Nevada basketball likes its bracket after drawing taller Texas team in first round – Reno Gazette Journal


Wolf Pack coach Eric Musselman talks about his team making the NCAA Tournament, where it will face Texas on Friday in Nashville.
Chris Murray/RGJ

TBS unveiled a new NCAA Tournament selection show format this year, first revealing the 68 teams in the field before taking a commercial break and divulging the bracket.

The network said it would unveil the programs in alphabetical order and it did so with the teams that had clinched an automatic berth in the Big Dance after winning their conference tournaments. But, then came the at-large teams picked by the selection committee that Nevada was nearly 100 percent certain it would be in. But, there wasn’t any assurances until the team saw its name pop up on the screen.

So, when the show skipped from Missouri to North Carolina State, some of the Wolf Pack players and boosters who gathered in the Basin Street Club Level at Mackay Stadium felt their stomach drop.

“I was worried,” forward Jordan Caroline said.

North Carolina State was announced as “NC State” by the broadcasters, but technically North Carolina State comes after Nevada in alphabetical order. Was the Wolf Pack really left out of the field? Nope.

A couple of seconds after North Carolina State was revealed, up popped the name “Nevada.” The players launched out of their seats in joy. About 10 minutes later, the Wolf Pack figured out its fate. Nevada drew a seventh seed – marking just the third time in school history it earned an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament – and will play No. 10 Texas in a first-round game Friday at 1:20 p.m. in Nashville. 

“I was a little nervous,” Cody Martin said of the alphabetical mishap, “but I’m just very grateful we got selected.”

Coach Eric Musselman, whose has led Nevada to back-to-back NCAA tournaments, wasn’t quite as worried.

“Some of the smarter guys on the team than me had that figured out, but I didn’t,” he joked.


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