Abrams carries Texas past Minnesota
A.J. Abrams' 3-point shooting was a key reason Texas got within a game of the Final Four last season. Now the Longhorns are moving on again thanks to the senior's latest long-range shooting flurry in the NCAA tournament.
Video: Hear from the Longhorns after advancing to the second round with a win over Minnesota.
Abrams hit eight 3-pointers and scored 26 points to help Texas beat Minnesota 76-62 in the first round of the East Regional on Thursday, helping the Longhorns win their NCAA opener for the fourth straight season.
Damion James added 18 points and nine rebounds for the seventh-seeded Longhorns (23-11), who hit 11 of 20 3s overall to put their recent struggles behind them. Texas had lost seven of its past 14 games dating to late January, a frustrating finish to a regular season that began with the Longhorns in the top 10.
Now they're preparing for a matchup against the Duke-Binghamton winner in Saturday's second round.
It all began with Abrams, who had a run of six straight 3s to blow open a close game and give Texas a comfortable lead midway through the second half against the Golden Gophers (22-11). He finished one shy of a career high for made 3s and looked so relaxed that he heard questions afterward about how he manages to stay so calm in the postseason.
Even he didn't really have an answer.