The 10-seed Texas Longhorns were eliminated in the first round of the NCAA Tournament by the 7-seed Nevada Wolfpack 85-83 Friday in overtime in a thrilling showdown.
With Texas holding a one-point lead late in regulation, Mohamed Bamba blocked a Nevada shot attempt but committed his fifth foul on Jordan Caroline with 3.8 seconds left, sending the Wolfpack guard to the line. Caroline made one, tying the game at 68. An errant inbounds pass by Dylan Osetkowski bounced off the fingertips of Jericho Sims, giving Nevada the ball with 1.6 seconds left. Caleb Martin’s three-pointer was way wide, and the game went to overtime.
Matt Coleman scored the first five points of overtime for Texas on a three-pointer and a midrange jumper. Kerwin Roach II knocked down a three-pointer in the corner and drew the foul, converting a four-point play. But Texas couldn’t stop Nevada on the other end, and with 2:55 left the Longhorns had a 77-75 lead. Then Nevada went on a quick 6-0 run thanks to a pair of Caleb Martin three-pointers and took the lead for good.
Roach hit another three-pointer to cut the lead to 85-83 with 15.7 seconds remaining. But Kendall Stevens calmly drained a pair of free throws to ice the game and send the Longhorns home early.
The guards did most of the scoring for Texas. Roach II put up a career-high 26 points on 9-19 shooting and hit 6-10 from beyond the arc. Coleman was more efficient, scoring 25 points on 9-15 shooting and 4-5 from three-point range. Bamba posted a double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds.
Texas scored most of its points in the first half on a series of quick runs. The Longhorns had a 10-0 run spanning from 18:27-15:58 in the first half, a 9-0 run from 13:31-11:30 and a 7-0 run from 6:37-5:15. In between were bouts of missed shots and turnovers, but Nevada could never seriously capitalize on any Texas mistakes early on.
The Longhorns led 35-26 at the half and stretched their lead out to as much as 14 points with 18:43 left. The Wolfpack simply refused to go away quietly, however, and with 6:36 left the Texas lead had dwindled down to one at 56-55.
But Coleman came down and hit a three-pointer for the Longhorns, and Sims made a layup, and then Texas had some breathing room. Nevada never let the lead get above six after the 5-minute mark, and cut it to one again at 64-63 with just under two minutes left, and again at 66-65 with 45.3 seconds left. It was 68-67 with 18 seconds left, and Texas had the ball, but Roach missed the front end of a one-and-one and gave the Wolfpack the ball on their final possession. That’s when Bamba was called for the foul, and when fortune flipped against Texas.
Texas finished with a 19-15 record. This is the third straight Tournament appearance for the Longhorns that has ended in the first round.
Nevada will move on to play 2-seed Cincinnati on Sunday.
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