Men's Basketball falls to Nevada in First Round of NCAA Tournament
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Kevinn Pinkney scored 15 points and Nevada rallied to beat Texas 61-57 on Thursday night in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Ninth-seeded Nevada (25-6) will face either top-seeded Illinois or Fairleigh Dickinson in the second round of the Chicago Regional on Saturday.
Pinkney spent much of the game in foul trouble and the Wolf Pack's top scorer, Nick Fazekas was held to just 10 points -- well below his average of 21.4 points. They combined for more than 41 percent of the Wolf Pack's scoring entering the game.
Mo Charlo added 12 points for the Wolf Pack, Ramon Sessions had 11, and Fazekas grabbed 13 rebounds.
Nevada rallied from a 57-53 deficit with 2:24 left and overcame a career-high 20 points from Texas' Jason Klotz. Klotz scored 16 points in the second half when he and Kenny Taylor nearly rallied the eighth-seeded Longhorns by themselves. Brad Buckman had 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Taylor finished with 12 points.
It's the first time in four years the Longhorns (20-11) were eliminated before the regional semifinals.
Defensively, both teams played well.
Offensively, both struggled -- none more than Fazekas.
The Western Athletic Conference player of the year wore a mask to protect his broken nose and it appeared to have an effect. He was just was just 1-of-6 from the field in the first half, missed the rim by several feet on one shot and had another bounce off the shot clock. He finished 3-of-14.
It was that kind of day against Texas' aggressive zone.
But the Wolf Pack still found a way to win.
Klotz dominated during the last 7 minutes, scoring eight points in an 11-2 run that gave Texas a 55-51 lead with 4:14 to go. It appeared then the Longhorns would pull away.
But Charlo completed a three-point play to pull Nevada to 57-56 with 1:28 left and Pinkney put in a 5-footer to give the Wolf Pack the lead with 44.3 seconds left.
Texas then missed a 3-pointer and the Wolf Pack connected on three of four free throws in the final 21.5 seconds to seal the win.
Nevada won its 25th game for the second straight, tying the record for the second most in school history. Last year, the Wolf Pack advanced to the round of 16.
Daniel Gibson, the Big 12 freshman of the year, scored just eight points.