The Texas Longhorns basketball program has a long and successful history in the NCAA Tournament. The Longhorns first started playing basketball in 1906 and have been one of the top teams in the Southwest ever since. Texas history in the NCAA Tournament extends all the way back to the 1st year that the Tournament was held in 1939. That first NCAA Tournament was contested by just 8 teams, with the Longhorns losing a closely contested game to the eventual champion Oregon Ducks. Overall the Texas Longhorns have played in the NCAA Tournament more than 30 times, with multiple deep runs in the Big Dance.
The Longhorns first revealed themselves as a power in the NCAA Tournament under legendary head coaches Jack Gray and Bully Gilstrap. Under Gilstrap, the Longhorns would win their 1st game in the NCAA Tournament and reached their first ever Final Four in 1943. The Longhorns would return to the Final Four in 1947, this time winning the Tournament’s 3rd place game, with a victory over CCNY. Following the Longhorns Final Four trip in 1947, Texas would only make 3 more trips to the Sweet Sixteen in the next 40 years. In 1998, Texas announced the hiring of Rick Barnes as the 23rd head basketball coach in school history. Barnes would quickly turn the Longhorns into a perennial NCAA Tournament team. In 2002, Barnes would lead to Longhorns to the Sweet Sixteen signaling a return to prominence for the Longhorn Basketball program.
A year after returning to the Sweet Sixteen, the Longhorns would put forth their best ever performance in the NCAA Tournament. Led by Sophomore T.J. Ford, the Longhorns earned a number 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, and would win a Longhorn record 4 games in the Tournament, advancing to the Final Four. Another memorable season for the Longhorns came in 2006, when a Texas team led by LaMarcus Aldridge, and Daniel Gibson would earn a number 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, and win 3 games, in route to an Elite 8 appearance. Notable former Longhorn basketball players to play in the NCAA Tournament include Kevin Durant, LaMarcus Aldridge, T.J. Ford, D.J. Augustin, and Slater Martin.
Texas Longhorns Recent NCAA Tourament History
In 2014, the Texas Longhorns rebounded from missing the tournament for the 1st time since 1998 to put forth a stellar season. Texas finished the year 23-10 and earned a 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Led by freshman Phenom Isiah Taylor, and stellar big man Steven Ridley, the Longhorns put together a buzzer beating performance in the tournaments 2nd round (round of 64) to defeat the Arizona State Sun Devils 87-85. In the 3rd round of the NCAA Tournament, the Longhorns would come up short against a very good Michigan Wolverines team, ending their season with a 65-79 loss.