The Lone Star State was the most represented in this year's NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, which moves on to the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight regional rounds this weekend.
Seven schools earned bids into March Madness, with at least five of them seen as legitimate contenders for deep runs and potentially a trip to the Final Four at Houston's NRG Stadium.
How did the schools do?
Well. Let's just say the state's own leader, Gov. Greg Abbott, may have been on to something when he chose Alabama to win the Big Dance.
Here's how each school did:
Texas Southern Tigers, 16th seed, East Region
Head coach Johnny Jones' team continues to defy prognosticators by getting his SWAC tournament champions peaking at the right time. With just 11 wins to 20 losses during the season, they snuck into their league's tourney as an eight-seed, took down three of the conference's best programs, and earned a shot at a potential third-straight First Four victory. The No. 16-seed Tigers did not expect a Cinderella team like Fairleigh Dickinson. Tobin Anderson's squad, which got into the tourney essentially by default after losing the Northeast Conference tournament final to an ineligible team, never relinquished the lead to TSU at any point of the game, leading by as many as 25 points. The Tigers' highly-improbable road to a hometown Final Four never got onto the freeway, losing to FDU, 84-61.
Unrelated: Fairleigh Dickinson went on to win just the second 16-versus-1 upset in tournament history against Purdue.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders, 16th seed, South Region
The kids from Corpus won the very first game of the tournament when they defeated Southeast Missouri State in a very close First Four matchup. As a 16-seed, the Islanders earned a trip to the round of 64 and the number one overall seed in March Madness, Alabama. The Crimson Tide wiped the floor of Corpus Christi, even without star All-America freshman Brandon Miller having to score. The season wasn't a failure by any means for coach Steve Lutz and his players. The Southland Conference champs in the regular season and league tournament went a respectable 24-11. The run also earned Lutz a job with Western Kentucky in the slightly bigger Conference USA.
Texas A&M Aggies, 7th seed, Midwest Region
The Aggies were a fashionable sleeper team pick to go deep in the tournament. After all, Buzz Williams' 25-9 squad had to keep up with the Southeast Conference's power teams, Alabama and Tennessee, the former of which the Aggies faced in the SEC tournament final. So, a seven-seed seems quite appropriate, right? By the look of their first-round game against Penn State, A&M should have stood for agonizing and miserable. The Aggies did not count on the Nittany Lions' senior guard Andrew Funk knocking down timely threes - eight of them in fact - to lead all scorers with 27 points. The one-and-done Aggies also missed an opportunity to reignite their rivalry with Texas, who, by fate, were paired in the same bracket with their former conference mates.
TCU Horned Frogs, 6th seed, West Region
Head coach Jamie Dixon and his Horned Frogs kept pace with the tough Big 12 Conference, earning wins against defending champion Kansas and tournament teams Kansas State and Iowa over the season. So, a six-seed seemed like a case of under-seeding for TCU, which faced off with First Four-winning, No. 11-seed Arizona State in the first round. The Frogs were down seven points at halftime before roaring back with nine minutes left in regulation. TCU needed a last-second basket to come out on top by two points. TCU went on to face No. 3 Gonzaga, a perennial Final Four contender, in a second-round game that the Horned Frogs led by five points at the half, but the Zags' Drew Timme delivered another classic tournament performance, scoring 28 points to help defeat TCU by three points.
Baylor Bears, 3rd seed, South Region
The Bears from Waco still held on to some of the magic they earned from their national championship run two years ago. Head coach Scott Drew earned a three-seed in the tournament after a season that included wins over UCLA, Gonzaga, Kansas, and TCU. Baylor faced Big West tournament champs, the University of California-Santa Barbara Gauchos, in a first round game that the Bears actually trailed at halftime. They got it together late to earn an 18-point victory and advance to the second round against Creighton of the Big East. Baylor stumbled out of the blocks against the Bluejays, trailing by 10 points at the break before losing by nine.
Texas Longhorns, 2nd seed, Midwest Region
The Longhorns haven't let off-court issues, namely those involving former coach Chris Beard, distract them, which has been evident by UT's four straight wins to close out the regular season, including two victories over Big 12 standard-bearer Kansas. The No. 2-seed soundly defeated Colgate in the first round behind Sir'Jabari Rice's seven three-pointers off the bench. UT had a slightly more challenger test against Aggie-beaters, Penn State. The Longhorns held on to win by five points after leading by eight at halftime. The Nittany Lions actually held a one-point lead with 4:34 left before Texas pulled away. What's next for the Longhorns? They face No. 3-seed Xavier in the Sweet Sixteen. The winner of that game faces the winner of a game between Miami and...
Houston Cougars, 1st seed, Midwest Region
It hasn't been easy being a Coogs fan during this year's tournament, especially when UH held on to the No. 1 ranking in the Associated Press Top 25 poll as late as early March. But the Cougars entered March Madness hobbling after All-American senior Marcus Sasser's groin injury in the American Athletic Conference tournament. Houston nearly became a victim of an upset against 16-seed Northern Kentucky in its first-round game, which saw Sasser start the game but reaggravate his injury. If that's not enough, head coach Kelvin Sampson also had another star guard, Jamal Shead, playing injured with knee discomfort. The Coogs faced Auburn next in the second round. Things didn't go so well for UH, which was again under an upset alert being down by 10 points at halftime. But as the old sports cliche goes, defense wins championships, and in the second half, the Coogs played exactly like their top-10 ranking as one of the most efficient defenses in the country. Houston finished the game with 12 blocks and four steals and outscored the Tigers 50-23 in the second half to win and advance. Houston earned its fourth Sweet Sixteen berth in five years.
UH and Miami face off on Friday at 6:15 p.m.
Eyewitness Sports is traveling to Kansas City with the Cougars as they tip off the Sweet Sixteen. Tune into ABC13 newscasts leading up to the big matchup.