The Longhorns' dance is over.â†µ
Down 11 at the half, Texas needed Arizona's unreasonable shooting from three to regress to come back. It didn't regress (it got better!), and yet they came back, anyway. Texas cut down on the turnovers, though, and started getting to the line, hitting 18 of 22 free throws in the game, and took a 69-67 lead in the final seconds.
From an objective stand point, it's hard to find too much fault there. Texas lost because their opponents -- a good team -- hit way more threes than anyone should be expected to sink. That's not on the Longhorns, that's on a friendly rim; luck. Even with that ridiculous Wildcat performance, they overcame a large half-time deficit to make a close game.â†µ
But then they lost anyway in a fashion that makes it hard to stomach this as an unlucky loss. With 13 seconds to go, Texas looked comfortable before Corey Joseph failed to inbound the ball or call a time out before a five second violation, and Arizona got the ball. Jordan Hamilton stepped in front of the basket as Derrick Williams -- one of the best in the country at getting to the line -- went in for the game-tying layup, but didn't plant his feet, the layup was good, and Williams was at the line for the go-ahead free throw.â†µ
And he sank it.â†µ
Texas managed a good look at the rim, but couldn't get it to go, or take another shot in time, and despite a valiant effort forced mostly by poor luck, they lost on a lack of composure and discipline. The same things people -- right or wrong -- rail against Rick Barnes teams for lacking, the reasons they say they can't go deep in the NCAA Tournament. I don't know of those reasons are right, I'm not going to argue if they're attributed to Barnes or not, but they were there in the final seconds and that's going to be all the fuel people calling for his head are going to need. I'll be interested to see if they get their way.â†µ
Outside of his week defense of the post in the final seconds, Hamilton was impressive, scoring 18 with six rebounds and two blocks.â†µ