Rick Barnes entered the 2001-2002 season with a very young team. Lucky for him and Texas fans that youth was very talented. Led by freshman PG T.J. Ford the Longhorns didn't start any Juniors or Seniors. After getting off to a rough start, the Longhorns ended the season 20-11 which was good enough to earn the #6 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
An easy win over #11 Boston College and an upset over #3 Mississippi State put Texas in the Sweet 16. A heartbreaking loss to #2 Oregon, 72-70 couldn't diminish what the Horns accomplished that season and they turned that experience into a Final Four in 2003.