Out of Big 12, Texas looks to get right
In the Big 12 Conference games, the Texas Longhorns went 10-8. Out of conference they won 14 of 15. Maybe the start of the NCAA tournament will put the Horns back in their comfort zone.
At this point, they have little else to cling to.
"You’d like to win regular-season championships and tournament championships, but the bottom line is we talk about the NCAA championship, which is why we put so much emphasis on our non-league schedule and how important those games are in November," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "You’re going to be rewarded or not rewarded by what you do in the nonleague."
The jury will be out. Texas (24-9) certainly showed itself well in the nonconference, rolling to a 14-1 record, including wins over North Carolina, Michigan State, USC, Iowa, Pittsburgh and Arkansas. The lone loss came at Connecticut, one game after Kansas State handed Texas its first loss after a 17-0 start. Then everything unraveled.
Having dropped all the way to a No. 8 seed (the second-lowest of the seven Big 12 teams in the tournament -- Missouri is No. 10), Texas will at least stay close to home, opening the tournament Thursday in what should be fan-friendly New Orleans against No. 9 Wake Forest, a team that's nosedived over the past three weeks, losing five of six. So two struggling teams will do battle for the right to face No. 1 Kentucky. The Wildcats will tune up with No. 16 East Tennessee State.
Texas is moving forward with the belief that every team is operating with a clean slate, zero-and-zero.
"Anyone can win it. There are 65 teams going out there with a shot to win the national championship," senior forward Damion James said. "It’s give a little, take a little, so you’ve got to be ready to go out and give it all or nothing."
Which is exactly what Texas' season has been about to this point.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Part 2 of the articles on OSU's involvment in academic fraud was released. Some claim the expose is unfounded. Ian and Richard warn that there are two sides to all stories.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mack Brown, Manny Diaz and all the latest with the Texas Longhorns.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett give you the latest on the Johnny Manziel story and Charles Barkley weighs in. You won't believe who the outspoken NBA Hall of Famer is disappointed in and what he thinks about the autograph allegations.
Play Podcast Kirk Herbstreit joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett for his weekly visit to preview the 2013 college football season.
Play Podcast Former TCU and current Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the expectations for the Bengals this season, give a prediction for the TCU-LSU game and talk about what it's like having the Hard Knocks cameras follow him.
Play Podcast Randy Galloway, Matt Mosley, and Mark Friedman react to Dez Bryant's comments regarding the NCAA's ongoing investigation of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.
Play Podcast Richard Durrett, Ian Fitzsimmons and Glenn "Stretch" Smith react to Dez Bryant sounding off yesterday after practice about Johnny Manziel and the shadiness of the NCAA.
Play Podcast Former NCAA investigator and Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to weigh in on the Johnny Manziel drama and give some insight as to what goes on during an NCAA investigation.