Dylan Disu using doubt to fuel motivation in NCAA Tournament

Texas basketball is letting the doubt get to their head as they prepare for the Round of 64 matchup on March 21 against the 10-seed Colorado State.

Dylan Disu, Texas basketball
Dylan Disu, Texas basketball / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Head coach Rodney Terry has led Texas basketball to the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row and the first with him as the full-time HC. Texas received the seven-seed in the Midwest Region of the NCAA Tournament bracket on Selection Sunday (last weekend) and will face the 10-seed Colorado State Rams in the Round of 64 on March 21.

Texas basketball C Dylan Disu among the top players in March Madness

Texas must find a way to put the early exit from the Big 12 Tournament last week behind them and focus on the task ahead against Colorado State in the Round of 64.

Terry and the Longhorns will be relying on their top senior leaders with postseason experience to guide this team in March Madness.

Senior big man Dylan Disu and senior guard Max Abmas have been two of Texas's top producers throughout conference play this season. Disu and Abmas ranked among the top scorers in the Big 12 during the regular season and were the driving factors for Texas's success in the win column up to this point.

Many Texas fans feel that it is largely up to Disu and Abmas to put this team on their back and lead them in the NCAA Tournament. Combine the feeling that some Texas fans have this season that there is an overreliance on Disu and Abmas with the early exit from the Big 12 Tournament, and you get a situation where there were more questions than answers late last week entering Selection Sunday.

Disu spoke on these questions for the Longhorns entering the NCAA Tournament this week.

"I mean people are going to say what they want to say. There’s a lot of hate that goes around."

While he acknowledges the questions that were being asked about the Longhorns' confidence entering the tournament, he said it's not getting to the player's heads in preparation for the Round of 64.

"Just talking to our teammates and like Tyrese Hunter, his team got bounced in the first round two years ago, Iowa State. I think they lost by 30 to Texas Tech in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament, then they ended up going to the Sweet 16. So it’s not about what happened in the past or what happened in the last tournament."

This team, and specifically Disu, seem to be using the doubt as fuel for their motivation entering the NCAA Tournament this week.

"And honestly we’re using that as motivation, we didn’t want to lose to Kansas State, we didn’t want that game to go the way it went. We felt like we could have won that game and made a run in that tournament, but we didn’t."

Disu has been on fire for the Longhorns since last postseason. He won the Big 12 Tournament MVP honors while leading Texas to a Big 12 Tournament crown for the first time since 2021. Disu continued that momentum into the NCAA Tournament last year, where he averaged over 20 points per game in Texas's first two wins in the Rounds of 64 and 32.

This season, Disu averaged over 15 points per game and five rebounds during the regular season, winning Big 12 Most Improved Player of the Year honors. He also earned All-Big 12 First-Team honors for the first time in his collegiate career this season.

Texas tips off action against Colorado State at 5:50 p.m. CT at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, NC, on March 21 in the Round of 64 in the Midwest Region.

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