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The NCAA March Madness Tournament is finally here, and WSN will provide you with game previews for every round of the Big Dance. This one is about the 2 seeded Texas Longhorns and the 15-seeded Colgate Raiders.
15 seeds are just 9-135 against 2 seeds in the NCAA Tournament, but it has happened in consecutive years. Oral Roberts beat Ohio State in 2021, and Saint Peter’s beat Kentucky last year.
Can Colgate make it three in a row? Here’s a breakdown of both teams.
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No team has faced more adversity this season than Texas.
Starting the season 7-1 with wins against Gonzaga and Creighton, all was going well for the Longhorns. But after Chris Beard was fired, Texas had to move forward without their head coach.
In came associate head coach Rodney Terry, who has done a fantastic job in the interim role. They won five straight after the firing and carried that into Big 12 Conference play.
Texas’ schedule was no cakewalk either, as they played the seventh hardest schedule. But having two veteran guards Marcus Carr and Sir’Jabari Rice, really helped with that.
The Longhorns finished with a 26-8 record and finished second in the Big 12 at 12-6. Texas picked up some quality wins along the way in conference play, beating teams like Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas twice, Kansas State, and TCU twice.
Texas has a lengthy resume and enters the tournament fresh off a Big 12 Tournament Championship. They also secured 14 Quad 1 wins during the year, the second most in Division I.
The Longhorns are not only led by experienced guards in Carr and Rice, but five of their top six scorers on the team are seniors. The other is sophomore Tyrese Hunter, who contributes 10.2 points a game.
Carr is probably the Longhorns’ best scorer. The fifth-year player averaged 15.9 points this season with 3.0 rebounds and 4.1 assists. He scored 17-plus points in 15 games, including a 41-point performance.
His partner on the court, Rice, can score just as well. The transfer from New Mexico State averaged 12.6 points and came off the bench for most of the year. His first three starts of the season came just recently in the Big 12 Tournament.
Both Carr and Rice scored 17 a piece in the Big 12 Championship against Kansas.
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Colgate makes the NCAA Tournament for the fourth consecutive season. They made it as a 14 seed in both 2021 and 2022 but remain winless (0-6) in March Madness history.
Playing in the Patriot League, Colgate only played one ranked opponent all season long. It was on the road against 15-ranked Auburn, where the Tigers won by 27 points. Outside of that, it’s hard to evaluate the Raiders.
They rolled through the Patriot League with a 17-1 record by scoring a lot of points. They averaged 78.6 points per game -- 5.5 more than any other team in the conference -- and led the conference in three-point field percentage.
The Raiders have five players who averaged in double figures, and most of them played together last year. Colgate returns 65.4% of their scoring from last year, including their top two scorers in Tucker Richardson and Keegan Records.
Colgate was 0-1 in Quad 1, 1-0 in Quad 2 with a road win against Syracuse, 2-5 in Quad 3, and 22-2 in Quad 4 results.
With Colgate returning most of its players, they have several players from last year’s March Madness team back for the 2023 tournament.
Four of Colgate’s top five scorers this year were on the 2022 team, including the Raiders’ best player in Richardson. The fifth-year senior put together his best college season by averaging 13.9 points, 5.8 assists, and 5.2 rebounds.
Richardson was named the Patriot League Player of the Year and will need an efficient offensive day to give Colgate any shot in this game. A game similar to his best performance of the season when he poured in 30 points, four assists, four rebounds, and four steals against Syracuse.
Luckily for him, Records can also contribute offensively. The 6-foot-10 forward finished the year with 13.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game.
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The 15 seeds don’t beat the 2 seeds very often, but it’s happened in consecutive seasons. It’s March, and anything can happen. Texas enters this game against Colgate as a 14-point favorite.
The advantage for Colgate is that they have an experienced roster that has been together for a couple of years. They only lost by seven points to 3 seeded Wisconsin last year, and those players continue to develop that on-court chemistry.
They can score the basketball and finished with an offensive rating of 115.1. KenPom also has the Raiders as the best 15-seeded offensive team in the tournament, coming in 44th nationally.
But Colgate is facing another experienced team in Texas. And the Longhorns do a lot of great things on both sides of the ball.
KenPom has the Longhorns' offensive efficiency as the 18th-best in college basketball and their defensive efficiency as the 11th-best. Texas doesn’t have anyone bigger than 6-foot-9, but they’re physical inside.
Playing in the Big 12 is going to pay off big time for the Longhorns, and they’ll be ready for this game. Texas has its own experience, with both Carr and Rice having played five college seasons a piece, and that will be good enough to cover the spread and get past Colgate.
Location: Des Moines, Iowa, Wells Fargo Arena
Game Time & Date: 3/16 @7:25 ET
TV Network: TBS
Streaming: YouTube TV
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