Dallas Colleges: Tristan Thompson
Who does Dickie V like to cut down the nets after the 2011-12 college basketball season? It's no surprise that it's one of the teams on Tobacco Road, but it might be surprising where he has the Texas Longhorns heading into the season. Watch above.
Overview: Arizona advances after leading virtually all game, losing the lead in the final minute, and then pulling out the victory in a wild series of plays in the final 30 seconds. Derrick Williams' three-point play with 9.6 seconds left provided the winning points, and Texas' last chance ended with a missed J'Covan Brown drive and a melee for the rebound.
Turning Point: When Jordan Hamilton called timeout after grabbing a rebound with 14 seconds left and Texas up two, instead of holding the ball and waiting to be fouled. The Longhorns were called for a controversial five-second call on the ensuing inbounds, and Arizona got a chance to steal the game from there.
Key player: Arizona All-American Williams was frustrated for much of the game by the big and physical Texas front line, but he scored the Wildcats' final five points and finished with 17 points and eight rebounds.
Key stat: Brown, Hamilton and Gary Johnson scored 55 of Texas' 69 points, while center Tristan Thompson and the rest of the Longhorns struggled. Thompson finished with three points and six rebounds.
Miscellaneous: Arizona got contributions from just about everybody, most notably Solomon Hill (16 points and eight rebounds) and Jordin Mayes (16 points, 4-for-4 from 3-point range). They helped offset terrible games from point guard Lamont Jones and forward Jamelle Horne (both scoreless).
What's next: Arizona advances to play Duke in Anaheim in the West Regional. Texas goes home after another unsatisfying NCAA tournament.
Overview: Texas played about 30 minutes of dominant basketball and 10 minutes of shaky basketball in defeating the Golden Grizzlies. Oakland mounted a spirited comeback that got as close as five points in the final minute, and had a Reggie Hamilton 3-pointer spin out that could have cut the deficit to three, but couldn't come any closer. The Longhorns' size played a major factor in limiting Oakland inside.
Turning point: Leading by seven points early in the second half, Texas went on an 11-2 run to boost the lead to 16. Oakland was in serious catch-up mode after that.
Key player: Tristan Thompson won a high-level paint battle with Oakland's Keith Benson, racking up 17 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high seven blocked shots.
Key stat: Texas has been a wobbly free throw shooting team this season but made 80 percent of its attempts on Friday, which helped the Longhorns preserve their lead late.
Miscellaneous: Jordan Hamilton's 3-point struggles continued for Texas, but he drove the ball with authority to finish with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Fellow sophomore J'Covan Brown led the Horns with 21 points and also chipped in six rebounds.
What's next: Texas moves on to the round of 32 to face the winner of Memphis-Arizona. Oakland ponders life without Benson.
For more, click here.
Most Free Throws in a Game Without a Miss, Last 20 Seasons
21-21: Steve Nash, Santa Clara vs. Saint Mary’s (1995)
20-20: Tristan Thompson, North Texas vs Florida Atlantic (2011)
20-20: Stefon Jackson, UTEP vs Marshall (2009)
20-20: Jeron Roberts, Wyoming vs UTEP (1998)
20-20: Donyell Marshall, Connecticut vs St. John’s (1994)
At No. 2 is Baylor-bound forward Perry Jones, a 6-foot-11 forward out of Duncanville High School. Texas freshman Cory Joseph, a 6-3 guard who played with incoming Longhorns recruit Tristan Thompson at Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev., comes in at No. 10.
Both players replace one-and-done stars. Baylor's Ekpe Udoh was drafted sixth overall by the Golden State Warriors, and Texas' Avery Bradley, was the 19th overall pick by the Boston Celtics.
Read Fraschilla's full list here.
Texas' next big basketball hope, Tristan Thompson, is one of 24 players who will play in the 33rd Annual McDonald's All-American Game on Wednesday at 7 p.m. on ESPN.
Thompson will compete for the West squad. He is the 12th player in Texas Longhorns history to compete in the prestigious All-Star game. The 6-foot-9 forward is a natural replacement for Damion James, whose career came to end with a first-round NCAA tournament loss to Wake Forest.
Thompson, from from Findlay College Prep (Henderson, Nev.), is originally from Brampton, Ontario. He has helped Findlay Prep post a 29-2 record during the regular season, averaging 16.1 points and 9.5 rebounds a game. He converted over 60 percent from the field. He also has recorded 15 double-doubles in his 31 contests this year.
DENTON -- For a 15 seed, North Texas sure does have a lot of swagger.
Athletic director Rick Villarreal grabbed a microphone immediately after the Mean Green's first-round date with Kansas State was announced. He told the crowd at a Denton sports bar that they didn't need to worry about the rest of the pairings, because UNT wouldn't see those teams until the Sweet 16 or Elite Eight.
Coach Johnny Jones, whose nature is to exercise extreme caution with what comes out of his mouth, made it clear that the Mean Green doesn't expect to be one-and-done.
"We're just excited to have a chance to play for the national championship," said Jones, whose team suffered a 73-58 loss to second-seeded Memphis a few years ago in the Mean Green's previous Big Dance appearance. "We've got six games to go, and we're on an 11-game win streak."
North Texas has never advanced in the NCAA tournament. It lost in the first round to North Carolina (1988) and Memphis (2007) in its other two tourney trips.
"This year we have a whole different mindset," shooting guard Tristan Thompson said. "We're going up there to win. We're confident we can do it."
UNT, which set a school record with 24 wins this season, believes it's ready to earn regional and national respect. The Mean Green understands that the only way to do that is to knock off a K-State squad with an RPI of six.
"We feel like we're good enough to play with anybody in the country," power forward George Odufuwa said. "We just have to play hard and compete. Everything else will take care of itself."
Added big man Eric Tramiel: "There's a great deal of pride that comes with this. It's time for a challenge. This university deserves it and this town deserves it. We all deserve it."
Jones cited the Mean Green's two games against Big 12 schools this season as evidence that UNT could compete against high-caliber competition. The Mean Green lost by 14 to Oklahoma State and 10 to Texas A&M in early-season road games.
All due respect to K-State, but the Mean Green doesn't believe it's a stretch to envision themselves emerging as a Cinderella.
"We've got a great group of guys," Jones said. "They've had the right mindset all year long. I don't think that'll be any different because of the NCAA tournament. They'll be up for the challenge."
UNT won the West division with a 13-5 record in conference play (21-8 overall). If there's anything to the notion that you want to be playing well headed into the conference tournament, North Texas could be in good shape. The Mean Green are on an eight-game winning streak.
A few players to watch:
* Junior guard Josh White leads UNT in several statistical categories. He's the leading scorer at 14.9 points per game and plays more minutes than anybody else at 35.6 minutes per game.
* Junior guard Tristan Thompson is right behind White at 14 points per game and has the top 3-point shooting percentage on the team at nearly 42 percent. He's his a team-high 54 3-pointers this season.
* George Odufawa, a 6-f00t-8 forward from Dallas who transferred from Arizona State, gives the Mean Green some presence inside. He's the team leader in rebounds at 10.4 per game. He also has a team-high 25 blocks.
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