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No. 3 Texas vs. No. 14 Abilene Christian preview for NCAA Tournament first-round matchup

The No. 3 Texas and No. 14 Abilene Christian face off in the first round of the 2021 NCAA tournament. We’ve got an initial preview of what and how to watch following Selection Sunday.

Texas Longhorns guard Matt Coleman III (2) watches a shot go in the basket during the first half against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at T-Mobile Center. Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA Tournament begins on Thursday, March 18th with the First Four, and then moves on to the first round on Friday, March 15 and Saturday, March 16. The No. 3 seed Texas Longhorns will face the No. 14 seed Abilene Christian Wildcats in the first round. Game time has yet to be announced but we will update this article with that and game odds as soon as it comes available. For now, we’ve got a preliminary preview of the two teams to get you ready for March Madness!

Once the odds from DraftKings Sportsbook are made available for this game, we’ll add that information below. We’ll also add the game time and TV channel once it’s settled.

Game date: Saturday, March 20
Game time: 9:50 p.m. ET
TV channel: TruTV
Location: Lucas Oil Stadium Unity (South)

Odds: Texas -10
Over/Under: 139

No. 3 Texas

The Big 12 Champion Texas Longhorns put together a quality season in a year head coach Shaka Smart desperately needed a quality season. UT started out hot, getting ranked as high as No. 4 in January, but postponed and canceled games due to COVID-19 appeared to take the Longhorns out of their groove a bit in the middle of the season. Texas does not do one thing incredibly well compared to the rest of the Big 12, but the Longhorns’ field goal percentage defense is second in the conference behind only the Kansas Jayhawks.

The Longhorns have seven players averaging more than 20 minutes per game, and they all score at least eight points per game. Junior guard Andrew Jones leads the group with 14.8 points per game with Courtney Ramey averaging 13.7, and he is a dangerous three-point shooter at 42.7% from beyond the arc. Freshman forward Greg Brown was one of the top recruits in the country heading into the year, and leads the team with 6.9 rebounds and one block per game to go along with 10.7 points per matchup.

Record: 19-7, 11-6 Big 12
KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 21
KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 36
ATS: 12-13-1
Over Total: 16-10
Odds to win NCAA Championship: +1700

No. 14 Abilene Christian

The Abilene Christian University Wildcats came up just short of a share of the Southland Conference regular season title, missing out due to a postponed game. However, they made up for it when they bulldozed the competition over two rounds of the conference tournament. The Wildcats earned a double bye and then beat Lamar by 22 points in the semifinals and top seeded Nicholls by 24 points in the title game.

ACU finished the season fifth in the conference in scoring offense, but a runaway leader in scoring defense. They don’t have a dominant scorer, with center Kolton Kohl leading the team with 12.3 points per game. Forward Joe Pleasant and guard Coryon Mason combine to score 21.5 points per game.

Record: 23-4, 13-2 Southland
KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 157
KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 30
Against The Spread: 16-6
Over Total: 14-8
Odds to win NCAA Championship: N/A