DENTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – They are out of the NCAA Tournament but they made their fellow students and University of North Texas alums proud.
The Mean Green are back home from Indianapolis after Sunday’s second-round loss to Villanova, but they were all smiles when they got off the bus because they pulled off one of the biggest upset victories in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
The Mean Green made it to the round of 32 after beating Purdue on Friday, March 19.
Forty-thousand students and nearly 300,000 alumni in the DFW area were captivated by the team’s surprising success.
It’s the only time UNT has made it to the second round in four previous March Madness appearances.
It’s an achievement not lost on the players or Head Coach Grant McCasland.
“How they have taken us from being a great university the people know about but maybe not as a basketball school, so that part of it is a blast and to hear the excitement around that North Texas is such an awesome university, to be able to highlight it in a way is an unbelievable accomplishment,” McCasland said.
“We feel really good,” said UNT guard James Reese. “All the fans out here, they gave us a lot. They believed in us. The coaches believe in us. I’m glad we’re just able to make everybody proud and handle our business.”
Currently, UNT is in the middle of a 20-year master plan to dramatically upgrade its athletic programs by raising millions of dollars.
The historic victory over the weekend can only help do that.