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NCAA Bracket 2012: Texas To Play Cincinnati In First Game

After landing the No. 11 seed in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, the Texas Longhorns will be playing the sixth-seeded Cincinnati Bearcats in the first round of the East Regional. The Longhorns received an at-large bid from the tournament's selection committee after turning in a 25-7 record during the regular season.

The Longhorns had an uneven season, but solidified their bid with a quarterfinal win over Iowa State in the Big 12 Tournament. Now, Texas gets to begin its 14th straight NCAA Tournament appearance by playing the Bearcats.

Cincinnati had one of the most tumultuous seasons in the country this year, as they were part of an ugly brawl at the end of their non-conference game against cross-town rival Xavier on Dec. 10.

But the ensuing suspensions and media scrutiny seemed to galvanize the Bearcats, who rebounded to a 12-6 record in Big East play and a run to the Big East Conference Championship that included a victory over Syracuse.

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While Cincinnati doesn't have any big-time NBA prospects, they're very balanced offensively with five players -- 6'0 junior Cashmere Wright, 6'4 sophomore Sean Kilpatrick, 6'3 senior Dion Dixon, 6'9 senior Yancy Gates and 6'3 junior JaQuon Parker -- all averaging between 9 and 14 points.

The biggest concern for Texas will be handling Gates, a powerful 260-pound big man, in the low post.

For more on this matchup and the Longhorns, visit Burnt Orange Nation and Barking Carnival. Stay tuned to SB Nation Houston for more Longhorns recaps, previews and news updates. Click here for more on the 2012 NCAA Tournament

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