What defines "north" in Texas? Denton. That's the town these guys are from. Denton's 50 minutes north of Dallas. If North Texas rings a faint, hazy bell it's because you correctly picked Memphis to beat it three years ago, when it was a 15-seed. This season, the Mean Green (again, terrific nickname) reeled off 11 straight wins to end their Sun Belt season and catapult into the NCAAs. A win isn't likely, but never completely write off a team that's made a habit of collecting W after W in February and March.
North Texas took out Troy, which also owned a 13-5 record in conference, in Tuesday night's title game. One of the closest championship games so far this week, it was Josh White who lifted his team to the win. White hit a pull-up jumper from just beyond the foul line to give the Mean Green a 65-63 lead with 20 seconds remaining. Good, good game, and we hope you didn't miss it.
Player to know: White's the most dynamic player on the team, but he also was on the leaderboard for most turnovers per game in the Sun Belt. White shoots it well from the free throw line (83 percent) and will have to play at a level above what he's shown, most likely, to give UNT even a puncher's chance next week.
»Record: 24-8, 13-5 Sun Belt
»Team colors: green and white
»We're thinking: a 16-seed
»KenPom ranking: 166
»Best win: @ Western Kentucky (21-13)
»Worst loss: Florida International (7-25)
»Notable stat: Two players shoot better than 55 percent from the floor. George Odufuwa (61 percent) and Eric Tramiel (56 percent) pay rent in the paint and make the most of their chances. And Tuesday night they combined for 27 rebounds. How often do you see a mid-major team with effective bruisers down low? We've got some here.
»Most recent tournament history (two total appearances):
-2007 (15-seed): L first round to Memphis, 73-58.
- Josh White
- North Texas