Good morning. Breakfast is served.
It’s March 8th — 68 down, 298 to go.
And 39 till the Orange-White Scrimmage.
YESTERDAY: After 18 years, Peyton Manning called it quits. DeMarco Murray looks like he’ll be a Tennessee Titan. The Redskins released Robert Griffin III. The Texas women fell to Baylor in the Big 12 championship game. Texas football held its first spring practice. NCAA men’s tourney berths that were secured included Iona, UNC Wilmington and Chattanooga.
TODAY: Get your umbrellas — today looks like it’ll be wet. Texas baseball (Sam Houston State, 6, LHN, 104.9) and softball (UTSA, 4, LHN, 105.3) play home games. In the presidential race, four Republican primaries are held (Michigan, Mississippi, Idaho and Hawaii) and the Democrats go in Michigan and Mississippi.
TOMORROW: More rain. The Big 12 men’s tournament begins, up in Kansas City, with two games — Kansas State vs. Oklahoma State at 6, followed by Texas Tech and TCU at 8 (ESPNU).
March 8 has a sports history. On this date, Joe DiMaggio died (1999); and NFL Hall of Famer Ray Nitschke passed from a heart attack (1998); Martina Navratilova became the first women’s tennis player to earn $10 million in a career (1986); Joe Frazier beat Muhammad Ali in a 15-round decision in their “Fight of the Century,” retaining his heavyweight title (1971); the New Orleans Saints, the NFL’s newest franchise, sold more than 20,000 season tickets on the first day of sales (1967); and the New York Yankees gave Babe Ruth a two-year deal for a record $160,000 (1930).
When someone remarked that Ruth’s salary was more than President Herbert Hoover’s, Ruth replied: “I had a better year.”
Last year on March 8, the Texas women beat Oklahoma in the Big 12 semifinals, setting up a title game match with Baylor.
Today’s sports birthdays: Hines Ward (40), Steve Sarkisian (42), Jason Elam (46) and Kenny Smith (51). Other notables: the Monkees’ Micky Dolenz (71).
Today’s trivia: Who succeeded Herbert Hoover as president, in 1932? (Answer’s at the end of Breakfast.)
Top of the menu: Women’s basketball.
Another Monday, another loss to Baylor. Nina Davis scored 22 points — the third different Baylor player to lead the Bears in scoring in three games against the Horns this season — and Alexis Jones had 16 points and eight assists, while Beatrice Mompremier added 15. Last Monday, Baylor downed Texas to claim the Big 12 regular-season title. Last night, the Bears beat the Horns to win their sixth straight Big 12 tournament title.
Baylor (33-1) looks like a Final Four team. Texas (28-4), which finished runner-up in the Big 12 regular season as well as in the conference tourney, isn’t there yet. The Bears outrebounded the Horns again, Celina Rodrigo and Brooke McCarty both made the all-tourney team and senior center Imani Boyette pulled down her 1,000th career rebound, becoming the first player in UT history to reach 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 200 blocks. She had nine points, 11 boards and three blocks Monday night.
Having Baylor in the same conference makes for a convenient bar for Texas to reach. Monday night makes it 14 straight for Baylor against Texas, and the Horns are now 6-4 vs. Top 25 teams and 2-3 vs. Top 10 teams. All three of those Top 10 losses, of course, were to Baylor. Texas still leads the overall series, 57-35, but the series has been all Baylor four several years.
On Jan. 17, at the Erwin Center, Baylor handed Texas its first loss after a 16-0 start. The Bears led by six after one period, by 12 at halftime and both teams played each other basically even in the second half. The Bears won by 13. Last Monday, in Waco, a 14-3 Bears run right before halftime. That, combined with Texas scoring only 7 points in the second quarter and only 10 in the third, was all Baylor needed. The Bears outscored the Horns 44-28 in the second half and won by 26.
Last night, Texas fell behind 12-3 early, fought back to within 8 in the second period, then saw Baylor finish strong before the half and again put the game out of reach with a big third. There’d be a McCarty steal and layup on one end, then a Baylor 3-pointer to answer right back on the other end. A 12-4 Baylor run in the third. Texas trailed by only 3 after one, but by 11 at the half, by 17 after three and lost by 16.
Here’s a snapshot look at some key stats from this season’s three Texas-Baylor games:
|JAN. 17 (Austin)||FEB. 29 (Waco)||MARCH 7 (Oklahoma City)|
|SCORE||(6) Baylor 80, (4) Texas 67||(4) Baylor 74, (6) Texas 48||(4) Baylor 79, (6) Texas 63|
|HALFTIME SCORE||Baylor, 41-29 (12)||Baylor, 30-20 (10)||Baylor, 36-25 (11)|
|UT'S TOP SCORER||Brooke McCarty (16)||Brooke McCarty (16)||Lashann Higgs (15)|
|BAYLOR'S TOP SCORER||Alexis Jones, 29||Kristy Wallace, 23||Nina Davis, 22|
|SHOOTING PERCENTAGE, UT||38.2%||29%||39%|
|3-POINT PERCENTAGE, UT||33.3%||11.1%||12%|
|UT'S LARGEST LEAD||7||2||Never led.|
|BAYLOR'S LARGEST LEAD||19||30||21|
|POINTS IN THE PAINT, UT||24||30||34|
|POINTS IN THE PAINT, BAYLOR||34||38||40|
The NCAA women’s field will be announced Monday evening. Baylor will be a No. 1 and Texas looks like a solid No. 2. Most bracketologists have West Virginia, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Kansas State also making the field.
So, what else is being written out there about the Longhorns?
Monday was the first day of practice of spring football, and Charlie Strong started things off with a midday presser. In it, he acknowledged his coaching hot seat, made installing the new offense a top priority and stated that by the end of the spring game, he wants one of his quarterbacks to have clearly won the job. Here’s our main bar from Brian Davis and a column from Kirk Bohls on Strong’s job security being tied to his quarterbacks.
Strong defended his program to the Dallas Morning News on the eve of Monday’s first practice, and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram wrote on this being a critical Year Three for Strong. And the USA Today wrote about Strong’s seat, which, the coach acknowledged, “is hot.”
AROUND THE BIG 12: The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal set up Texas Tech’s journey through the Big 12 tournament with a look at the Red Raiders’ locker room chemistry, and also wrote on Raiders running back Justin Stockton, who’s aiming to replace former star running back DeAndre Washington. The Daily Oklahoman’s Berry Tramel wrote about soon-to-be-former Oklahoma State men’s coach Travis Ford, whose OSU era will come to “a merciful end” at this week’s Big 12 men’s tourney in Kansas City. The Oklahoman also wrote on OSU football, where Mason Rudolph enters spring football as the clear leader of the offense. Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione, who’s the chairman of the NCAA selection committee, talked to the Tulsa World about what all will factor into shaping this year’s field.
AROUND THE FORTY ACRES:
Men’s basketball: There were a couple of good-news items that popped up Monday — Isaiah Taylor made the AP’s all-Big 12 first team, Prince Ibeh was the conference’s defensive player of the year, and Cam Ridley‘s been cleared to practice again.
Baseball: Tuesday’s Texas-Sam Houston State game was moved up an hour, from 7 p.m. to 6, at Disch-Falk because of expected bad weather. Morgan Cooper (0-0, 3.00) gets the start.
Softball: Like baseball, UT’s Tuesday game with UTSA has been moved up 30 minutes, from 4:30 to 4, because of the weather. McCombs Field will open at 3, and the game will be broadcast (LHN, 105.3).
Swimming and diving: Freshman Meghan O’Brien and senior Meghan Houston qualified for the NCAA diving championships on Monday in College Station in one-meter diving. O’Brien finished third in Monday’s Zone D qualifying meet, Houston sixth. The top six finishers qualify. Three-meter qualifying takes place today; platform competition is Wednesday. On the men’s side, Mark Anderson and Cory Bowersox both qualified in the three-meter diving.
Women’s golf: Texas finished the first day of the UNF Collegiate in Florida tied for first, with Houston. The Horns shot a 293-297 on Monday. Sophomore Sophia Schubert‘s tied for first, at 2-under. Freshman Maddie Luitwieler is tied for fifth, at 2-over. The final two rounds are on Tuesday
Men’s golf: The sixth-ranked men were tied for eighth place after Monday’s first round of the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters in Las Vegas. The best-scoring Horn was sophomore Doug Ghim, who’s tied for 13th at 1-over. Beau Hossler and Scottie Scheffler are tied for 25th, at 2-over.
On March 8, 2014: Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared on the way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Two years later, they’re still trying to find it.
On March 8, 1983: President Ronald Reagan, in a speech, called the Soviet Union an “evil empire.” Thirty-three years later, it’s Russia, not the Soviet Union.
On March 8, 1979: The very first compact disc was demonstrated. Thirty-seven years later, how soon before CDs go the way of 8-tracks?
Trivia answer: In 1932, New York governor Franklin D. Roosevelt beat incumbent Herbert Hoover in a landslide, winning 42 states and 57 percent of the popular vote.
OK, Breakfast is over. Thanks for stopping by.
News on Bevo Beat is free and unlimited. Access to the rest of Hookem.com is included with an Austin American-Statesman subscription in addition to Statesman.com and the ePaper edition. Subscribe today at statesman.com/subscribe.