Good morning. Breakfast is served.
It’s March 26th — 86 down, 280 to go.
And 21 till the Orange-White Scrimmage.
YESTERDAY: North Carolina, Virginia, Notre Dame and Syracuse advanced in the Sweet 16 (Indiana, Iowa State, Wisconsin and Gonzaga did not). Over at Disch-Falk, Texas upset No. 5 TCU for the second straight night. Top-seeded Jordan Spieth cruised into today’s knockout round of 16 at the WGC-Dell Match Play at Austin Country Club. And the Spurs beat the Grizzlies (LaMarcus Aldridge: 32 points, 12 rebounds), improving to 38-0 at home to tie the 1995-96 Bulls for the best home start in NBA history.
TODAY: The Texas women meet UCLA in the Sweet 16 (1 p.m., ESPN, 104.9) for a likely matchup with top-seeded UConn on Monday. On the men’s side, there are two Elite Eight games (Oregon-Oklahoma, 5:09, CBS; Kansas-Villanova, 7:49, CBS). Texas baseball goes for the sweep over TCU (2:30 p.m., FS1). Over at Austin Country Club, it’ll be eight knockout matches in the morning (Golf Channel, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.) and then four quarterfinals in the afternoon (NBC, 1-5 p.m.). And Jermichael Finley celebrates his 29th birthday.
TOMORROW: Two Elite Eight matchups — Virginia-Syracuse (5:09 p.m., CBS), North Carolina-Notre Dame (7:49 p.m., CBS). And the WGC-Dell Match Play concludes with two semifinals in the morning (Golf Channel, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.), followed by the championship match in the afternoon (NBC, 1-5 p.m.).
March 26 has a sports history. On this date, Mike Tyson was sentenced to six years in prison, for rape (1992); Magic Johnson’s Michigan State Spartans beat Larry Bird’s Indiana State Sycamores for the NCAA championship (1979); George Foreman beat Ken Norton via a second-round TKO to win the heavyweight title (1974); and the UCLA men won their seventh straight NCAA title, the last of their record string (1973).
Last year on March 26, Kentucky (West Virginia), Wisconsin (North Carolina), Notre Dame (Wichita State) and Arizona (Xavier) notched Sweet 16 wins. And it was revealed that former Tar Heels coach Dean Smith, who had died a month before, left each varsity letterman he’d ever coached at North Carolina a $200 check for a “dinner out” in his will.
Today’s sports birthdays: Von Miller (27), Josh Wilson (35), Marshall Faulk (43), Shane Reynolds (48), Wesley Walls (50), John Stockton (54) and Marcus Allen (56). Other notables: Keira Knightley (31), Leslie Mann (44), Kenny Chesney (48), Martin Short (66), Steven Tyler (68), Diana Ross (72), James Caan (76) and Nancy Pelosi (76). Oh, and Jennifer Grey — Baby” from “Dirty Dancing” — is 56.
Today’s trivia: Magic Johnson and Larry Bird each played 13 NBA seasons. And they also each made the same number of All-Star Games. How many? (Answer’s at the end of Breakfast.)
Top of the menu: Women’s basketball.
We advanced today’s Texas-UCLA game in the women’s Sweet 16 with a feature story on Longhorns guard Lashann Higgs, the Longhorns’ freshman dynamo who has been providing a nice spark off the bench this postseason. She figures to be part of Texas’ game plan against the Bruins.
Higgs, who starred locally at Cedar Ridge High School, made the Statesman’s All-Central Texas girls team of 2015.
Here’s that All-Centex photo:
All five of those girls (three seniors, two juniors) signed with Division I schools, and three of those five are currently freshmen. The other two, Jarrell’s Breanna Wright and Bowie’s Kianna Ray, graduate this spring and will play next year (Ray at TCU, Wright at Stephen F. Austin State).
How’d the other three’s freshmen seasons turn out?
(From left to right in the photo:)
Lashann Higgs, Texas (via Cedar Ridge): The 5-9 guard, who was a McDonald’s All-American her senior year, has played in every game this season, averaging 13 minutes, 6.8 points, 3 rebounds and 1.2 assists. One start. Her best stretches have come early this season (double-figure scoring in four of Texas’ first five games) and late — 15 points, 2 steals in the Big 12 finals against Baylor; 10 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists in the first-round win over Alabama State; and 11 points, 2 steals in the second round win over Missouri. The 2015 Centex player of the year was the nation’s No. 7 overall recruit and the No. 3-rated guard by ESPN.
Breanna Wright, S.F.A. (Jarrell): All-Centex first team in 2015. As for 2016? This year’s All-Centex team will be revealed next week, so we can’t tell you whether she’s a repeat member. But we can tell you that she averaged 21.5 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals and 7 assists per game and was District 25-3A’s MVP, and is Jarrell’s all-time leading scorer for either boys or girls basketball.
Jordan Moore, TCU (Stony Point): The 6-3 center started 21 of 33 games for the Horned Frogs, averaging 18.8 minutes, 7.4 points and 4.7 rebounds a game. The 2014 Centex player of the year as a junior was the nation’s 54th-rated overall recruit in 2015 by ESPN. She averaged 21.7 points and 9.6 rebounds a game her senior year.
Kianna Ray, TCU (Bowie): Like Wright, Ray’s getting set to graduate too. And, like Wright, we’ll find out if she’s a repeat pick on our All-Centex team next week. The three-time district MVP averaged 24 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals, 3 assists and 2.6 blocks a game this season, and is the Bowie girls’ career scoring leader as well.
Japreece Dean, Texas Tech (Vista Ridge): The 5-6 guard started 25 of 31 games for the Red Raiders, averaging 32.6 minutes, 12.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists. She scored 20 or more points six times, including a season-high 28 in a Big 12 tournament win over Iowa State. Led Vista Ridge to a 133-17 record her four years, capping her prep career with a trip to the UIL state tournament.
Of the three, only Dean earned All-Big 12 recognition; she landed on the conference’s all-freshman team.
So, what else is being written out there about the Longhorns?
We published our 12th stop of our tour of Texas’ 2016 football signees with a feature on Peyton Aucoin, a tight end from New Orleans Brother Martin. The first thing you should know, Horns fans: Aucoin caught only two passes his entire prep career. The second thing you should know: He’s built a reputation of a mean, flatten-you-on-your-back blocker. There’s also an accompanying deeper look into Aucoin’s high school career.
Tres Barrera hit his second homer of the season in a 2-0 shutout win over TCU at Disch-Falk. The Horns are off to a 2-0 start in Big 12 play. Here’s our game story from last night, as well as other-side-of-the-fence coverage from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
AROUND THE BIG 12: All eyes are on Kansas and Oklahoma in the NCAA men’s tournament. Both take aim on the Elite Eight on Saturday. On the Oklahoma-Oregon front, the Dallas Morning News wrote on the Sooners’ chance to elevate themselves into Kansas territory in terms of being a national contending program, and the Daily Oklahoman’s Berry Tramel wrote about the Sooners’ four seniors . Talking Kansas-Villanova, the Kansas City Star wrote about Jayhawks guard Frank Mason, who’s taking it upon himself to make sure KU’s guards are ready. The Star also wrote about Kansas State coach Bruce Weber‘s thoughts on the future of Wildcats basketball. The Baylor women face Florida State in the Sweet 16 on Saturday. Here’s the Waco Tribune-Herald’s advance. The Morning News touched base with Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, who’s sitting out this fall after transferring from Texas A&M but is still going through spring workouts with the Sooners. In Lubbock, a hand injury to Iowa State transfer quarterback Nic Shimonek may mean Kliff Kingsbury won’t redshirt freshman Jett Duffey after all, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal wrote.
AROUND THE FORTY ACRES:
Softball: Texas fell 3-1 at No. 20 Baylor last night. Here’s game coverage from the Waco Tribune-Herald.
Swimming and diving: It was a good day for the UT men at the NCAA championships in Atlanta. Townley Haas set NCAA, U.S. and U.S. Open records in the 200 free, while Joseph Schooling broke a seven-year-old NCAA record in the 100 butterfly. The Longhorns are in good shape to win the national championship.
On March 26, 1999: Dr. Jack Kevorkian was found guilty of second-degree murder in a Michigan court for administering a lethal injection for a terminally ill man. Kevorkian himself died two years later.
On March 26, 1997: The Heaven’s Gate cult mass suicides were discovered — 39 men and women were found dead in a San Diego home; they believed they were going to reach an alien space craft.
On March 26, 1979: Egypt’s Anwar Sadat, Israel’s Menachem Begin and President Jimmy Carter signed the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty, in Washington, D.C.
Trivia answer: Magic Johnson and Larry Bird each played in 12 All-Star Games in their 13-year NBA careers.
OK, Breakfast is over. Thanks for stopping by.
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