The No. 11 seeded Texas Longhorns are taking on the No. 11 Cincinnati Bearcats in the first game on Friday. Texas has been inconsistent this year and that is due to having six freshman on the team that see significant time. At times they can be a very good team and other times a team that looks disorientated and lost, so this game could go either way.
SB Nation's Cincinnati blog Down the Drive believes that Texas' J'Covan Brown is the key matchup in this game:
Brown on the other hand is a real threat to this team and this defense. For all the Big East battles this team has been through this year UC has yet to face a pure scorer on the order of Brown. Malik Wayns comes closest and he had 39 against UC in the first Villanova match up and he followed it up with 26 in the regular season finale. But game to game Brown is more consistent.
... A defensive strategy centered on man defense with aggressive double-teaming of Gates is attractive and risky for many of the same reasons. It provides consistent, targeted help against Gates on the inside, limits fouls that might be drawn from guarding him one-on-one, and offers a defensive look that the Bearcats aren't used to seing. On the downside, like with a zone, it's not something our players are used to playing (even less so, in fac), it can disrupt positioning for defensive rebounding, and it leaves Texas vulnerable to open three-point shooters. And in addition to all that, it actually helps open up the lane and makes Texas more vulnerable to penetration.
Game date/time: Friday, March 16, 11:15 a.m. CT
Location: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tenn.
Radio: Longhorns Radio Network
Streaming: NCAA March Madness Live
Line: Texas (+2.5)
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