In the first day of regional play at the NCAA Tournament, the two teams representing the Lone Star State proved dominant.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone, but it probably will. The East Coast bias is as pervasive in college basketball as anywhere, despite the fact that Texas (Dallas in particular) produces some of the best basketball talent around.
Dallas native and Grand Prairie High School graduate Bryan Davis was the star of the early game, which saw the Texas A&M Aggies rebound BYU to death in a lopsided 13-point victory, 79-67.
Davis posted 21 points to lead the Aggies and pulled down nine rebounds.
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The late game had Texas taking on the Golden Gophers of Minnesota at the Greensboro Coliseum.
The Longhorns went down as many as 10 in the first half, but came roaring back shortly thereafter. The game was neck-and-neck for the majority of the first frame. Just before half, A.J. Abrams hit a three to extend the Longhorn lead to four.
Texas didn’t look back after that.
The Longhorns killed the Gophers with the three, hitting 11 of 20 on the way to a dominant 76-62 victory.
Abrams finished the contest with 26 points, 24 of which came from three-point land. Damion James contributed 19 points and 9 rebounds.
The fact that both Texas teams won on Thursday shouldn’t surprise anyone. But it’s doubtful that anyone could’ve foreseen the pair of cold-hearted beatdowns the cross-state rivals handed to their respective opponents.
With victories by 13 and 14 respectively, the Texas A&M and Texas made a statement on Thursday, and the message was clear: We’re here, and we’re not to be overlooked.
It will be up to Stephen F. Austin on Friday to pull off an improbable upset against Syracuse and keep up the trend set.