Texas Longhorns prepare for Sweet 16 game against Xavier

UT men's basketball is now less than 24 hours away from playing Xavier in the Sweet 16.

A day before the big game was kind of a "calm before the storm" feel for the Longhorns at T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, especially with all those seniors and graduate students.

That senior experience will help heading into the program's biggest game in the last 15 years.

"I think being back in the tournament for the second time has definitely given us comfort. It's not as new. The lights aren't as bright. The stigma around the madness of the tournament has set in. And it's a tournament now. It's not March Madness, it's a tournament," said Timmy Allen/UT Sr. forward.

The Horns are also in a six-game win streak, including that Big 12 tournament title win in Kansas City.

"We are playing our best basketball right now. I think again, our guys are guarding really hard. I think our defense has traveled with us in terms of when we've gone on the road," said Rodney Terry/UT men's basketball interim head coach.

"Yeah, I think we're really together right now, honestly. We're covering up for each other's mistakes on defense. Playing for each other on offense. Making the right plays. So, I think that this team is as together as it's been all year," said Dylan Disu/UT Sr. forward. 

On the other end of the Midwest Regional, top-seed Houston and Jamal Shead is making big headlines. The former Manor Mustang standout always seems to play his best when the lights are brightest.

"I just say not really wanting to go home. You know you realize that once you get to the postseason that those games can be your last game so, just rising to the occasion and not wanting to go home," said Shead.

Shead and the Cougars take on No. 5 Miami in an early game Friday, March 24.

Texas and Xavier tip off at 8:45 p.m. on Friday, March 24.