UTA (5-3, 1-0 vs. Big 12 in 2016) 72, Texas (3-3) 610
Much will be written about this game. First time beating Texas after several close losses the last few years. Another huge win for Coach Cross. Adding to the momentum and national following the team has gained the last few years. Overcoming a cold-shooting first 8-10 minutes, chipping away at nearly double-digit lead by Texas and building off a 3-point halftime lead. A legendary show of skill by junior forward Kevin Hervey—nearly unstoppable and showing off his immense skills as he backed down Texas defenders with NBA-like post moves and seemingly scoring at will with his springy, fluid jumper and nearly automatic free throws. The no-look pass from Neal in the corner in the second half to set up an open three.
The Mavs locking down on defense, and on the offensive end of the floor…moving the ball so fast it wouldn’t get wet in a heavy rainstorm. Freshman Patrick Binzer’s driving layup with seconds left on the clock. The final buzzer making the win official. The sense of relief. We finally beat Texas.
Yep. This feels like the win this program has been waiting for seemingly forever. The wins vs. OSU and Memphis were big, but this feels bigger. This was against the Longhorns. The schools that goes to the national tournament and wins big games in March and April every year it seems. And maybe those big wins the last year or two have led up to this point.
I’ll let others break down the box score and ponder how this will affect potential post-season seedings and theorize on bigger ramifications like how many games in a row we might win from 2032 to 2035 (would that be about 110 with a couple of national titles as well?) or whatever due to this one big, big, big win. Right now, I’m gonna post some links, read my twitter feed and enjoy the moment.
And on a personal note, maybe I’ll take a moment or two to think about, for good and bad, all the hoops I’ve seen this program play over the years–I’m actually old enough to remember seeing the “Snake” LeGrand teams like the 1980-1981 NIT team at Texas Hall and those really high-scoring Mark Nixon teams of the early 90s and watching the 2008 NCAA appearance on television and all those great Southland Conference matchups each winter that led us into the new arena era, which brings us to where we are now with a popular coach, an increasing fan base and some national media attention and an overall a sense of growing program momentum. All those wins and losses. All the great players. The buzzer-beater wins. The heartbreaking losses. The fun of just being at a Division I basketball game for two hours, often with my dad or kid over the years. And I’ll also think about, for a moment, simply how glad I am to be an alum with a degree from a school I really enjoyed attending. I mean, win or lose, it’s always good to be a Mav. But sometimes, it’s better than good. Nights like tonight it’s AWESOME.
Next up: North Texas saturday in Denton.