Bragging Rights Final Four: Texas vs. UConn



by Micah Hart

For the complete Bragging Rights rules and to vote for other matchups, click here. We move to the Final Four, where the top seed from the West meets the top seed from the Midwest.

VS

Texas Longhorns

Starters (all stats per 48 minutes, through 3/31):

LaMarcus Aldridge, Trail Blazers: 26.5 points, 10.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.4 blocks, 1.2 steals
D.J. Augustin, Bobcats: 20.4 points, 4.0 rebounds, 8.5 assists, 0.1 blocks, 0.8 steals
Kevin Durant, Thunder: 34.0 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.2 blocks, 1.4 steals
T.J. Ford, Pacers: 14.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, 8.8 assists, 0.5 blocks, 2.0 steals
Maurice Evans, Wizards: 14.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.4 blocks, 1.1 steals

Missed the cut: Damion James, Nets; Daniel Gibson, Cavaliers; Royal Ivey, Thunder; Dexter Pittman, Heat; Avery Bradley, Celtics

How they got here: Talk about March Madness. After easily dispatching Washington, the Horns beat UCLA literally at the buzzer, winning their matchup against the Bruins by a single vote in the Elite Eight.

Team synopsis: A real title contender, with both Durant and Aldridge providing matchup problems for just about any potential opponent. Augustin is also having a breakout season in Charlotte. Ford is somewhat redundant with Augustin on the floor, but his track record is a little better than rookie Damion James. Not a lot of bulk, but trying to keep LA and the Durantula from racking up points is going to be hard for any opponent.

UConn Huskies

Starters (all stats per 48 minutes, through 3/31):

Ray Allen, Celtics: 22.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 0.2 blocks, 1.3 steals
Ben Gordon, Pistons: 21.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 0.4 blocks, 1.1 steals
Emeka Okafor, Hornets: 15.8 points, 14.5 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 2.8 blocks, 0.7 steals
Charlie Villanueva, Pistons: 23.7 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.2 blocks, 1.1 steals
Rip Hamilton, Pistons: 25.0 points, 3.8 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 0.0 blocks, 1.2 steals

Missed the cut: Caron Butler, Mavericks (injured); Rudy Gay, Grizzlies (injured); A.J Price, Pacers; Hilton Armstrong, Hawks; Hasheem Thabeet, Rockets; Jeff Adrien, Warriors

How they got here: After taking USC behind the woodshed in the Sweet 16, UConn gave their fans a hopeful preview for Saturday’s Final Four by taking down Kentucky in the Midwest Regional Final by a 59%-41% vote.

Team synopsis: UConn keeps winning despite being down two starters in Rudy Gay and Caron Butler. Fortunately, Charlie V is a capable player, who like Ben Gordon is probably even better in a playground environment like this. Plus, Villanueva gives the team a little more height to go with Okafor in the middle. This is still a dynamite scoring team for the boys from Storrs. How you would stop Allen and Hamilton, two of the best shooters of all-time coming off screens, is anyone’s guess

All Ball’s take: This might be a different matchup with UConn fully healthy, but while Okafor should be able to hang with Aldridge as well as any post defender in the league, I don’t see anyone in the lineup (or on their bench, for that matter) that can check Durant. Villanueva has the height I suppose, but not the defensive proclivity. While UConn’s guards are all amazing shooters, Texas’ perimeters players are at least quick enough to stay with them running around screens and none of the Huskies are known for their post game, though I wouldn’t put anything past Jesus Shuttlesworth.

UConn certainly has the shooters to make it interesting, but Texas has the best player on the court and in this case that should be enough.

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15 Comments

  1. royce says:

    What a joke. Texas in no way, shape or form should have had more votes than UCLA. People automatically see Durant and vote for him. Not dogging on Durant, but it’s a team thing here.

    • Agreed says:

      This Texas team is garbage without Durant. UCLA had the most dominate team that Texas faced. So UCLA would’ve won. I even believe this veteran UConn team is better. Durant is my favorite player, I am just speaking the truth while comparing matchups.

  2. miko4rm206 says:

    No People see K.D and L.A 2 of the be best forwrds at there position with length and great scoring ability. People also see 2 good point guards who can speed up the tempo or play half court with only 1 weak link

  3. Sam says:

    Texas has got this,

  4. drei says:

    all high school team would beat them all:
    G Kobe Bryant
    F Lebron James
    F Kevin Garnett
    F Amare Stoudamire
    C Dwight Howard

  5. Got game says:

    this aint the allstar voting where you see durant and immediately vote for him.. UCONN should win this with a very sturdy lineup compared to Texas where aldridge and durant are the only good players…

    • TEXAS says:

      UCONN has a sturdy lineup? All Uconn has is Ray Allen and a little bit of Rip Hamilton. You know when a team has 3 Pistons and A Wizard in their starting lineup that they’re bad and wont be able to compete with LA and KD

  6. Brandon says:

    UCLA should have won. Texas doesn’t deserve to be here.

  7. Rob says:

    Texas shouldn’t have made it past UCLA … Durant and Aldridge sure ….but Evans, Ford and Augustine? Seriously? Any person that actually watches basketball and is intelligent would agree that UCLA’s lineup as a whole was far superior. Even if Durant goes off in a matchup like this does anybody think that the combo of Allen, Gordon and Hamilton versus Ford, Augustine and Evans can’t make up that difference? …We’re talking about 3 of the best shooting players in the game. UConn should be in the finals…but of course that won’t be the case with all the Durant-lovers. Just look at what all the Griffin-lovers did to the dunk contest…

  8. Allan says:

    Texas looses this for cheating last round! They shouldnt have beat UCLA NO WAY! Im going with UCONN

  9. Celtiics says:

    Yall all stupid. UCONNN UCOON Has Ray Allen Ben Gorden And Emeka Okafor WTF Ndd Long Horns just got Kevin Durant ndd LaMarcus Aldridge Smh Mane be smart

  10. Kevin says:

    Uconn has 3 pistons…How are they doing this year?

  11. tom says:

    Uconn has no pg to feed the shooters, And Aldridge and Durant would kill them too. Just keep feeding them, 30 points each, plus penetration from the dj and tj, game ovah.

  12. asdf says:

    3 of the best shooting guards in the game? ok i’ll give it to ray allen, but gordon and hamilton? no way man not even clsoe

    • Rob says:

      I didn’t say three of the best shooting guards …I said three of the best shooting players (not the SG position)…there’s a big difference. Hamilton and Gordon can shoot lights out. Hamilton crushes jumpers off the screen like Ray and Gordon’s shot is almost unstoppable when he’s hot…just check the playoffs a couple years back. If I said three of the best shooting guards of course Hamilton and Gordon wouldn’t be there…hell even Ray might not be in there (and I’m a Celts fan).