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NCAA Tournament: Oakland University vs. Texas

Could No. 13 seeded Oakland upset the Texas Longhorns today? Why some NCAA Tournament pundits see Oakland University as a Cinderella contender.

By Christopher HartmanContributor / March 18, 2011

Oakland's Reggie Hamilton, center, gives out high five's at the start of basketball practice at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., on March 14, 2011. Oakland opens the NCAA tournament playing top seeded Texas.

Detroit Free Press, Andre J. Jackson/AP

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UPDATE: Friday, March 18 3:20 PM NCAA West Regional 2nd round final score: Texas 85 Oakland 81

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Michigan's Oakland University, the 13th seed out of the West region, faces an uphill battle.

Let's take a look at the stats.

According to Ken Pomeroy of KenPom.com, a noted college basketball ratings site, the Texas Longhorns sport the 21st best offense and best defense in the country: "Middle tempo. Best field goal defense, good at locking teams from outside and inside. Great ball-handling team, great rebounding team, good at getting to the foul line and forcing other teams to take jumpers."

However, their foul shooting leaves something to be desired and they force few turnovers.

On the other hand, the Golden Grizzlies of Oakland can go toe-to-toe with great shooting teams. Offensively Pomeroy ranks them at No. 15 in the country. The problem is, they have horrible defense - particularly on three-point shots and force barely any turnovers themselves.

Texas is seeded No. 4 in the NCAA Tournament, which means Texas will probably trade baskets with Oakland throughout the first half; but the key is how Oakland does at stopping Texas' superior half-court offense and barrage of three pointers.

Texas is the safe pick here; however, Oakland has been well-rested since its Summit League victory against Oral Roberts on March 8th. But Texas had to play through virtually the entire Big 12 conference tournament, where they were beaten by Kansas in the final. Additionally, Texas, who started the season strong - maintaining a No. 1 national ranking for several weeks, lost several of their later conference tournaments - including a blowout by Colorado.

All that being said, I like Texas.

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