UCLA, Indiana and the NCAA basketball fan bases living in the past

Indiana Hoosiers fans. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Indiana Hoosiers fans. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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NCAA basketball fan bases living in the past
(Photo by Chris Covatta/Getty Images) /

6. Texas football isn’t the only sport on campus longing for the past.

The University of Texas is a football powerhouse, but its basketball program is also pretty good. The Longhorns have had some notable success on the hardwood, reaching the Final Four three times in school history.

The most success that Texas had on the hardwood came under the guidance of former coach Rick Barnes, who put together a consistent winner in the Big 12. Barnes took over in 1998 and took the Longhorns to 16 NCAA Tournaments in 17 years, including their only Final Four trip since 1947 back in 2003.

That run wasn’t good enough for Texas, which let Barnes go after the 2015 season to hire Shaka Smart. The move seemed like a logical one on paper as Smart had turned VCU into a high-profile mid-major and could take the Longhorns to the next level.

The transition to Texas hasn’t been great for Smart, who already finds himself on the hot seat due to the impatience of the program and its fans. Smart may well have been fired if the NCAA Tournament wasn’t canceled due to the coronavirus, which has led schools to prioritize stability.

Texas fans seem to believe that their school is a blue blood on the level of programs like Kansas, which makes deep NCAA Tournament runs routinely. This simply isn’t the case, leading to unrealistic expectations that haven’t been met.