AUSTIN (KXAN) — What does the national media think of the Texas Longhorns’ chances of winning the NCAA men’s basketball national championship? Folks who work at ESPN seem to like them.
In the Worldwide Leader’s stable of college basketball writers, broadcasters and other contributors, 23 of the 42 people who made their Final Four picks public included Texas, and eight have the Longhorns celebrating under the confetti April 3 in Houston.
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The beloved analyst Dick Vitale is a notable ESPN personality that thinks Texas can get to the Final Four, but he thinks Alabama will win it all. Kris Budden, a sideline reporter who has done a few Texas games this season, is in on the Longhorns winning the national title, as is play-by-play broadcaster Chuckie Kempf and analyst Chris Spatola, among others.
Marty Smith mixed in Texas A&M in the Final Four, the only ESPNer to do so, while Houston is a popular pick to win the title. Eight people, including ESPN’s “bracketologist” Joe Lunardi, have the Cougars winning the whole thing with 14 predicting a Final Four run for them.
Nearly 40% of ESPN brackets have either Houston or Texas winning the national championship.
If you ask anyone from CBS Sports, they aren’t too sure about the Longhorns. Jerry Palm, CBS’ resident “bracketologist,” has the Longhorns in the Final Four but losing to Gonzaga. Texas pummeled the Bulldogs 93-74 Nov. 16 at Moody Center.
Chip Patterson thinks the Longhorns will lose a Big 12 matchup with Kansas in the Final Four, but Dennis Dodd has a feeling Texas will get to the title game only to lose to Arizona.
None of CBS Sports’ nine college basketball writers and analysts think the Longhorns will win the national championship. Two of them, David Cobb and Gary Parrish, think the Longhorns will be bounced in the second round by Texas A&M. Bold move, fellas.
Ryan Fagan from The Sporting News has an intriguing duo playing for the national championship — Texas and Marquette. If you remember, Marquette’s current coach is Shaka Smart who used to coach at Texas. Fagan picked Marquette to beat the Longhorns to win the title, which would presumably make Texas fans a little angrier than losing to just about anyone else.
Bill Bender at the same publication has Kansas winning it all after beating the Longhorns in the Final Four.
Pat Forde at Sports Illustrated is calling for the same Final Four outcome for the Longhorns, losing to Kansas, but he thinks Alabama will beat the Jayhawks for the title.
While not exactly part of the national media, President Joe Biden’s bracket has Texas in the Final Four, but also losing to Kansas. Unfortunately for the Commander-in-Chief, his bracket is busted because he picked Arizona to win the whole thing. The Wildcats lost to the 15th-seeded Princeton Tigers 59-55 in the first round.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott thinks Houston will top the Longhorns in the Elite 8, but he also doesn’t think the Cougars can get by Kansas in the Final Four. He penned Alabama in for the title.