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2023 NCAA Elite Eight welcomes Texas Men’s Basketball

Texas Men's Basketball advance to Elite 8 - locker room scene

Texas Men's Basketball just beat Xavier in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen 83-71 to advance to the NCAA Elite Eight. Brock Cunningham douses Rodney Terry with water from the Gatoraide cooler. (photo Texas Athletics / graphic Horns Illustrated)

Texas Pom and Spirt at NCAA Sweet Sixteen for Texas vs Xavier
Texas Pom & Spirit performs during a timeout at the NCAA Sweet Sixteen where Texas played Xavier. (photo Texas Athletics)

Five Texas players score in double digits. Texas’ defense stopped the #2 three-point shooting team in college advance to the NCAA Elite 8

The Texas Men’s Basketball over powered Xavier 83-71 to advance to the NCAA Elite Eight for the first time since 2008 and for the eighth time in program history. (39’, 43’, 47’, 90’, 03’, 06’, 08, and 23’). Rodney Terry was the assistant coach during the 08’ run. 

When it was announced that Dylan Disu would not be playing because of a left foot bone bruise, there was an almost certainty that another teammate or two would step up and fill his shoes. This has happened throughout the season most recently when Disu stepped up when Timmy Allen was out during the Big 12 Conference Championship run.

We wondered what player(s) would step up?

There always has been one or two. Tyrese Hunter and Christian Bishop rose up and carried the mantle and played some of their best basketball for Texas. Sophomore guard Hunter grew up in Racine, WI, a transfer from Iowa State, averaged 10.1 points per game coming into the Xavier matchup and scored a team-high 19 points, his fourth best scoring game of the season. Hunter also had a season-high two blocks while playing the most minutes (38) of the season.

We have seen this before when Hunter stepped up and scored 29 points against Kansas State three days into the new year.

Senior Christian Bishop, who grew up just 20 miles away from the T-Mobile Center in Lee’s Summit, MO and attended West HS, averaged 6.2 points per game this season and scored a season-high 18 points along with a season-high eight field goals made and nine rebounds.

Bishop’s high school coach Michael Schieber had a special message for Bishop that CBS Austin Sports Anchor Jeff Barker reported. Schieber said of Bishop, “He’ll be a winner!”

Marcus Carr dropped 18 points and six assists in 32 minutes of play. As Carr locks in, so goes the team. Carr is a pace setter and momentum starter. Sir’Jabari Rice scored 16 points, and Timmy Allen put in 11 points and six rebounds.

As impressive as the Texas offense was, the real story was how good the Texas defense was. 

Texas kept Xavier under their averages across many stats. Xavier averaged 80.9 points (49.2%) a game up until playing Texas. Texas held Xavier to 71 points (44%) from the field. Xavier averaged 19.1 assists per game this season and had 12 against Texas. 

The separation Texas had with Xavier looked more like dance partners that allowed Texas to get eight steals. Normally, Xavier gets 6.4 steals per game, but had just two against Texas.

Texas led at the half by limiting Xavier to their second lowest first-half points (25) of the season. Texas is now 22-0 when going into halftime in the lead.

“Defense Travels” says Rodney Terry. Texas is now 22-7 under his direction and 29-8 overall. This season is the third best in a single season in the history of Texas Men’s Basketball.

Xavier coach Sean Miller said in postgame about Texas, “They were better than us. We had a very difficult time running our offense, which is a real testament to their defense … I think these guys will tell you that their [Texas’] defensive pressure and their toughness, we felt it from the opening tip. Look, I've watched them [Texas] play Kansas twice recently, and when I saw how that game went, both games, you knew you were playing one of America's best teams, and they were that today.”

No. 5 Texas advances to the NCAA Elite Eight against No. 16 Miami who knocked off the No. 1 seed Alabama just before the Texas vs Xavier game started.. The game is Mar. 26 (SUN) at 4:05 p.m. and will be televised on CBS.


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