11 Texas teams are in the NCAA tournaments. Here’s what to expect.

In the men’s tournament, Houston lands a No. 1 seed. The Longhorns also nabbed a No. 1 seed on the women’s side.

By Sean SaldanaMarch 18, 2024 12:52 pm,

The NCAA annual basketball tournaments kick off this weekend between both the men’s and women’s competition. Texas is sending 11 teams to the Big Dance. 

Last year, the Texas men’s team that went the furthest was UT \-Austin, knocked out of the tournament in the Elite Eight. As for the women, it was Texas and Baylor making it furthest with early exits in the round of 32. 

This year’s March Madness games kick off tomorrow. Matt Young is a sports reporter with the Houston Chronicle and he joined the Standard to talk about what to expect. Listen to the interview above or read the transcript below.

This transcript has been edited lightly for clarity:

Texas Standard: Let’s begin with the men’s tournament. Any big storylines you’re following this year?

Matt Young: Well, here in Houston, I think University of Houston’s the big story.

The number one seed in the South region. The number two overall seed. So they have a really great chance to go to the Final Four. And they’re looking for their first national championship. Even in the Phi Slama Jama days they didn’t win it all. So they’re looking to do it for the first time in school history.

The University of Houston – they won the Big 12 tournament this year. They’ve been to the Final Four before. Any chance that they go all the way? 

Yeah. There’s a good chance they’re, you know, the favorite to come out of their region. They have some tough competition with the likes of Kentucky and Marquette. But they get out of that, and you could possibly see a game against Purdue.

Everyone thinks UConn’s going to win it all. But they won it all last year and it’s hard to repeat. So I think you’ve each got a good shot.

Alright. Baylor, Texas Tech, UT-Austin, TCU, Texas A&M are also in this tournament. What about the highest expectations for them?

I think Baylor has the best chance out of that group. They are three seed. They’re out west. So they’d have to face the likes of Arizona out west. That could be tough. North Carolina obviously are always a tough team, but Baylor’s battle tested. They’ve been here before and they could do some things.

Texas Tech is in the same region as U of H, so we’ll only get one of those out of there. But the Texas Tech-U of H match up there in the sweet 16 would be nice.

Texas, Texas A&M, TCU… They all got tough matchups. So we’re looking at them getting hopefully to the second game. And we’ll see what happens from there. But they would have a tough match up in their second game.  

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Let’s shift to the women’s side. The UT-Austin Longhorns ranked number one. Was that a surprise getting that number one seed? And do you think they have a real shot at winning a national title here?

Well, the women’s team is so stacked there with the number one seeds. Iowa, obviously everyone knows about Caitlin Clark. USC. South Carolina, you know, undefeated. So Texas, I’d say they’re at the bottom end of those one seeds. But if you’re a one seed you always got a shot.

It’s the first time there is one seed here. So they definitely have a chance to make it to the final four once they get there. That may be tough in there with South Carolina and those schools waiting for them.

Any other big narratives that fans should be on the lookout for in the women’s tournament?  

Obviously, Caitlin Clark is always a story. She’s in the same region as LSU. So that could be another matchup of last year’s national championship game. Rice actually opens up against LSU. So that would be a huge upset. And they could do anything there.

USC is playing Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. That’s a great story for a little school out of Corpus Christi to get that far. Unfortunately, they get matched up against one of the best teams in the country.

And then I guess Baylor would have the next best shot of the Texas schools. They’re a five seed, but it’ll be tough for them to get out of that region.  

Any tips for folks filling out those last minute brackets?

I would say pick some upsets early. 12 seed against five seeds, always a good one. 11 versus six, have a little fun there. But when you get to the Final Four, I would stick pretty chalk. One seeds, two seeds.

Last year didn’t work out – there were no one seeds in the Final Four. But most years the one seeds are going to be the ones that survive to the Final Four. So don’t get too crazy when you’re picking your Final Four teams.

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