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Texas Vs. Iowa State Final: Brown's Shot Powers Longhorns Into Semifinals

After a back-and-forth Big 12 Tournament quarterfinal game against Iowa State, Texas' season, and their chance to extend their streak of 13 consecutive NCAA appearances, was on the line with the game tied 65-65 in the last minute.

There was never any doubt who would get the last shot: J'Covan Brown, the Big 12's leading scorer and a first-team all-conference selection, received the ball at the top of the key.

Brown had been hounded by aggressive perimeter defense of the 6'5 225 Chris Babb all night, shooting only 7-19 from the floor. So instead of settling for the jumper, he attacked Babb off the dribble, getting into the lane and drawing a decisive and-1 with :35 left in the game.

With Alexis Wangmene out for the season, the Longhorns other two veterans carried them, as Clint Chapman provided 10 huge points from the center position. His most important contribution came on the defensive end, where he was able to hold Iowa State's star PF Royce White to 17 points on 6-17 shooting.

Texas' defense kept them in the game, causing 14 turnovers, including a game-clinching one from White in the final :20 seconds. Their consistent defensive pressure made up for an off night from both Brown and Myck Kabongo, as neither could effectively create open looks for their teammates, with the Longhorns shooting 36.8% from the floor.

While the win doesn't completely move Texas off the NCAA Tournament bubble, it does them put them in an excellent position headed into Selection Sunday. On Thursday, bubble teams from the Pac-12 (Washington), Big Ten (Northwestern) and Big East (Seton Hall) all lost, which really cleared Texas' path to the field of 68.

The Longhorns will now advance to the semifinals, where they will meet Missouri in the second game of Friday night's double-header.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.