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Abilene Christian took down Texas.
The No. 14 seed Wildcats forced 23 Texas turnovers in a 53-52 win to knock the Longhorns out of the NCAA tournament in the first round for the fourth consecutive time.
The Longhorns' Andrew Jones hit a go-ahead three with 14.7 seconds left to put Texas up 52-51. But Abilene Christian's Joe Pleasant was fouled on an offensive rebound attempt with 1.2 seconds to go by Texas' Matt Coleman. Pleasant, a 58.5% free-throw shooter, hit both of his free throws for the win.
ACU's win means that three teams seeded No. 13 or worse — ACU, Ohio, North Texas and Oral Roberts — won first-round games in the 2021 NCAA tournament. The Wildcats will advance to play No. 11 UCLA in the second round on Monday in the East Region.
It's the first NCAA tournament win in school history for Abilene Christian. The school's only other NCAA tournament appearance came in 2019 when it was a 15 seed and lost in the first round.
Texas hasn't won a tournament game since 2014
The Longhorns are now on a five-tournament winless streak despite entering the tournament after winning the Big 12 tournament. Texas has been knocked out in the opening round in four consecutive tournament appearances since winning its first-round game in 2014.
Two of those losses have come in heartbreaking fashion. Jones’ shot appeared to propel the Longhorns into the second round on Saturday night. And Texas lost in the first round in 2016 when Paul Jesperson banked in a half-court shot for Northern Iowa to upset the Longhorns.
The last Texas win in the NCAA tournament came in 2014 when the Longhorns beat Arizona State, 87-85. Rick Barnes was the team's coach then. Current coach Shaka Smart hasn't won an NCAA tournament game in his time in Austin. Is that satisfactory for a school that showed this fall with its football team that it's willing to make a prominent coaching change when good isn't good enough?
Abilene Christian is one of five of the 32 teams in the second round of the NCAA tournament from the state of Texas. And its players knew right away to throw the "horns-down" hand gesture once the game was over.
This was an ugly win for Abilene Christian
Abilene Christian entered the game forcing over 20 turnovers a game. And they really needed all of those Texas turnovers they forced Saturday night to eke out the win. The box score is hideous.
The Wildcats were just 20-of-67 from the field and a porous 3-of-18 from three on Saturday night. An underdog usually scores an upset with some hot 3-point shooting. But no ACU player hit more than one three and Pleasant and Coryon Mason were the only two ACU players in double digits.
Texas was 18-of-40 from the field and shot 35% from three. But the Longhorns took 27 fewer shots than ACU did and those two extra makes by the Wildcats thanks to all those Texas turnovers turned out to be the difference.
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