Having a job that requires one to travel makes keeping up with the blogging life difficult. I manage by structuring my life in a very regimented way; I get up at five in the morning and write. I focus on the sort of writing that mostly just takes time, and detailed studying. I don't follow fast moving stories; fast moving stories don't happen at five in the morning. And I have blogging colleagues who help me cover the games, which allows me to disappear during the work week, when they can run things. I can catch up later during the weekend, while everyone else sleeps.
But sometimes that system falls apart. Sometimes my blogging colleagues travel to Chapel Hill and catch the game in person, where they have weird run-ins with local law enforcement.
That happened tonight.
So tonight I am going to tell you about the part of the game that I saw. Tonight, I walked into my hotel room as Texas was hanging on to a 75-74 lead. Cameron Ridley caught the ball in the post, calmly assessed his options, and then made a turnaround jumper.
Tonight, I saw Javan Felix score on consecutive possessions, including on a three point shot off a high pick and roll.
Tonight, I saw Jonathan Holmes, a warrior -- if a basketball player can actually be compared to a warrior -- fight through cramps, and battle to stay on the floor (another militaristic analogy).
Tonight, I saw Isaiah Taylor make free throws when they were needed.
Tonight, I saw Demarcus Holland miss two free throws to ice the game, but then follow up his own miss, grab the offensive rebound, and put Texas up by three.
And tonight, I saw Marcus Page miss a tying three at the buzzer.
Tonight, I saw Texas win on the road against a ranked opponent. Or at least I saw the last stressful few minutes of it.
Let's be perfectly clear. This is the biggest win for the Texas program in quite some time. Last year, Rick Barnes beat North Carolina at home in a game that was the highlight of an ugly season. But last year, Texas caught North Carolina at home while the Heels were still struggling to find their identity.
Tonight, Texas won on the road -- true road wins are rare and special -- and did it against a North Carolina team that is far, far better than the version from a season ago.
Tonight, the young Texas Longhorns showed that they were good enough to play with one of the best teams in college basketball. To be fair, North Carolina left the gate open for Texas with terrible free throw shooting.
But tonight, the Horns blew through that gate, and hung on to win.