The Longhorns will enter the national championship tournament as a No. 3 seed in the East Region and will face No. 14 seed Abilene Christian Wildcats in the first round at approximately 8:50 p.m. CST on Saturday, March 20.
Since the NCAA moved to a 64-team field beginning in 1985, this marks the fifth time that the Longhorns have been a No. 3 seed or better in the NCAA Tournament and first since 2008, according to Texas Athletics. UT previously earned a No. 1 seed in 2003, a No. 2 seed in 2006 and 2008 and a No. 3 seed in 2004. It also marks the 35th overall appearance by the Longhorns in the NCAA Tournament.
UT secured its spot in "the dance" after beating Oklahoma State, 91-86, to win the team's first-ever Big 12 Conference title. It's the first conference tournament title for Texas since winning the old Southwest Conference in 1995.
Texas is starting to hit its stride, too, after playing just six games in 35 days due to positive COVID-19 tests in January and February. All seven of the Longhorns' losses this season have come against teams that were ranked at the time.
In the wake of Texas' win over Oklahoma State, CBS Sports analyst Andy Katz predicted the Longhorns as a No. 2 seed in the Midwest region. ESPN's bracket analyst Joe Lunardi predicted Texas as a No. 3 seed in the Midwest region.
Texas has made 19 appearances to the "big dance" in the last 22 years. The only universities with more NCAA Tournament appearances in the past 22 years are (does not include the 2020 postseason, canceled due to COVID-19):
- Gonzaga (22)
- Kansas (22)
- Duke (21)
- Michigan State (21)
- Wisconsin (21)
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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