What seems to be impossible can always become possible whenever March Madness rolls around, and ACU was of those teams that did the impossible.
By doing what they do best, they were able to take down the University of Texas, a Final Four favorite, and earn ACU’s most historic win to date.
The game itself was historic. This game was ACU’s first NCAA tournament win after falling to the University of Kentucky in their 2019 appearance. As mentioned before, the Longhorns were a favorite to make it to the Final Four, and were coming off of the first Big XII Tournament title. The Longhorns under head coach Shaka Smart were a talented and strong team.
Also, the team’s win puts ACU’s basketball program on the map as a legitimate Div. I program. Winning the Southland Conference Tournament handily and beating the 3-seed Texas Longhorns doesn’t just happen by chance or accident. It took a lot of hard work from head coach Joe Golding, his coaching staff and his players to build this program from a struggling Div. II school to competing with and defeating top teams in Div. I in a few years.
This turnaround and success over these past couple of years have the implications to impact ACU’s basketball program for years to come. With this success, plus the movement to the Western Athletic Conference, one should expect recruitment to increase and the likelihood for ACU to sign more highly rated recruits to go up.
As well as those factors impacting recruitment, the nation now knows that ACU basketball can compete against top-tier competition. After proving themselves able to compete, more prominent Division I universities might want to start putting ACU on their schedule.
Being able to play those bigger universities will help our team get better and get more attention and opportunities to recruit players from all across the country.
I’m sure there are plenty of other opportunities and potential new open doors that the ACU’s basketball program now has that were not discussed above, but there is one big thing we do know. Though ACU’s basketball incredible season has reached its end, it will serve as the beginning for many great things to come.