NCAA basketball playoff games begin this week, in the tournament known to fans as March Madness. On Sunday, the NCAA announced the 68 men’s and women’s college teams that will compete.
Texas Standard turned to Dallas Morning News reporter Joseph Hoyt to learn more about where Texas teams stand in the lineup and what to expect in the (potentially nail-biting) few weeks to come.
Listen to the interview with Hoyt in the audio player above or read the highlights below:
– Texas A&M: Texas A&M University’s men’s basketball team will not move forward to the NCAA tournament. The team had a promising performance in the SEC conference finals, but ultimately lost to Tennessee on Sunday. Southern Methodist University also had a strong performance in its conference finals, but it too won’t be playing in the final tournament.
– Baylor: Baylor University men’s basketball team, on the other hand, is tied with Gonzaga University for top-ranked team in the tournament. But Hoyt says the team has a tough road ahead if it wants a repeat national title.
“Lingering in that bracket is a really talented UCLA team; the Kentucky team, a lot of pedigree; and also a Purdue team that makes March an annual destination for them,” Hoyt said.
– University of Houston: Houston is the No. 5 seed in the tournament. Hoyt isn’t yet convinced they could get to the finals.
“They’ve lost a lot of talent,” he said. “They’re usually known for their guard play. They lost two really good ones, and they’ve really become a front-court-style playing team. But the American champions there, that’s going to be a tough road for them,” he said.
– Texas Tech: Hoyt says as a No. 3 seed, Texas Tech has the ability to go far in the tournament, but still, they’ll have to overcome top teams like Gonzaga and Duke University.
– UT: Hoyt says standout player, and recent cancer survivor, Andrew Jones is a guard who could take the University of Texas at Austin team far. And coach Chris Beard has led other college teams to the NCAA championship before; Hoyt says he’s proven he can “have magic in March.”
– TCU: The Texas Christian University Horned Frogs are a No. 9 seed, and Hoyt says guard Mike Miles is underrated.
“March Madness is all about guard play. And if a guard can get hot, then a team can get hot. And I think Miles and TCU have the potential,” Hoyt said.
– Baylor: The Bears are the No. 2 seed in the women’s tournament, and are competing with a new head coach, and NaLyssa Smith, a two-time conference player of the year.
– UT: Freshman guard Rori Harmon is an asset to the Longhorns, coached by Vic Schaefer.
“Schaefer’s bunch is really, can really go far, I think,” Hoyt said. “Harmon is the freshman of the year in the conference. They’re going to be a team to watch.”