Monday, March 27

Longhorns travel to College World Series, playing Notre Dame

Aside from Texas’ first opponent Notre Dame, much of the news surrounding the Longhorns has focused on an old Big 12 rival waiting in the same bracket.

While a Longhorn and Aggie —and, potentially Longhorn versus Sooner— showdown is appealing and very much in play, perhaps even more interesting is the number of SEC villains opponents waiting on the other side of the bracket. Arkansas, Auburn, and Ole Miss join Stanford in Bracket 2, and, combined with Texas A&M and Oklahoma in Bracket 1, that makes six of the eight teams in the tournament either SEC members or future SEC members.

Texas and Oklahoma, as you may remember, have ended their friendship with the Big 12, and originally planned to move on up to the SEC in 2025. Recent reports have them bumping that up a year to 2024. Either way, Aggies are mad about Item.

And it turns out— surprise, surprise — everyone not wearing burnt orange is plain-old sick of the Longhorns.

“People just kind of get tired of Texas, to be honest with you, and so we feed off of that,” Pierce said on Friday morning.

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Perhaps it’s because this is the 38th College World Series appearance for Texas, meaning the club has qualified an improbable 50-plus percent of the time. Maybe it’s the bravado of Texas’ flagship university. Maybe it’s all just a way to play underdog, for Pierce to pump up his squad. If it’s the latter, he might not need much help. Vegas, for what it’s worth, has Texas with the best odds to win it all, at +300.

After a torrid start to the season, former No. 1 team in the nation Texas went 11-0 before a topsy-turvy remainder of the schedule ended with the Longhorns (relatively) breezing through the Regional and Super Regional tiers of the tournament.

The possibilities for future SEC rivalry matches are endless if Texas can get the job done tonight against Notre Dame, and they should, considering they have Dick Howser Trophy-winner Ivan Melendez on their side.

The hulking El Pasoan, nicknamed the Hispanic Titanic, slugged an obscene 32 dingers this season to become the first college player to break the 30 mark since Kris Bryant in 2013.

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