Big 12 Basketball

Three Thoughts on Texas’ 81-61 Win Over Colgate in the NCAA Tournament

Texas guard Marcus Carr.

The Texas Longhorns defeated the Colgate Raiders, 81-61, in the first round of the 2023 NCAA men’s basketball tournament in Des Moines, Iowa. Here are three thoughts on the game.

Texas (27-8) advances to the second round of the tournament, where it will face either Texas A&M or Penn State on Saturday. Colgate’s season ends with a record of 26-9.


How Texas Won

Sir’Jabari Rice. That about sums it up. The guard showed why he was the Big 12 Conference’s Sixth Man of the Year as he scored 23 points, including seven 3-pointers. He had five of those treys by halftime as Texas led Colgate, 41-32. This was a bit of a flip for the Longhorns, who are not a consistently good 3-point shooting team outside of Rice. But the Longhorns made 13 for the game and shot 56.5 percent from there.

Marcus Carr added 17 points and made four 3-pointers of his own. Forward Dylan Disu had 17 points, and finished with eight rebounds, continuing his surge of quality play that began just before the end of the regular season.

Timmy Allen did return to the starting lineup after missing the Big 12 Tournament with a lower leg injury. He didn’t have much of an impact, scoring just four points and grabbing just three rebounds. But he had five assists. Christian Bishop had a solid game off the bench scoring eight points and grabbing five rebounds.


How Colgate Lost

Colgate entered the game as the nation’s best 3-point shooting team. So Texas had to extend its defense and contest every shot. And the Raiders felt the pressure. While as a team they shot 43 percent for the game, they only shot 20 percent from the arc and made just three 3-pointers.

And, with Texas on a tear from the arc for most of the game, that just wasn’t going to do.

Now, the Raiders did limit their turnovers against the steady pressure of Texas’ defense, and that helped keep them within striking distance. And, Colgate put some pressure on Texas with a 10-2 run that cut the Longhorn lead to 66-57 with 7:56 left. That prompted a Texas time out.

It was Disu that cooled off the run with a jump hook to push the lead back to double digits. The Raiders didn’t threaten again.

Ryan Moffatt and Keegan Records each had 13 points for the Raiders.


Rodney Terry Job Watch

The fate of Rodney Terry as the permanent head coach at Texas is one the line now. I’ve maintained since he took over for Chris Beard that his chances of being the full-time replacement would hinge on how the Longhorns did in the NCAA Tournament.

Stadium’s Jeff Goodman backed up my thoughts earlier in the week when said on the Field of 68 podcast that Terry would need a deep tournament run in order to get the permanent job. He also said that Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte “doesn’t want to,” as in give Terry the job.

Our Pete Mundo has asked me a few times this season about Terry’s status and I’ve maintained that he has to, at the least, do better than Beard this last season — a second-round exit — to get serious consideration for the job.

After Thursday’s win, Terry has the Longhorns well-positioned to get to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2008.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard

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