The NCAA Tournament first round will feature Texas Southern University and top-seeded Kansas on Thursday night.
No. 16 Texas Southern earned a ticket to the big dance after winning the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament last week. TSU took down No. 16 Texas A&M Corpus Christian 76-67 in the First Four to advance to the official first round of March Madness
“It’s going to be exciting for us and something that is really going to be exciting for our guys,” Texas Southern head coach Johnny Jones said after Tuesday’s win.
Texas Southern against the odds
Texas Southern will have to step up defensively in order to pull off a big upset in the NCAA tournament. TSU has held opponents to an average of 39 percent shooting from the field this season which is best in the SWAC. However, it will be going up against a Kansas squad that shoots over 48 percent as a team heading into the Big Dance.
Texas Southern’s forwards Brison Gresham and Jordon Karl Nicholas will have their hands full with the Kansas bigs. Jalen Wilson and David McCormack are both double-doubles waiting to happen and both shoot at nearly 50 percent from the field.
It doesn’t get any easier for the guards as Ochai Agbaji is an elite, next-level scorer (19.7 ppg) who is a threat from behind the 3-point line (40.5 percent on the season) and Christian Braun (14.6 ppg) is no slouch.
Texas Southern will be out-manned and out-gunned, but that’s nothing new. It was the same case when it pulled off the upset of nationally-ranked Florida in December. That was a huge upset, but obviously, this would be monumental. Kansas enters the game as a 22.5 point favorite.