Texas, Cincinnati grow up on path to NCAA tourney

By Beth Rucker

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, March 15 2012 2:36 p.m. MDT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — With six freshmen, Texas coach Rick Barnes planned on the Longhorns needing more than one year to come of age.

Neither he nor the Longhorns (20-13) figured to use that as an excuse to miss out on the NCAA tournament.

Instead, they grew up quickly and earned the program's 14th consecutive NCAA bid. The 11th-seeded Longhorns will face No. 6 seed Cincinnati Friday in the second round in the East region.

The Bearcats know something about growing up.

Their progress wasn't as much about age as it was maturity after the 76-53 romp by Xavier better known for the bloody brawl that led to suspensions.

Cincinnati (24-10) responded to the embarrassment by winning 10 of its next 11 games and defeated a nation-leading seven ranked teams this season.

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