The No. 6 Cincinnati Bearcats held off the No. 11 Texas Longhorns and won 65-59 in the first of two remaining Round of 64 games in the East Region of the 2012 NCAA Tournament on Friday. Texas played an undeniably terrible first half. They shot 4-25 from the field (16.0 percent), committed six turnovers and only dished out one assist in the first 20 minutes, and fell behind 31-17. After what was surely a rousing halftime speech from head coach Rick Barnes, the Longhorns charged back and made it a game, but couldn't overcome their awful start.
The improved play for Texas in the second half had to do with increased focus and more accurate shooting. Even with better offense, the Longhorns still couldn't catch the Bearcats. J'Covan Brown led the way with 19 points and 6 assists for Texas, while Clint Chapman added 10 points and 14 rebounds in the loss.Even so, Texas still managed to pull off some spectacularly poor plays in the second half as well, like this failed breakaway dunk from freshman guard Sheldon McClellan.
Cincinnati's senior forward Yancy Gates played an up-and-down game, but still finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds to lead the team to victory. The two plays below represent the extremes he managed to reach in the game. Can an air-balled free throw and a beautiful spin and drop-step combo for a dunk can exist in the same space?
The Bearcats now await the winner of the matchup between the No. 3 Florida St. Seminoles and No. 14 St. Bonaventure Bonnies. For an update on the 2012 NCAA Tournament landscape as it relates to all of Friday's action, be sure to head over to SB Nation's printable bracket StoryStream.
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For more on the 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket, stay with SB Nation's Selection Sunday StoryStream, and stick around SB Nation's NCAA Tournament hub for a complete printable NCAA Tournament bracket and tons of analysis on who was snubbed, who got the best bracket, and who will make it all the way to New Orleans and the Final Four.