The University of Texas men's basketball team lost Saturday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament - again - causing at least one prominent analyst to call for the firing of Longhorns coach Shaka Smart.
"There are very few losses in sports that lead to an immediate firing,'' Darren Rovell tweeted. "Texas losing to Abilene Christian has to be one of them.''
Rovell, representing The Action Network, is not alone in his disappointment in third-seed Texas' performance in a 53-52 loss to 14th-seeded Abilene Christian. ... and the failures are certainly all too commonplace for Longhorns fans.
Smart is now 0-3 in NCAA Tournament games during his time at Texas, and its been all about seemingly unlikely upsets. UT lost to Northern Iowa at the buzzer in 2016 and lost to this same Abilene Christian team first round in 2018.
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Smart did lead UT to its first-ever Big 12 Tournament title last week. But here, the Longhorns - victimized by a season-high 23 turnovers and then by two clutch free throws to close by the scrappy Wildcats - had to endure the embarrassment not only of losing, but also of losing to an in-state small school.
Said ACU coach Joe Golding: "We just beat the University of Texas. Little ol' Abilene Christian out in West Texas built a program that went toe-to-toe with the University of Texas, and it's an incredible story. It's what March is about."
That, of course, is just half of the appropriate view of this result.
Said Smart: "I just really feel for our guys right now because up until tonight, we had a phenomenal season, and this obviously isn't the way that any of us envisioned it ending. But this is one of the facts of the NCAA Tournament is one team gets to stay and one team goes home.''
For some Texas observers, that "go home fact'' happens a bit too often to the Longhorns.