Thursday March Madness Update


NCAA basketball | Image by Al Sermeno Photography

The 2023 men’s NCAA Tournament officially began Tuesday night with the First Four in Dayton, Ohio.

Seven teams from Texas made the field, including First Four participants Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Texas Southern.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (24-11) appeared in the first game of the tournament for the second consecutive season.

After losing in the same round last year, the Islanders earned their first NCAA Tournament win by taking command early and holding on late against Southeast Missouri State — accomplishing precisely what head coach Steve Lutz told The Dallas Express he hoped his team would do.

A&M-Corpus Christi advanced into the Round of 64 to face No. 1-seed Alabama in the South region on Thursday, where its bid for a Cinderella run ended.

After falling behind 9-0 at the start, the Islanders battled back to within four points, but Alabama finished the first half on a 35-19 run while shooting 53.1% from the field and 58.8% from three-point range.

A&M-Corpus Christi started the second half on an 8-0 run to force an Alabama timeout, but the Crimson Tide rode its first-half lead to a 96-75 victory despite an even second half and advanced to the Round of 32 on Saturday.

Trevian Tennyson scored all 20 of his points in the second half to lead the Islanders, and Nick Pringle scored 19 for Alabama.

Texas Southern (14-21) did not have the same success in its play-in game against Fairleigh Dickinson (20-15). The two 16 seeds played on Wednesday night, with the Knights advancing to play No. 1 Purdue on Friday in the East region.

Fairleigh Dickinson shot 50% from the floor and led by as many as 25 to make easy work of the Tigers. Texas Southern rallied in the second half but never got over the hump in an 84-61 loss. John Walker III led the Tigers with 22 points, while all five FDU starters scored in double figures.

Five Texas schools remain in the Tournament. Here is their remaining schedule in the Round of 64.

No. 2 Texas (26-8) vs. No. 15 Colgate (26-8), Midwest region, 6:25 p.m. CT
Texas earned its highest NCAA Tournament seed since 2008 and has made 29 of the past 34 Tournaments. The last time the Longhorns were a No. 2 seed (in 2008), they went to the Sweet 16.

No. 1 Houston (31-3) vs. No. 16 Northern Kentucky (22-12), South region, 8:20 p.m. CT
Houston is making its fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, a school record. This is the second time it has earned the top seed and its first since losing the 1982-83 National Championship.

No. 7 Texas A&M (25-9) vs. No. 10 Penn State (22-13), Midwest region, 8:55 p.m. CT
The Aggies are making their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2018. A&M makes its 14th overall appearance and becomes the third Division I program to make the field under Buzz Williams.

No. 3 Baylor (22-10) vs. No. 14 California-Santa Barbara (27-7), South region, 12:30 p.m. CT
Baylor is entering its eighth NCAA Tournament in the past nine seasons. The Bears are 18-9 in the Tournament under Scott Drew and 8-5 as a No. 3 seed all-time.

No. 6 TCU (21-12) vs. No. 11 Arizona State (23-12), West region, 9:05 p.m. CT
TCU is making its 10th NCAA Tournament appearance and third in the past six years. The Horned Frogs are 6-9 all-time in the Tournament and have never been past the Elite Eight.


Tournament Notes
— Thirteen-seed Furman came up with the first upset of the NCAA Tournament with a one-point win over No. 4 Virginia on a late three-pointer. The Cavaliers lost in the first round in three of their last four NCAA Tournament appearances.

— Kansas, the No. 1 seed in the Midwest, won its first game of the Tournament against Howard while playing without head coach Bill Self as he recovers from surgery.

— The Big 12 is 1-1 after the Kansas victory and a West Virginia loss with five teams left to play.

— The SEC is 2-0 after wins from Alabama and Missouri and has five other teams yet to play.

— No. 5 seed San Diego State survived 63-57 against No. 12 Charleston. The win ended an 11-game losing streak in the Tournament for the Mountain West Conference.

— Fifteen-seed Princeton knocked off two-seed Arizona, 59-55, in the South region.

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