March Madness: Texas advances, but A&M gets battered and ruins potential rivalry renewal

Texas is seeded No. 2 while Texas A&M was seeded 7th in the Midwest Region. The 2-versus-15 winner faces the 7-versus-10 winner.

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Friday, March 17, 2023

DES MOINES, Iowa (KTRK) -- The way the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Committee set up this year's Midwest Region seemed dream-like for Lone Star State hoops fans and especially for those in Austin and College Station.

You see, the University of Texas and Texas A&M University earned their way into March Madness - one by winning the Big 12 tournament and the other by maintaining a high enough profile to get an at-large bid.

The Longhorns earned the No. 2 seed while the Aggies picked up the 7th seed. For those familiar with the yearly tournament and how it's set up, the first round involves a bracket portion with a 2-versus-15-seed matchup and a 7-versus-10 faceoff. The winners of both games advance to the second round to face each other.

And will you look at that? Some wishes could be fulfilled among UT and A&M fans.

SEE ALSO: 5 reasons we need the UT-A&M football rivalry back

Here are fast facts of the UT-A&M football rivalry

Their rivalry runs deep, moreso with their college football counterparts. But anytime one can claim bragging rights over the other in competition, they'll relish it, especially since the once-conference mates are still in different leagues now 11 years running.

So, March Madness would be the site of the next Texas-Texas A&M athletic competition, right?

Nope. No, it would not.

On the first day of the round of 64, Texas handily defeated 15-seed Colgate to advance to the second round. In order for a juicy rivalry renewal to take place, the higher-seed Texas A&M would need to defeat 10th-seeded Penn State.

Typically, the 7-seed should take care of business. Instead, the Aggies got slaughtered by the Nittany Lions, who led A&M by 16 points at halftime and by up to 26 points during their game on Thursday.

Penn State claimed victory, 76-59. Coach Buzz Williams' Aggies were favored by three points heading into the contest.

Yes, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi got one more win during this tournament than Texas A&M.

UT and A&M have faced off just two times since the latter split from the Big 12. And any chance of a March Madness-style matchup between the two will just have to wait until late next year after Texas officially joins the Aggies in the Southeastern Conference.

SEE ALSO: Big 12 agrees to let Texas and Oklahoma leave conference a year earlier than planned