College Hoops

Perspective on No. 2 Texasโ€™ huge win over No. 10 Penn State

Perspective on No. 2 Texasโ€™ huge win over No. 10 Penn State

The Texas Longhorns advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2008. On the surface, Texas defeated a bad basketball program historically and a mere No. 10 seed. In reality, the win gives the program a monumental boost in perception and internal confidence.

The Penn State Nittany Lions entered the game as one of the better three-point shooting teams in the country. The team shot especially well against the Texas A&M Aggies two days earlier. Thanks to some luck and what was at times an excellent defensive performance by the Longhorns, Penn State went cold from the three-point line.

On average, Penn State connected on just over 10 three-point baskets per game. Against Texas, the Nittany Lions made just 8 of 28 from long range. Albeit, the Longhorns shot a much worse 1-for-13 from behind the arc.

Letโ€™s look at what Texas accomplished by pulling out an improbable win.

The common fan isnโ€™t the decision maker for Texas basketball, but popular opinion favors Texas head coach Rodney Terry after reaching the schoolโ€™s first Sweet 16 in nearly 15 years. Chris Beard never made the Sweet 16 at Texas and Shaka Smart never won an NCAA Tournament game. What Terry did was particularly impressive in light of what it took to win.

Much has been made of the potential hire of Billy Donovan. Based on how the team battled back from losing a sizable lead and trailing, perhaps those discussions should be over. Frankly, Iโ€™m not sure any coach could have done a more impressive job than Terry did after falling behind 58-55. Great coaches find a way to get it done in March. Rodney Terry just won you that game.

Weโ€™ve talked about the Longhorns ability to score in a myriad of ways. That was particularly true on Saturday night as the team needed to score in ways other than three-point shooting. Dylan Disu went off and carried the…

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