The 2021 NCAA Tournament is officially historic following Abilene Christian’s upset win over Texas.
The 2021 NCAA Tournament made up for some lost time in terms of stories, after the 2020 edition was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. On the tail end of the second day of the Round of 64, the NCAA has witnessed history.
No. 14 Abilene Christian shocked the world after they pulled off the 53-52 victory over No. 3 Texas to advance to the second round of the tourney. With the Wildcats’ win, this is officially the first time that four teams ranked 13th or lower have won a Round of 64 game.
This tournament saw No. 15 Oral Roberts, No. 13 North Texas, No. 13 Ohio and No. 14 Abilene Christian all advance to the Round of 32. This is March Madness.
Abilene Christian’s win over Texas is officially historic
It was truly a back-and-forth effort between the Wildcats and Longhorns, all the way until both teams were tied at 47 points apiece with over four minutes remaining. Junior guard Damien Daniels broke the tie with a jump shot and a made free throw to take a 50-47 lead.
Texas fought back and actually took a 52-51 lead on a made three-pointer by junior guard Andrew Jones. However, Abilene Christian would take the lead off two successful free throw attempts by junior forward Joe Pleasant after being fouled by Texas senior guard Matt Coleman III to secure the monumental victory.
While many will point to the late foul that led to the Wildcats’ victory, you can not gloss over the fact that the Longhorns could not hold onto the ball. Through 40 minutes, Texas turned the ball over a staggering 23 times. That is not going to help you win a pivotal NCAA Tournament game.
Pleasant tallied 11 points (4-for-9from the field, 2-for-2 on free throws) and eight rebounds. Senior guard Coryon Mason scored 11 points of his own for the Wildcats (5-for-12 field goals, one-for-one from free throw line) and two rebounds.
As for the Longhorns, senior forward Jericho Sim’s double-double (10 points, 11 rebounds) and Jones’ 13 points were not enough to help them avoid the upset.
With this historic win, Abilene Christian now faces No. 11 UCLA in the Round of 32 on Monday.
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