Texas better hope that NCAA familiarity isn’t a requirement for tournament success.

Junior Jonathan Holmes’ 23 minutes of playing time against Cincinnati in 2012 represents the team’s sum total of March Madness experience. For everybody else on the Texas roster, Thursday’s second-round matchup against 10th-seeded Arizona State (21-11) will be something new and uncertain.

“They've grown up watching this tournament,” Texas coach Rick Barnes said. “They’ve dreamed about being in it. I think that what every team has to do is embrace it and understand that you’re really a part of something that’s going to be with them a long time in terms of being able to tell people they participated in it.”

For Texas (23-10), that may not be a bad thing.

From 2009-12, Texas teams entered the tournament with plenty of experience and expectations to match. And the Longhorns went nowhere but home after the first weekend.

Certainly things had a different feel Wednesday. Players took selfies in the locker room before practice at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, enjoying the moment, and then threw T-shirts to fans after the open practice.

“To be here feels surreal,” sophomore forward Connor Lammert said. “You’re just not going to take it for granted.”

If his players have a touch of anxiety, just a wee bit of nervousness, Barnes takes that as a good thing.

“I don’t want them uptight,” Barnes said, “but I do want them to be on edge. If that means butterflies or whatever, you do want them on the edge.”

Several factors contributed to the dearth of experience.

Even by Texas standards, the program has experienced major turnover since 2012. In what seems like an eon ago, J’Covan Brown was the team’s leading scorer. Key contributors Myck Kabongo, Julien Lewis and Sheldon McClellan all left the program with eligibility remaining.

The exodus coupled with Texas missing the tournament last season for the first time in 15 seasons makes this a new start.

“The feeling last year was embarrassing,” said sophomore guard DeMarcus Holland, a Naaman Forest High School product. “We were disappointed in ourselves, and we ended coach Barnes’ streak of going to the NCAA Tournament.

“This year, the whole focus was to get Texas back to where it was and become a tough team so that every team that we play against knows they’re going to have to fight us to win.”