Jonathan Holmes to be physical against Cincinnati.

To make sure Texas has at least a puncher’s chance here are three keys to the game:

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March Madness: Reading fortunes, What to watch

March, 14, 2012
It's time for your daily dose of NCAA tournament coverage. The first night of the first round saw huge rallies by both Western Kentucky and BYU who lived to fight another day.

Syracuse, the No. 1 seed in East Region (which features the Longhorns), will be without one of their best with Fab Melo being ruled ineligible.

Dana O'Neil takes a look at each team's fortunes and what will determine their tourney fate.

Here's what she had to say about Texas:

Write 'em in: This team goes as J'Covan Brown goes. The best returning player for coach Rick Barnes, Brown has basically carried a young Longhorns team to an unexpected berth, averaging 20 points per game. Point guard Myck Kabongo has been good, if at times erratic, like most young players are. Brown needs to be sensational, and Kabongo controlled for Texas to win.

Write 'em out: This team isn't terribly complicated -- take Brown out of the offense and you've essentially taken the offense out of Texas. Other guys can score, but the Longhorns absolutely need Brown to be in double digits to win.

Write it down: Since 1956, Tom Anderson, the university's carillonneur, plays songs at 12:50 p.m., using the 56-bell chimes in the Tower. Since he takes requests, may we suggest "It's a Miracle" to emphasize the Longhorns' unexpected run to the tourney?

Jason King takes a look at Thursday and Friday's games and what to watch.

Finally, President Obama has submitted his bracket. Andy Katz visited the White House. The President has picked Kansas to win it all the last two seasons only to see the Jayhawks fail. This year, the Commander-in-Chief is taking the Tar Heels.

Join the HornsNation bracket challenge

March, 13, 2012
Do you think your picks are solid? Do you have a winning NCAA tournament bracket? Prove it.

Let's have a little fun with March Madness. Come join our Tournament Challenge group and fill out your bracket before the games begin on Thursday and try to beat HornsNation.

The winner takes home a free one-year subscription to ESPN Insider.

If you're up for the challenge and want to take on the HornsNation staff. Prove it.

Sign up for free and join our group here.

Tourney trends, bracket busters and more

March, 12, 2012

Texas is in the Big Dance, but it's a long week until the Longhorns face Cincinnati on Friday at 11:15 a.m. CT.

Here are a few links to get you ready for the NCAA tournament and help you fill out your brackets:

• Eamonn Brennan makes 10 bold predictions.

• After spending his time predicting who would get in, Joe Lunardi has turned his attention to the teams who actually will be dancing. Lunardi looks at all 68 teams and their matchups.

• There will be a few upsets. Peter Keating and Jordan Brenner do a little number crunching to look at which teams have the best chance at knocking off a higher seed. Here's the Giant Killers blog Insider.

• If you don't want to make your own guesses, let the Bracket Predictor Insider do it for you.

Texas is dancing for a 14th straight year

March, 11, 2012

The Texas Longhorns (20-13) are in the Big Dance once again. For the 14th straight season, Texas has earned a bid to the NCAA tournament. The Longhorns are in the East Region as a No. 11 seed. They open the tournament on Friday against No. 6 seed Cincinnati (24-10).

The East Region features No. 1 seed Syracuse, No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Florida State. Texas

Texas is one of just six teams to make the tournament in each of the last 14 seasons. This will also be the Longhorns' 30th overall trip.

For more, here's the official bracket.

Or take on your friends and the nation with Tournament Challenge.


Texas Longhorns Show Out On Pro Day
The Texas Longhorns produced several eligible NFL Draft athletes who participated in Pro Day Tuesday afternoon in Austin, Texas.