University of Texas (7, East)
vs. Minnesota (10)
Thursday, March 19, 2009, 7:20 ET tip
Vegas Line: TX -5.5
Thanks to Vegas Watch for providing these graphs that measure the moving average of a team’s spread (moving avg.) over time vs. the spread for each individual game (indiv). If a team’s moving average is higher than zero, then Vegas currently has a higher opinion of them than Pomeroy, and vice versa.
Location: Austin, TX
Conference: Big 12 (at-large bid)
Coach: Rick Barnes, 265 W, 102 L
08-09 Record: 22-11 (9-7 B12)
Last 12 Games: 7-5
Best Win: (three-way tie) vs UCLA (12/4), n-Villanova at MSG (12/9), vs Oklahoma (2/21)
Worst Loss: 61-67 at Arkansas, (1/6)
Off. Efficiency Rating: 110.7 (47th)
Def. Efficiency Rating: 91.7 (29th)
Nuts n Bolts
Star Player(s): Dexter Pittman (Junior Center) – 117.3 ORtg, 6.7 FC/40, .619 2ptFG%, 17.9 OR%, 18.0 DR%
Unsung Hero: Dogus Balbay (Freshman PG) – 26.6 Asst Rate, 2.6 STL%, 100% improvement in TX halfcourt offense when he emerged as the team leader at PG
Potential NBA Draft Pick(s): Damion James (late 1st Rd, early 2nd)
Key Injuries: None
Depth: 28.4% bench minutes
Achilles Heel: 32.1% 3ptFG shooting
Will Make a Deep Run if…: Pittman and Balbay are 30+ minute per game players
Will Make an Early Exit if…: Foul trouble sends Pittman or Damion James to the bench for any extended amount of time.
Last Year Invited: 2007, South Regional Finalists (L, Memphis)
Streak 11 years
Best NCAA Finish: 2003, National Semifinalists (L, Syracuse)
Six Degrees to Detroit: None with this hoops team, but appropriately enough for a school disproportionately obsessed with its football, WR Roy Williams and NT Sean Rogers both “starred” for hapless Lions teams in Detroit, and Pro Bowl NT Casey Hampton won his first Super Bowl ring with the Pittsburgh Steelers at Ford Field.
Distance to First Round Site: 1,298 miles
School’s Claim to Fame: The nation’s largest university has too many to name
School Wishes It Could Forget: The tragic Charles Whitman shooting
Prediction: The ‘Horns first round contest against Minnesota isn’t being appreciated for the interesting match ups the two teams provide. I’ll be watching how officials not used to Dexter Pittman officiate him with regards to fouls. If he picks up chippies, Texas is one and done. If he’s out there for 30 minutes, the Longhorns are a legitimate threat to beat anyone in the East.
Preview written by… Peter Bean, Burnt Orange Nation