USA TODAY Sports
Texas gets by TCU and will face Kansas St. in Round 2.
For the first 32 minutes, I seriously questioned whether the Texas Longhorns were even minutely better than their opponent, the TCU Horned Frogs. Then TCU went ice cold from both the three-point line and the free throw line, Texas made a few smart decisions on offense, and that was all she wrote.
Like Texas' previous matchup with TCU, the double digit margin of victory belies how close the game really was and how mediocre Texas looked for a majority of the game. But at this point in the season, the only thing that matters to Texas is the W. With the victory, the Longhorns advance to play #2 seed Kansas St. tonight.
Point guard Myck Kabongo was the only starter to score in double figures. He posted 16 points, 6 assists and 3 turnovers and was mostly good but never really spectacular. The freshmen starters, particularly Ioannis Papapetrou, had a forgettable night.
Luckily, "forgotten" sophomores Sheldon McClellan and Julien Lewis stepped up with good games. McClellan was basically in "just score" mode. He had 12 points, 7 of which came on free throws. While he looked listless half the time, when McClellan focused on getting to the basket, he was effective. Lewis' team-leading 19 points were huge, and his four 3's came at opportune times. He played most of the second half over freshman starter DeMarcus Holland, a smart move by Barnes.
Texas' strong performance from the line (25-32 for 78.1%) and 0 turnovers in the second half helped pave the way to a victory. There's no rest for the victors. Texas plays the Kansas St. Wildcats in the hopes of going above .500 for the first time since early this year.