Texas is nearing its first Candy 16 since its 2008 run, which noticed Rick Barnes’ Longhorns attain the Elite Eight following a pair of spectacular victories.
Texas now strikes onto the Midwest Regional in Kansas Metropolis, the place it should face Xavier within the Candy Sixteen on Friday. In the event that they win, they are going to play the winner of Houston and Miami within the Elite Eight spherical on Sunday. Right here’s every thing you have to know in regards to the opponents Texas might see this weekend:
Xavier Musketeers, No. 3 seed
The Musketeers’ scoring effort is balanced, with all 5 of their starters averaging double figures, led by fifth-year guard Souley Boum, who Texas interim head coach Rodney Terry coached within the guard throughout his sophomore and junior seasons at UTEP.
Xavier’s three-guard lineup causes issues for defenses, as all of them shoot larger than 38% from three, which areas the ground. This permits its 7-foot graduate ahead Jack Nunge area to work inside with out being double-teamed. When Pittsburgh tried to double Zach Freemantle and Nunge early in its second-round recreation in opposition to the Musketeers, guard Adam Kunkel caught hearth, hitting 5 3-pointers within the first half.
Based on KenPom, the Musketeers have a 118.5 adjusted offensive effectivity, which ranks seventh within the nation. Nonetheless, if there’s a weak spot for Texas to use, it’s Xavier’s protection, which ranks sixty fourth nationwide and is the third lowest of the event’s remaining groups, per KenPom.
Houston Cougars, No. 1 seed
Coming into the event, Houston was the second general seed following a 33-3 common season with a 17–1 convention report.
Star senior guard Marcus Sasser, who’s the Cougars’ go-to man, went down with a groin harm throughout Houston’s 63-52 win over No. 16-seed Northern Kentucky within the first spherical, forcing the AAC Participant of the Yr and First-team All-American out of the second half. Nonetheless, in Houston’s second spherical 81-64 win over Auburn, Sasser returned to his regular self, pouring in 22 factors on 50% taking pictures.
Projected top-10 draft choose ahead Jarace Walker is a catalyst for the Cougars on each ends of the ground. The 6-foot-8-inch freshman can defend virtually each place, create for others and rebound at a excessive stage, which might trigger issues for Texas’ forwards.
If Texas faces Houston within the Elite Eight, every staff can be vying for a presumed residence courtroom benefit on the Ultimate 4 at NRG Stadium in Houston.
Miami Hurricanes, No. 5 seed
Miami head coach Jim Larrañaga’s squad stunned No. 4-seed Indiana final week with a convincing 85-69 win over the Hoosiers. Nonetheless, Larrañaga isn’t any stranger to surprises, having famously led George Mason, a faculty that hadn’t beforehand received a recreation within the NCAA event, to an unbelievable run to the Ultimate 4 in 2006 as a No. 11 seed.
Miami options ACC Participant of the Yr Isaiah Wong, who’s his staff’s important playmaker in large moments, main his staff in factors, assists and steals. The junior guard led the Hurricanes to a 27–7 general report with an everyday season ACC title and a powerful 15–5 convention report.
If the Hurricanes are to progress additional within the event, they should enhance on their struggling protection, which ranks 108th nationally and the worst of the event’s remaining groups, in line with KenPom. Miami held its personal in opposition to Drake and Indiana, however it should quickly face its greatest problem but in a Houston staff that boasts one of many nation’s greatest offenses.