In what was a fitting way to conclude the first round of the NCAA Tournament, the No. 14 seed Abilene Christian Wildcats took down the No. 3 seed Texas Longhorns 53-52 on Saturday night. It’s Abilene Christian’s first NCAA Tournament victory in school history.
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) March 21, 2021
Abilene Christian beat Texas and the first thing my guy did was throw the horns down for the camera pic.twitter.com/swjkaBYTQV
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) March 21, 2021
Despite being a No. 14 seed, Abilene Christian entered this game with the No. 31 defense in the country according to Ken Pomeroy’s rankings. And they really, really showed why.
The Wildcats forced a ridiculous 23 turnovers, more than double the amount of turnovers they had themselves (11). Abilene Christian only shot 29.9 % from the field, while Texas shot 45% from the field. However, due to the turnovers, the Wildcats were able to attempt 27 more shots than the Longhorns.
Abilene Christian joins Oral Roberts, North Texas, and Ohio as teams seeded 13 or worse to win over the last two days. This makes for the first time in NCAA Tournament history that four such teams have advanced to the Round of 32.
Abilene Christian's win over Texas sends 4 teams seeded 13 or higher to the Round of 32 for the first time in NCAA tournament history. pic.twitter.com/sfzGH7Hvr0
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 21, 2021
Additionally, every seed from 1-15 advances to the Round of 32.
With Abilene Christian’s win, a team from every seed 1-15 advanced to the Round of 32.
What a tournament.
— Josh Frydman (@Josh_Frydman) March 21, 2021
We knew this would be a wacky tournament due to the pandemic (and VCU had to forfeit its game against Oregon on Saturday due to COVID-19 protocols). Far fewer games, and especially far fewer out-of-conference games, made it so much more difficult to get a good read on teams (and keep in mind- we didn’t even have a tournament last year).
Still, we didn’t expect to see *four* No. 1-4 seeds go down in the first round of the tournament. March Madness indeed.