Basketball Game Notes - Wake Forest at the NCAA Tournament

March 15, 2010

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Wake Forest is set to make its second straight NCAA Tournament appearance when the ninth-seeded Demon Deacons take on the eighth-seeded Texas Longhorns on Thursday evening in New Orleans. The game will be televised by CBS and is also available on the Wake Forest ISP Sports Radio Network.

Wake Forest enters the NCAA Tournament with a 19-10 overall record. The Deacons, who boast six wins against RPI Top 50 teams, went 9-7 in the ACC to finish fifth in the final conference standings.

The Deacons are making their 22nd all-time NCAA Tournament appearance and their second straight under third-year head coach Dino Gaudio.

Wake Forest is led by All-American Al-Farouq Aminu. The 6-9 forward is the only player in the ACC averaging a double-double with 15.7 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. All-ACC point guard Ishmael Smith ranks in the top 10 nationally in assists and is the only player in the ACC in the top five in the league in both assists and steals.

Texas enters the NCAA Tournament with a record of 24-9 overall. The Longhorns went 9-7 in the Big 12 to finish sixth in the conference standings. Texas was ranked in the top 10 in the country for the majority of the season, including two weeks at No. 1 in mid-January.

Wake Forest and Texas have met once previously in the NCAA Tournament. The teams squared off in the second round of the 1996 Tournament in Milwaukee. The second-seeded Deacons upended the 10th-seeded Longhorns, 65-62, behind Tim Duncan and current Wake Forest assistant Rusty LaRue.

Wake Forest leads the all-time series with Texas, 3-1. The Deacons and Longhorns played a home-and-home series in 2004 and 2005. Texas won in Austin in 2004, while Wake picked up a win in Winston-Salem in 2005. The Deacs won their first-ever meeting with the Longhorns at the Birmingham (Ala.) Classic in 1954.

Next Up...
The winner of the Wake Forest-Texas contest will face the winner of the matchup between No. 1 seed Kentucky and No. 16 seed East Tennessee State on Sunday, March 20. The semifinals and finals of the East Region will be held at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y., on March 25 and 27.



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