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Bevo's Roundup: We're Off To Visit Little Brother

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"They did great. They are a physical team, fast to the ball, big, strong guys. It was a very physical ball game, and there were a lot of loose elbows going on out there," Missouri guard Kim English said.

In case you were at the opera Saturday night and/or didn't check the sports page...The Horns beat Missouri.

With a sold-out crowd of 16,734 cheering them on, the Longhorns held the Tigers, who entered the game as the Big 12’s highest scoring team, to a season-worst 33.9 percent shooting in a 71-58 victory. It was the Tigers’ lowest scoring output since a 77-69 home loss against Kansas in last year’s regular-season finale on March 6.

Tell us something we don't know. The Horns were great against Missouri except for one area.

From Big 12's Ask The Official:

Question on a play I had never seen before. In the Missouri vs. Texas A&M game an A&M player went up for a dunk. As he was dunking he was fouled, and the ball bounced high in the air. As part of his dunk he grabbed the rim and held it momentarily---while the ball was up in the air above the rim. The ball then came down through the basket. The referees counted the basket and gave him one free throw. Since he was holding the rim as the ball bounced high in the air above the rim, should this have been called offensive basket interference, no basket, and the shooter awarded two free throws?
Submitted by Fred, Rochester, Minn.

A player is allowed to momentarily grasp the rim on a dunk attempt to prevent injury to himself or a player underneath him. Basket interference only occurs if a player is in contact with the rim while the ball is touching the rim.

In this play, the player legally grasped the rim to regain his balance as he was fouled on the dunk attempt. The ball is still live because a shot or try doesn't end until the ball no longer has a chance to enter the basket. The player then released the rim and the ball that had bounced up in the air fell back through the basket for a legal goal, with one shot awarded for the foul.

Flexing those muscles at just the right time. Is Texas poised for a title run?

The 'Horns have been stunningly good in going 6-0 to start the Big 12; now just think how good they'll be in March. They've figured how to be physical rather than soft; if they can figure out how to score as well as they defend, we'll be seeing them in Houston. It has been said many times -- accurately -- that this is a season without a truly dominant team, but it seems that Texas is getting there.

Last year's football season mirrored the basketball team's collapse.

Last fall, people marveled at how a powerhouse that had played in the Bowl Championship Series title game fell apart in just one short offseason. What many forgot is Barnes' team fell just as far, but virtually overnight.

At least Brown could rationalize part of his team's collapse from 12-1 to 5-7 on the players he lost to the NFL. Barnes? The same guys he utilized to become 17-0 and No. 1 in the country in the middle of last January were the ones who went into disarray and finished 7-10.

Just as Brown would do months later, Barnes said some things he later tried to rephrase. But even if he had a point when he talked about wanting his players to live their NBA dream, and even if Brown was right when he talked about assistant coaches needing to be held responsible, the public heard what they wanted to hear. After all, couldn't any coach win with the talent those guys have?

Matt Hill is a leader.

"He's a real leader on this team,'' teammate Tristan Thompson said recently. "You should see how much he roughs me up in practice."

Thompson wasn't referring to the stat sheets when he issued the compliment. Hill is averaging 1.7 points and 3.3 rebounds a game, hardly numbers that will earn him All-America votes. He has attempted only 25 field goals through 20 games and hasn't scored a basket through five Big 12 opponents, not surprising since he has attempted only two shots against them.

Life is very, very good for Texas assistant coaches.

New Texas football coordinators Bryan Harsin and Manny Diaz will make $625,000 each during their first season with the Longhorns, making them the highest-paid assistants on a nine-man staff that will combine to earn $3.6 million.

It is a new beginning.

"We’re very energized," said running back Fozzy Whittaker. "It actually puts everyone on the same slate.  Nobody knows anything, and we’re all starting fresh.  It provides a new beginning for us."

Don't act surprised. You people knew it was coming.

Big 12 schools knew the Texas Network was coming. But that doesn't mean they were prepared for it.

There is no preparation for stark reality.

UT's $30-million, 20-year deal with ESPN is a blow to whatever was left of Big 12 stability.

Not on Texas' part. The Longhorns love the Big 12 more than ever. The 'Horns have the conference version of an open marriage. All the benefits of a league alignment, plus all the benefits of independence.


Little brother is so clever.

The Aggies aren't an elite eight team just yet.

Kansas State coach Frank Martin compared his Elite Eight team from last season to this year's Texas A&M squad.

While he appreciated the compliment, A&M coach Mark Turgeon didn't agree with Martin. In fact, Turgeon doesn't believe his team has come close to an Elite Eight level. At least not yet.

"I don't think we're very good, I really don't," Turgeon said. "We've got a long ways to go, and that's the most exciting thing about it. But we're not playing very well right now. We make a lot of mistakes, and we have a lot of silly fouls. We break down defensively, and we're not executing. But that just shows you how good I think that group can be."

Of course we will win and beat the spread.

Dollar Bill Byrne just causes problems.

"First of all, we're partners with UT on this," said Burke Magnus, ESPN Senior Vice President for College Sports Programming. "Secondly, I would say, we would never put the school in any circumstance by which they would compromise themselves relative to the NCAA, by anything that shows up on the network."

Magnus' comments came in response to questions raised Tuesday night by Texas A&M athletic director Bill Byrne.

Byrne questioned whether the NCAA should allow the network, in a business relationship with UT, to air events involving college prospects as part of its 24-hour programming.

Here's UT's response to Bill Byrne, courtesy of Every Day Should Be Saturday.


We don't know what the problem is here: after all, all Texas wants to do is maximize their brand value, and the Longhorn Network is just one more way to do that. Sounds like someone's got a little problem with capitalism, eh Comrade Reveille? Say, Reveille...ain't that a French word? Sounds like SOMEONE's got some divided loyalties, PIerre. But it's not like you're training your own private army to start a socialist revolution...oh my god.

[calls DHS and the FBI]

The programming that we propose for the Longhorn Network is far from recruiting fodder. If anything, the Longhorn Network is going to be yet another way that the University of Texas-Austin can reach out to the public in its effort to provide continuing education for the people of the great state of Texas and beyond. 

How could any of these be harmful?



The Pokes lost to Tech in OT.

Saturday's loss was their fifth in six games, dropping them to 2-5 in the Big 12 and 14-7 overall, seriously jeopardizing their hopes to become an NCAA Tournament team. The Cowboys fell to 0-4 in conference road games.

Making Saturday's setback more regrettable: OSU owned opportunities to win it.


The Land Thieves beat Iowa State.

The Wildcats have some issues to work out.

Kansas State began the season as the No. 3 team in the country and now they can’t even spell correctly.

On Saturday afternoon, the back of guard Shane Southwell’s jersey read "SOUHTWELL." We can understand how the jersey stitcher got confused. This rule of thumb always helps us: "T before H … all the time."

The Bears beat the Buffs.

Kansas beat Kansas State and it wasn't even close.

Jayhawk Thomas Robinson had a great game.

"This was an extra special game," coach Bill Self said, "not because it was K-State, but because it was the first game that he’s had an opportunity to really play for his mother."

It was unclear whether Robinson would even play until late Thursday night, but somehow, after losing his mother Lisa and both his maternal grandparents, he played. Then, sporting a black and white "LR" patch on his left shoulder, he put on the performance of his career, finishing with 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting and nine boards.

Check out Big 12 Hoops for more conference coverage. As we get closer to the NCAA tournament, another good site is Blogging The Bracket.

They were so excited to see Dennis Franchione again? Texas Tech pulled out of their football game with TCU and replaced it with Texas State.

Want to spend some time with the Sooner baseball program? Yea, I didn't think so, but here's the link anyway.



St. Louis Ram Steven Jackson wants you to know just how tough it is out there each week. (Visit Jackson's website to see the entire documentary.)

The result is the online documentary "A Week in the Life." In it Jackson highlights his rituals of game-week preparation, in part as a way to educate the public – mainly fantasy football fans – about how disciplined football players have to be in order to meet the expectations of their audience. Jackson’s ritual includes sitting in a tub of 20 bags of ice and sleeping in an oxygen-rich hyperbaric chamber.

"I really felt it was important to get behind this with my own money and my production company, because fantasy football has led people to believe that we are video games and not human beings," Jackson said. "I’m in the middle of my career. I just finished my seventh season and I’m (quickly) approaching 30, in three years. A lot of people look at running backs at age 30 as washed up. And I wanted to show them the mental and physical preparation that I put in, week in and week out."

Here's hoping $10 buys some access.

In recent days I have become aware of reports that a major financial donor is seeking to end his relationship with your athletic program.

Reportedly, this wealthy individual sent an angry letter expressing his dissatisfaction with your leadership and not being solicited for advice about UConn's next football coach. Now this donor is asking for $3 million back.

I don't have $3 million cash on hand. I don't even have $2 million cash on hand. However, this morning I went online and donated a sum of $10 to UConn. That's right: ten dollars. It was a choice between seeing the new Ashton Kutcher comedy or saving your football program. I chose you.

But there are strings attached to this contribution...

Boone Pickens feels that UConn booster's pain.

"You always have time for people who are putting up the money. That just makes all the sense in the world," Pickens told USA Today. "You can’t ignore those people. I mean, they’ve paid their money, and they’re entitled to be informed."

The NCAA got this one right.

The NCAA has absorbed loads of criticism the last few years for the amount of time it has taken to resolve eligibility issues involving high-profile athletes such as Renardo Sidney, Enes Kanter, Josh Selby and others.

This week, though, an organization known for dragging its feet is receiving some well-deserved praise for acting quickly in the matter of Thomas Robinson, the Kansas basketball player whose mother died on Friday.

The NCAA issued a statement Wednesday announcing that it had granted a number of waivers from its by-laws that will allow Kansas’ athletic department to pay for Lisa Robinson’s funeral expenses. The NCAA also granted permission for Kansas to fly its entire team to Washington D.C. for Thursday’s memorial service.

The NCAA is getting tough on violators. No, really. It could happen.

Beginning next fall, coaches could be suspended up to two games for intentionally committing a secondary recruiting violation such as using a private phone to illegally call or text a prospect.

The new penalties, proposed by the American Football Coaches Association, will distinguish between inadvertent offenses and instances in which schools are plainly skirting the rules to gain an advantage. They would not appear to apply to any of the 17 violations committed by Missouri’s football program over the past two years.

To tweet or not to tweet, that is the question.

The Tigers just don't get the whole cell phone issue with the NCAA.

Secondary violations across all levels of the NCAA have jumped by nearly 50 percent over the past five years. At Missouri, according to an open-records request by the Tribune, 32 of the 77 violations the school’s athletic department committed in 2009 and 2010 involved either text-messaging or the Internet.

Most of the infractions sprang from coaches texting recruits, which is banned until a high school athlete signs a letter of intent. But the violations span the techno spectrum, from instant-messaging to Twitter.

The interwebs can be a royal pain for recruits.

McKeesport's Branden Jackson, about to board a flight, decided to tell friends he was heading out of town. So, on Facebook, he wrote: "I'm at the airport."

Nice and simple, he thought — until his phone started buzzing with messages and calls from those who closely follow college football recruiting. Where was he going? What school would he visit?

"I thought: 'Whoa! I just posted that two seconds ago,' " Jackson said with a laugh. "They'll be blowing your phone up all night (with messages) if you have it synced."

Today recruiting is sooooo much better.

If the dos and don'ts of college football recruiting sound confusing, Vince Dooley probably doesn't have much sympathy for you.

"I would be on vacation and after five or six days my conscience would start to bother me," said Dooley, who retired in 1988 after 25 years as coach at Georgia. "I told my wife I have to get away for two days. I thought somebody was out there recruiting.

"So I'd take off and see five or six players and then I would come back and be able to finish my vacation. That's the way it was with no limits."

Why do all the elite defensive lineman come from the South?

Despite the fact that the region accounts for only 22.1 percent of the nation's population, 43 percent of the NFL's defensive linemen went to high school in the following 10 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Only in Texas. Allen High School will spend $60 million dollars on their stadium.

There is no comparison to Texas high school football.

"It’s not even close," he said. "Football in Louisiana is nothing compared to Texas football. Everybody takes it way more serious, it’s like college (football). There’s a big difference."

This sounds like a college course. Bracketology 101 by Joe Lunardi.

Everyone would love to pick this guy's brain. Bill Rafterty is college basketball's color intelligentsia.

Most color analysts—the wing men to play-by-play announcers, filling pauses with analysis, background and the occasional exclamation—have to do their homework. But broadcasters say that no one can match the research of Mr. Raftery, who at 69 has become one of the best known color analysts for college basketball in the country. Known for his regular-guy persona, "Raf," as he is known, appears on ESPN, where he has been a mainstay of the network's coverage of the Big East Conference since the 1980s, and is one of the lead color analysts for college basketball on CBS.

Another great father-son business duo.

Is Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez's association with the apparel company Corn Fed a violation of NCAA rules? Cornhusker officials say no, but they also severed their licensing deal with Corn Fed on Wednesday after the Wiz presented information to officials that tied Taylor to the family business.

SI's Joe Posnanski writes about NFL vs. BCS playoffs.

Is a playoff really MORE FAIR? What does fair even mean? This year in college football, the BCS system had Oregon play Auburn for a trophy they called the national championship trophy. This left out other very good teams, particularly undefeated TCU. This wasn’t fair. There was much griping about it, and rightfully so. It is absurd and somewhat arrogant to believe that we can use our eyes and our computer systems and our innate sense of the game to look at more than 100 Division I football teams playing somewhat self-determined schedules and simply pick the two best teams. The flaws in the system are obvious.

But aren’t the playoff flaws obvious too? This year in the NFL, the playoff system included a seven-win team and took one 10-6 wild-card team while leaving two other 10-6 teams at home. The system made a 12-win team and two 11-win teams go on the road for their first game while three teams with 10 or fewer wins (including the NFL’s first seven-win playoff team) played home games. This year, the NFL rewarded New England and Atlanta for their 14- and 13-win seasons by giving them an extra week to heal and homefield advantage. This seems like a seismic advantage. But is it really? We cannot argue that they promptly lost convincingly — making that one loss much more important than their stellar 16-game seasons. We cannot argue that 12 of the last 24 bye teams have lost their first week.

Can a strength & conditioning program have that much impact on a football team?


Useless Garnishment...Because the girls need a little help understanding sports.

Women's college basketball recruiting can get ugly

On every top recruit's college visit, there comes the moment of the final pitch, when the head-spinning hoopla finally gives way to the business of basketball, when the high school girl steps away from the rah-rah of all the games and the ego-stroking of all the VIP intros to sit down with the head coach. During one teen's big moment, a heart-to-heart with Iowa State's Bill Fennelly, the decorated coach of 23 years sang an insistent refrain. "He kept drilling that 'this would be a family,'" says the player, who asked not to be named. "'You should come here,' he said, 'because we're family-oriented.'"

To the recruit, those seemingly comforting words cloaked a deeper meaning. Two of the four schools she was considering were purported to employ lesbians on their staffs. Her stop in Ames, in fact, was on the heels of a trip to one of those allegedly "gay programs." There, coaches avoided discussing anyone's off-court lives. Iowa State, in contrast, pushed the personal hard. "They threw it out constantly," says the player, who became a Cyclone. "'Iowa has morals, and people who live here have values, wholesome values.'" The implication, to her and to another former Cyclone who confirmed her account, was that at other schools, "there's something going on you don't know."

Are endorsement deals for sideline analysts a slippery slope?

"I consider sports journalists and sports broadcasters to be ethically challenged in a lot of different ways, but even this has surpassed my wildest imagination," said Joel Kaplan, an associate dean at S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. The potential conflict created by Andrews’s deal with Reebok and her comments during the Rose Bowl was first reported by The Oregonian.

Did you know that there is a female NBA referee?

AA: What about being a black woman, does that come into play in your job?

VP: I didn't think so. But Ric Bucher once told me that a lot of players look at me like they would that single mother or strong grandmother that raised them. The mother that worked every day and took care of them. In that aspect it's been a very helpful thing for me. It doesn't matter how you make it easier for yourself. It's a good tool to have.

I don't cut corners. I'm not looking for any favors. If me having that demeanor stops them from doing what they are going do, fine by me.


And finally...

Do you think the Aggies will be in the Big 12-2 after 2013? (Do you really care?)


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