Sir’Jabari Rice scored 23 points and No. 2 seed Texas beat sharp-shooting Colgate 81-61 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday night.
Rice made five of his seven 3-pointers in the first half, helping the Longhorns get off to a fast start. Marcus Carr finished with 17 points and Dylan Disu had 17 points and nine rebounds.
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Texas (27-8) shot 13 of 23 from 3-point range as it advanced to a second-round matchup against winner Penn State-Texas A&M on Saturday in the Midwest Region.
In another inspired performance under interim coach Rodney Terry, Rice and the Longhorns picked the perfect time to warm up on the perimeter against the nation’s leading outside shooting team. They matched their best mark of the season in triples.
The Raiders (26-9) went just 3-for-15 from deep against a long-armed, relentless defense by the Longhorns. Colgate shot better than 40% before the tournament. The nation’s leading singles 3-point shooter, Oliver Lynch-Daniels, was 1-for-4. He was a 50-50 shooter from long range this season.
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Keegan Records and Ryan Moffatt each scored 13 points for the 15th-seeded Raiders, who fell to 0-6 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. Tucker Richardson, the Patriot League Player of the Year, scored nine points on 4-of-11 shooting.
With most of the fans at Wells Fargo Arena rooting for the upset, the Longhorns adjusted to Colgate’s zone defense in the second half and never let the lead fall below seven points.
About an hour before Texas took the court, No. 2 seed Arizona was ousted by Princeton in the West Region. The Tigers became the 11th 15th-seeded team to win a first-round game in 149 tries and the third in three years.
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The Longhorns played hard enough, and shot well enough, to make sure they didn’t land on that list.