TULSA, Okla. — Tristan Thompson had 17 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocked shots, and Texas survived a second-half comeback by high-scoring Oakland for an 85-81 victory in its NCAA tournament opener Friday.
Thompson controlled his head-to-head matchup with Summit League Player of the Year Keith Benson much of the game. The Longhorns’ freshman standout also got plenty of help from Jordan Hamilton, his frontcourt partner, who finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
The No. 4 seed Longhorns (28-7) led by 15 with less than five minutes remaining, but the Golden Grizzlies cut the lead to 80-75 with 1:23 left. Texas then hit five free throws in the final minute to hold on for the win.
The Longhorns will play the Memphis-Arizona winner in the West Regional.
Reggie Hamilton had 25 points to lead Oakland (25-10). Benson finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
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