Minnesota-Texas: It's Tourney Time as Gophers Face High-Octane Longhorns

Bob DunhamContributor IMarch 16, 2009

After a long wait on Selection Sunday, the Minnesota Golden Gophers received the No. 10 spot against the No. 7 Texas Longhorns.

It will take a better performance to beat a high-octane Texas team than the one that showed up against Michigan State in the Big Ten Tournament.

Tubby Smith has 16 NCAA appearances and a National Title under his belt. He will have the Gophers flying high and under control in the dance.

It will take intense defense for 40 minutes to shut down this Longhorn team. The Gophers will have to do a much better job on the free throw line and have a well-disciplined approach when taking the three-point shot.

Damian Johnson will once again be relied upon to shut down the explosive offense of the Longhorns. The inside presence of Ralph Sampson III and Colton Iverson will have to shut down the paint.

Lawrence Westbrook and Blake Hoffarber will have to take control of the young Gophers on the offensive side.

If the Gophers can slow down the Longhorns and play their game, they have an excellent chance of advancing to the second round to face a Duke Blue Devils team that has been up and down this year, but is still a contender for the national championship.