Does something feel familiar about this NCAA Tournament first-round matchup for Texas? It should.
The Longhorns met Nevada under similar circumstances in 2005, a meeting that will stir bad memories for burnt orange diehards. Eighth-seeded Texas led in the final minutes before allowing the No. 9 seed Wolf Pack to score the final eight points in a 61-57 nail-biter.
Despite holding Nevada star Nick Fazekas to 10 points on 3 of 14 shooting, the Longhorns struggled to convert inside. Here’s what reporter Mark Rosner wrote in the Austin American-Statesman:
On Thursday, Nevada offered access to the rim with relatively little obstruction. It was a gift that the Longhorns fumbled.
Texas, taking most of its shots inside, hit a paltry 35 percent, losing to Nevada 61-57 in the opening round of the NCAA tournament in front of 26,804 fans at the RCA Dome.
Texas did not score during the final 2 minutes, 24 seconds, producing missed shots inside by Jason Klotz and Kenton Paulino, a turnover by Paulino, and an ill-advised three-point attempt by Daniel Gibson.
Kevinn Pinkney led the Wolf Pack with 15 points, and Nevada also featured future NBA journeyman Ramon Sessions. Texas was without freshman LaMarcus Aldridge, who suffered a season-ending injury in December.
This time around, Nevada is the higher-seeded team in a 7-10 matchup with Texas as the trendy upset pick. For the diehards, a win on Friday could help heal some wounds from that loss that ended a stretch of three-straight Sweet 16 appearances for Texas.
Of course, the guys who will be on the floor were in grade school.
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