Good morning. Breakfast is served.
It’s February 2nd — 33 down, 332 to go.
And 95 till the NFL Draft.
YESTERDAY: The Texas men dropped Kansas. The Texas women fell to Baylor. Top-ranked Arizona was shocked by Cal. Texas’ baseball team cruised in its annual alumni game. And David Stern stepped down as NBA commissioner.
TODAY: It’s Groundhog Day. Super Bowl XLVIII (5:30 p.m., FOX). Denver vs. Seattle. It’s Groundhog Day. Super Bowl XLVIII (5:30 p.m., FOX). Denver vs. Seattle. It’s Groundhog Day …
TOMORROW: The UIL holds its biennial realignment, moving high school teams up and down in classifications and in and out of district alignments for the next two years. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State renew their Bedlam rivalry, only on the basketball court.
Feb. 2 has a sports history. On this date, former heavyweight champion Max Schmeling died at the age of 99 (2005); Roger Federer took over the world No. 1 ranking, which he’d hold on to for the next 237 weeks (2004); the Dallas Mavericks became the NBA’s 23rd franchise (1980); LSU’s Pete Maravich became college basketball’s first 3,000-point scorer (1970); the American Basketball Association was formed (1967); Vince Lombardi signed a five-year contract to coach the Packers (1959); Tenley Albright, just two weeks after emergency surgery for a severed vein in her ankle, won the Olympic figure skating in Cortina, Italy, becoming the first U.S. woman to win a Winter Olympics gold medal (1956); the great Ben Hogan was seriously injured in a head-on car crash with a bus in Texas, keeping him out of golf for a year (1949); and baseball’s National League was formed, with teams in Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Hartfort, Louisville, New York, Philadelphia and St. Louis (1876).
Last year on Feb. 2, Bill Parcells, Warren Sapp, Cris Carter and former Cowboys lineman Larry Allen were elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame; Adrian Peterson picked up NFL MVP and offensive player of the year awards; Oklahoma State ended Kansas’ 18-game winning streak; and Texas redshirt freshman quarterback Connor Brewer was arrested in Austin for public intoxication and possession of a fake ID.
Today’s sports birthdays: former Packer Donald Driver (39), former Spur Sean Elliott (46), golfer Bob Estes (48) and former Redskins defensive end Dexter Manley (56). Other notables: Shakira (37), Christie Brinkley (60) and Graham Nash (72).
TODAY’S TRIVIA: What Texas high school did future Washington Redskins defensive end Dexter Manley attend? (Answer is below.)
TODAY’S LEAD: COLLEGE BASKETBALL. Texas 81, Kansas 69. It happened.
“The truth is that Texas is good. Real good and getting better …” our own Kirk Bohls wrote in today’s column out of Saturday’s big win. Kirk concentrated on defense, which has been a real Longhorns strength this season. That certainly came into play Saturday; Texas stifled Kansas, powered by one blocked shot after another.
What does Saturday’s win mean?
It means Texas is legit. Four straight wins over ranked teams for the first time in school history. Two of those four have been over a team ranked in the Top 10.
It means there won’t be a CBI, or an NIT, to worry about this year. Texas has its signature win and is starting to look like one of those scrappy, overachievinng teams that make March fun.
It means Texas, 17-4 overall and now 6-2 in the Big 12, has emerged as a legitimate threat to win the conference. The Longhorns sit in second place all alone, one game behind the 7-1 Jayhawks.
It was Texas’ biggest home win since, well, the last time the Longhorns beat KU in Austin — 2008. That year, Texas and Kansas ended up sharing the Big 12 regular-season title and the Jayhawks went on to win the national championship.
Texas blocked 12 shots. That was a season high.
Cameron Ridley won the highlight matchup with Joel Embiid. Andrew Wiggins was MIA for most of the game. Kansas’ top two players combined for a 5 of 21 night and scored 15 points.
Texas, which has been playing great defense during this run, held Kansas to 69 points — or more than 11 points less than the Jayhawks average.
KU managed only 23 points in the first half.
Texas controlled the game, from start to finish. Here’s Brian Davis’ game story. And how the Fort Worth Star-Telegram saw it. And the San Antonio Express-News. The Kansas City Star, naturally, concentrated its coverage of the game on the Jayhawks, whom it referred to as playing “lifeless” in Austin. The Tulsa World-Journal was there as well to write its game story, while columnist Tom Keegan examined Texas’ chances now at actually winning the Big 12 title.
Other Big 12 results Saturday: Texas Tech (11-11, 3-6) beat TCU (9-11, 0-8), 60-54; West Virginia (13-9, 5-4) beat Kansas State (15-7, 5-4), 81-71; Baylor (14-7, 2-6) upset No. 8 Oklahoma State (16-5, 4-4) in Stillwater, 76-70; and No. 16 Iowa State (16-4, 4-4) beat No. 23 Oklahoma (17-5, 6-3) in Ames, 81-75.
We triple-staffed the game at the Erwin Center, and asked Kirk Bohls and Cedric Golden each for their takeaway after the game:
Bohls: takeaway: “Isaiah Taylor is growing up before our eyes. After hitting just six shots over a three-game span against West Virginia, Iowa State and Kansas State, the freshman point guard has been electrifying the last two games when he’s scored 27 against Baylor and a game-high 23 to pace Texas against Kansas. He has arrived.”
Golden’s takeaway: “Demarcus Holland showed that basketball isn’t all about scoring points. His defensive performance against freshman star Andrew Wiggins was the most important piece of success in Saturday’s win. Wiggins, a can’t-miss NBA lottery pick, scored 56 points in his last two games, but was rendered helpless by Holland, who kept him in a strait jacket for the entire afternoon. Before hitting a meaningless 3-pointer after the issue had long been decided, Wiggins was 1 of 11 from the field. Add in a game-high 11 rebounds on the other end and Holland got my vote as the MVP of this one. Great intangibles from a player who isn’t on the floor to score.”
Cedric, by the way, also wrote out of Saturday’s game. He concentrated on the Erwin Center crowd, which reveled in big-game atmosphere.
So, what else is being written out there about the Longhorns?
Rick Barnes, national coach of the year candidate? The USA Today’s Eric Prisbell makes his case, acknowledging the jobs coaches like Mick Cronin, Jay Wright, Greg McDermott and Steve Fisher have done, but saying none of them compare to what Barnes is doing at Texas.
AROUND THE BIG 12: How big was Baylor’s 76-70 win at Oklahoma State? The Waco Tribune-Herald called it the Stillwater revival. The Daily Oklahoman’s Berry Tramel took a look at Monday’s Oklahoma-Oklahoma State men’s game, wondering if this Bedlam matchup is essentially a Big 12 elimination game. And the Tulsa World’s John E. Hoover opined on the proposed college athletes union, making the case that it’s hardly a fair proposal for all student-athletes.
COUNTDOWN TO SIGNING DAY: 4 DAYS. A quick sweep of what’s going on, thanks to updates from our own Dave Behr (@DaveBehrAAS) as well as various sites and tweets out there. Tip of the cap to our old Hookem.com friends at 247Sports, Jeff Howe (@JeffHowe247) and Blake Munroe (@247Blake).
Texas has 21 commitments.
The big news from Saturday? Two important Longhorns commitments — one for 2014, the other for 2015 — were in Baton Rouge, visiting LSU and making Texas fans very, very nervous. Keller defensive end Sione Teuhema and his brother, offensive lineman Maea Teuhema, are important recruits for Texas. Maea is expected to be one of the top — if not the overall top — recruits in the state for 2015.
Denton Guyer quarterback Loreno Joe, a Texas commit, was in Austin this weekend. It’s being reported that he’s no longer considering USC. Hays offensive lineman Connor Lanfear, a Longhorns’ pledge for 2015, visited Oklahoma on Saturday and received an offer from the Sooners. Lanfear also will attend OU’s junior day.
Our final Fabulous 55 list of the state’s top recruits was published today. Also, our own Dave Behr took a look at which school is winning the state. Perhaps not surprisingly, it’s Texas A&M, which has secured 13 players off the Fab 55. Texas has nine. Ahh, but why are the Aggies faring so well? Dave breaks it down.
AROUND THE FORTY ACRES: What’s going on around UT athletics?
Men’s basketball: No. 25 Texas upset No. 6 Kansas, 81-69, the Longhorns’ sixth straight win. Texas (17-4, 6-2) now is in second place in the Big 12, one game behind the Jayhawks (16-5, 7-1). The Longhorns play at TCU on Tuesday (7 p.m.).
Women’s basketball: Texas fell to No. 9 Baylor on Saturday, 87-73. Nneka Enemkpali had a double-double for the third straight game, but Baylor’s Odyssey Sims blew up for 44 points. Enemkpali had 19 points and 15 rebounds. Texas led at halftime, 36-35. The Longhorns (14-7, 5-4) play at Kansas State on Wednesday (7 p.m., Longhorn Network). Here’s how we covered it, as well as the game story from the Waco Tribune-Herald.
Baseball: Texas scored in four of the final five innings to win the annual alumni game on Saturday, 8-3. Nathan Thornhill gave up one run in five innings and freshman Tres Barrera had three hits. Former UT coach Cliff Gustafson was the alumni team’s honorary assistant coach. Texas’ season opens Feb. 14.
Softball: Texas, ranked No. 10, opens its season Thursday at LSU. The home opener is Feb. 12.
Men’s track: At the Bill Bergan Invitational in Ames, Iowa — at the Lied Recreation Center, which will host the Big 12 indoor championships in four weeks — Zack Bilderback won the 400 with a personal-best 46.98, the 24th-best time in the country so far. It also moved him up from 10th to fifth on UT’s all-time list.
Women’s track: No. 2 Texas, entered in only four events at Saturday’s Bill Bergan Invite at Iowa State, won each one — Morolake Akinson (60 meters, personal-best tying 7.28 seconds), Kendall Baisden (400, her 53.27 tied for fourth-best nationally), Morgan Snow (60-meter hurdles, her season-best 8.38) and Ashley Spencer (200, her 23.46 the fourth-best time nationally). Meanwhile, nearly 500 miles away at the Razorback Invitational in Fayetteville, Sara Sutherland won the 3,000 meters.
Men’s swimming/diving: No. 3 Texas beat No. 5 Arizona to cap a two-day dual meet in Tucson, 121-65. Winners Saturday were freshman Clark Smith (1,000 free), Clay Youngquist (200 free), freshman Jack Conger (200 butterfly) and John Murray (50 free).
Women’s swimming/diving: No. 6 Texas finished off No. 10 Arizona on the final day of a dual meet in Tucson, 196-157. Seniors Alex Hooper and Samantha Tucker finished 1-2 in the 200 free, Lily Moldenhauer beat out Arizona All-American Bonnie Brandon to win the 100 backstroke, Gretchen Jaques won the 100 breaststroke, Ellen Lobb won the 50 freestyle by edging defending NCAA champion Margo Greer, and the Longhorns finished 1-4 in the 200 individual medley, won by freshman Madisyn Cox.
Men’s tennis: No. 14 Texas improved to 6-0, sweeping Alabama at Penick-Allison, 4-0. Fifth-ranked Lloyd Glasspool (14-6) picked up his sixth win over a ranked opponent with a straight-set victory. Texas plays a couple of dual matches this week, at No. 26 Michigan on Friday and then at No. 19 Illinois next Sunday.
ON FEB. 2 …
1990: South Africa president F.W. de Klerk announced the unbanning of the African National Congress and promised to release Nelson Mandela from prison.
1979: Sex Pistols member Sid Vicious died. Overdose.
1887: The first Groundhog Day was observed, in Punxsutawney, Penn.
TODAY’S TRIVIA ANSWER: Future Washington Redskins defensive end Dexter Manley graduated from Houston Yates High School.
TODAY’S LITTLE NUMBER: 4. Texas was a 4-point underdog Saturday to the Jayhawks. The Longhorns won by 12.
TODAY’S BIGGER NUMBER: 16.7. Shooting percentage for KU’s Andrew Wiggins, who was 2 of 12 from the field.
TODAY’S BIG NUMBER: 23. First-half points scored by Kansas.
OK, Breakfast is over. Thanks for stopping by. I’m going outside and look for my shadow.
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