Texas Escapes with Dramatic Big 12 Tournament Win vs. Mac McClung, Texas Tech

Texas guard Matt Coleman III, left, celebrates with forward Kai Jones (22) following an NCAA college basketball game against Texas Tech in the quarterfinal round of the Big 12 men's tournament in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, March 11, 2021. Texas defeated Texas Tech 67-66. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

Orlin Wagner/Associated Press

Matt Coleman III made a pair of free throws with 1.8 seconds left as Texas overcame a pair of 10-point deficits to defeat Texas Tech 67-66 in the Big 12 men’s basketball tournament quarterfinals on Thursday at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City.

Longhorns big man Jericho Sims then intercepted the Red Raiders’ desperation full-court inbounds heave in response to seal the win.

Texas Tech led Texas 66-61 with 4:03 left but went 0-of-6 down the stretch. Texas cut the deficit with a Kai Jones layup and a Coleman layup before the game’s final free throws.

Coleman led all players with 19 points and six assists. Sims had a 10-point, 11-rebound double-double for the Longhorns, who won despite committing 20 turnovers.

For Texas Tech, Terrence Shannon Jr. led the way with 18 points. Kevin McCullar guided the Red Raiders’ defensive effort with six steals to go along with his 11 points. Mac McClung, who paces Texas Tech in scoring, posted just seven points on 3-of-8 shooting.

The 18-7 Longhorns, who are seeded third in the 10-team bracket, have won four straight. Texas Tech, which swept its two-game regular-season series with Texas, fell to 17-10 after its second straight loss.

Notable Performances

Texas Tech G Terrence Shannon Jr.: 18 points

Texas Tech G Kevin McCullar: 11 points, 6 steals

Texas Tech F Marcus Santos-Silva: 10 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists

Texas G Matt Coleman III: 19 points, 6 assists

Texas G Andrew Jones: 11 points, 4 assists

Texas F Jericho Sims: 10 points, 11 rebounds, 4 blocks

Coleman’s Offense, Sims’ Defense Propel Longhorns to Win

It was only fitting that Texas’ win ended with Coleman scoring the game-winning point and Sims earning the game-ending steal on a night where the guard’s offense and the big man’s defense led to Texas’ big win.

Coleman scored nine of his 19 points in the final 10:09. He personally went on a 5-0 run to turn a 49-43 Texas Tech lead into a slim 49-48 Red Raider edge with a layup and this three-pointer:

Texas Men’s Basketball @TexasMBB

Big. Time. https://t.co/NJTsnFstOu

The end of the game was winning time for Coleman, who scored the game’s final four points. He spoke with ESPN’s Holly Rowe about his mindset at the end:

Longhorn Network @LonghornNetwork

“Win. That’s all that’s on my mind: Just win.”

Matt Coleman spoke with @sportsiren after his game-winning free throws. https://t.co/hi7ltUJlZU

Coleman’s finish may ultimately prove to be a defining moment for he and coach Shaka Smart as Texas looks to keep the momentum rolling in March, as Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports noted:

Jon Rothstein @JonRothstein

Signature win for Shaka Smart. Signature moment for Matt Coleman. Texas over Texas Tech in KC.

As for Sims, he starred on the other end, to the point where ESPN color commentator Fran Fraschilla made this mid-game comment:

Brian Davis @BDavisAAS

Fran says “it’s a crime” Jericho Sims wasn’t on the Big 12 All-Defense team.


The Red Raiders only shot 40.0 percent from the field, in part because of Sims’ four blocks. He also had 11 of the Longhorns’ 38 rebounds to help keep Texas Tech off the glass.

Sims also delivered the game’s final blow, preventing a last-second miracle:

Texas Men’s Basketball @TexasMBB

Let’s go! ?

#HookEm https://t.co/HZYHOCPChT

Thanks to the Coleman-Sims pair, Texas got the big win and will now look to knock off Kansas in the semifinals.

Shannon, McCullar Pave Way, But Texas Tech Can’t Hold On

It was the Shannon and McCullar Show for much of the game, and it looked as though that would be good enough for a big win.

Shannon drilled an early three-pointer to put the Red Raiders up 15-7:

Texas Tech Basketball @TexasTechMBB

Lighting it up ??

#4To1 | @Sn1per_T https://t.co/dBWzR5HkmB

He hit another one later on following a pair of McCullar buckets to put Texas Tech up three early in the second half:

Texas Tech Basketball @TexasTechMBB

On a 7-0 run to start the second half after two baskets from @Kevin_McCullar and this 3-pointer from @Sn1per_T. https://t.co/4FqtH4XNdF

Shannon ultimately hit four three-pointers, and McCullar scored seven of his points in the second half. McCullar in particular was sensational on defense, causing 30 percent of Texas’ turnovers. He did a little of everything for the Red Raiders on this night.

However, it wasn’t meant to be for Texas Tech. Texas took advantage of numerous cold stretches, and Coleman proved to be too strong down the stretch.

The consolation prize, of course, is that Texas Tech is a shoo-in to make the tournament as an at-large. Head coach Chris Beard’s team should have a week to regroup and prepare as it looks to make back-to-back national championship games.

What’s Next?

Texas will play No. 2 Kansas in the Big 12 tournament semifinals on Friday at 8:30 p.m. ET. ESPN 2 will air the game.

Texas Tech will wait to hear its name called when the NCAA tournament bracket is revealed beginning Sunday at 6 p.m. on CBS.

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