INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Nevada still has its NCAA Tournament magic
The Wolf Pack made an improbable comeback in the final 2 minutes
Thursday night, scoring the final eight points of the game to beat
eighth-seeded Texas 61-57 for their second straight first-round
"This Tournament can break your heart," first-year coach Mark
Fox said. "At the end, everybody's going to be crying but one
The Wolf Pack (25-6) fed off last year's surprising run that
sent them into the round of 16. They played with confidence,
matching Texas shove for shove, as they evened their NCAA
Tournament record at 3-3 and tied last season's victory total.
But reaching the regional semifinals a second straight time will
take the biggest upset in school history. They will face top-seeded
Illinois, a 67-55 winner over Fairleigh Dickinson, in the second
What Nevada proved against Texas, is that it can still do some
Kevinn Pinkney scored 15 points and the Wolf Pack survived a
dreadful night by Western Athletic Conference player of the year
Nick Fazekas. Together, the two account for more than 41 percent of
the Wolf Pack's points during the season.
On Thursday, with Pinkney in foul trouble and Fazekas missing
most of his shots, they needed help -- and they got it. Mo Charlo
came off the bench to score 12 points and Ramon Sessions added 11.
Fazekas finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds while shooting
3-of-14 against Texas' aggressive zone.
"We've played uglier than this," Fazekas said. "To not play
our best ball and still come out with a win, it's a pretty good
It could have been a very different result, though.
Texas center Jason Klotz and backup guard Kenny Taylor nearly
rallied the Longhorns by themselves in the second half. They
combined for 26 of 31 points in the last 20 minutes and had Texas
in position to win with a 57-53 lead and 2:24 to go.
But Texas (20-11), one of five teams that had been to the round
of 16 each of the last three years, couldn't close it out against
the scrappy bunch from Reno.
"It's tough going out in the first round, I've never
experienced that before," said Buckman, a junior. "It hurts
everybody and I don't like that feeling at all."
Defensively, both teams played well. Nevada shot just 37.1
percent, Texas 35.3 percent.
Offensively, nobody struggled more than Fazekas, who wore a mask
to protect his broken nose. He was just was just 1-of-6 from the
field in the first half, missed the rim by several feet on one shot
and had another bounce off the shot clock.
That was by design.
"We wanted them to shoot perimeter shots," Longhorns coach
Rick Barnes said. "We were basically trying to shrink the court on
The strategy worked for 38 minutes.
And when Klotz scored eight points in an 11-2 run that gave
Texas a 55-51 lead with 4:14 left, it appeared Texas would hang on.
Instead, Charlo completed a three-point play to pull Nevada to
57-56 with 1:28 left and Pinkney made a 5-footer to give the Wolf
Pack the lead with 44.3 seconds left.
"It wasn't a specific play," Pinkney said. "I was just open
and he found me."
Gibson missed a 3-pointer on Texas' next possession and then
with a chance to tie, Klotz missed a short jumper and Buckman a
Sessions then made two free throws to seal the improbable
"We did the little things to win the game," Pinkney said. "I
didn't look at the scoreboard much, but when you hold somebody
under 60 points, you have a great chance to win."