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Bevo's Roundup: We're Rich!

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A&M and Texas are defying everyone's expectations.

The college basketball landscape is lined with a thicket of teams that have disappointed, but the two that will meet in the Erwin Center tonight are not included.

The Longhorns and Aggies have exceeded expectations, arriving as the 10th- and 11th-ranked teams in the Associated Press poll.

It's a showdown.

The deal is done.

The Longhorn Network will launch in the fall and will be owned by ESPN, which will pay the school a rights fee that averages $15 million a year, sources said. In addition, ESPN has committed close to $400 million in production value to the channel over the 20-year term. IMG College, the Longhorns’ multimedia rights holder, negotiated the deal with UT.

We're rich! Oh, wait...We already are.

The University of Texas has struck a 20-year, $300 million deal with ESPN for a new, 24-hour network that will broadcast Longhorn sports and some non-athletic content such as campus musical performances.

As if they needed one. It is just another good reason for the pigs to hate Texas.

Arkansas fans probably don’t need additional reasons to hate the University of Texas. Even though the two schools are nearly two decades removed from being conference rivals, Razorback supporters still wretch at the sight of burnt orange for a number of reasons.

Yet another reason to dislike the Longhorns is in the news. And there will be plenty of other fan bases joining the anti-UT party that Arkansas has had going for so long.

Want your own channel? Too damn bad.

Hook-'em TV: With Texas' long-discussed new Longhorns TV channel with ESPN now being finalized, fans might wonder: Could my school get its own channel?

Not much chance. Texas' channel, which might bring the school $10 million annually from ESPN and is expected to launch this year, is meant to air all kinds of action — putts, bunts and corner kicks — that's not getting on TV now. Just as the Big Ten's big football and basketball games stayed in their regular TV deals when that conference started its channel, Texas' marquee events will largely stay in their existing TV platforms. The new channel is just meant to air what's going to waste.



Some game notes from Aggie Athletics:

  • Wednesday will mark the 218th meeting between the rivals on the basketball court ... it is the most-played rivalry in A&M history ... Texas leads the all-time series, 132-85.
  • The teams have split the last 10 meetings ... both schools have held serve of late on their respective home courts--A&M's last win at the Erwin Center came in 2002, while UT's last victory at Reed Arena was in 2004.
  • The schools split last season's meetings, with the Aggies defeating the Longhorns in the most recent game, 74-58, at Reed Arena (Feb. 27, 2010) ... then top-ranked Texas narrowly escaped with an overtime victory (72-67) in the last contest in Austin, on Jan. 16, 2010.
  • A&M coach Mark Turgeon on the rivalry:

    "Every year is different, every game is different. I have a lot of respect for Rick (Barnes), I always have. They recruit like crazy, get good players, have a lot of All-Americans, get a lot of pros. It's a battle for us when we go over there. When you have respect for someone, you usually get your team ready and go hard."

    Enjoy it while it lasts. They are in the top 10 for the first time in three years.

    Texas A&M achieved its first top-10 ranking in over three years on Monday, as the Aggies checked in at No. 10 in the latest ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll.

    A&M (16-1) made the jump after a 91-89 overtime victory over then No. 12 Missouri this weekend, which extended the Aggies' win streak to 13 games--the third-longest in school history and longest in 91 years.

    Even I Am The 12th Man is having issues with their rise to fame this season.

    I've said it before, I don't think we're even a top 15 team yet, much less a top 10 one. I define a top 10 team as one who has a fighting chance of beating the #1 team in the nation on the road, and should be expected or slightly favored to beat them at home. I don't think we're anywhere close to that level as a team yet. We still need to improve our guard play, and after giving up over 50% shooting in our last game, we need to work on our team defense.I think we've benefited from some early wins over some ranked teams, and we've kept winning while some other teams above us in the polls have dropped.

    Mark Turgeon isn't thinking about that ranking.

    The Aggies play defense.

    Defense? They play it as well as almost anyone. In Saturday's victory over Missouri, they forced three turnovers in the final minute of overtime to overcome a three-point deficit.

    "We defend, we don't give up, we're together," said forward Nathan Walkup, a senior from Deer Park.



    The Land Thieves are improving.

    This team actually has improved the past couple of weeks. Their defense is much improved. They played well defensively against Baylor and Texas despite size mismatches. Their offensive flow is better but they're not shooting as well.

    The Sooners won a game! They even provide video just so you know it actually happened..

    Guess who else is having a good season...

    Colorado's most exciting season for men's basketball in more than a decade features an up-tempo, make-the-opponent-suck-for-air style that could make some track coaches envious.

    First-year coach Tad Boyle brought that energized pace from Northern Colorado, where he turned the Bears into a winner by running foes into submission. The style is working at CU's Coors Events Center, where the Buffaloes are 11-0 at home.

    And then the Buffs go and lose to Nebraska.

    Some fans wondered how motivated Colorado would be to play Nebraska after the Buffaloes started Big 12 Conference play with a perfect 3-0 record, including wins against two top-25 teams.

    The Buffaloes said motivation wasn't the issue Tuesday night in their 79-67 loss to Nebraska before a crowd of 8,477 at the Devaney Sports Center that ended CU's seven-game win streak. But getting a defensive stop against a Nebraska team that's not known for scoring a lot of points was a big problem for the Buffs. Nebraska shot 56 percent from the field and also made 15-of-18 free throws.

    No, not Gene Chizik. The Cyclones made a genius hire.

    A native son who went from Cyclones ball boy to Ames prep star to ISU and local legend – so popular he was dubbed "The Mayor" – Hoiberg had exactly zero job experience when he was announced as the school's 19th head coach last April.

    Now the move sniffs of genius.

    The Cyclones, picked for last place in a preseason polling of Big 12 coaches, enter Wednesday night's game at Oklahoma State at 14-4 overall and 1-2 in the conference, with close losses at Nebraska and home against No. 2 Kansas preceding Saturday's 72-57 home romp past Baylor.

    The Pokes lost Matt Pilgrim. Please call Stillwater if you find him.

    Somewhere along the way from last season's finish to this season's tip off, Matt Pilgrim got lost.

    Took a wrong turn. Veered one way when he should have gone another. Detoured, definitely.

    Calling Matt Pilgrim: your team needs you.



    Check in on Joe Lunardi's latest bracketology.

    People will go to any inks for their team.

    As a baby in Wichita, Kan., one of Kat Steward's (2) first spoken words was "Jayhawks." As a young girl, Kat used to cry every single Senior Day, such was her emotional attachment to every Kansas player. As an adult, she took her devotion to Kansas basketball a step further.

    She had it tattooed across her upper back, mural style.


    And finally...

    Sing along. You know the words.


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