Posted March 18th, 2009 by Brian
Filed under: Basketball, Feature, NCAA Tourney

NCAA Tourney live video, highlights, and scores direct on your iPhone.

NCAA Tournament live streaming audio & video, highlights, and scores direct on your iPhone.

Not unproductive enough at work during March Madness? Your iPhone and CBS Sports are going to do their best this year to make it even worse. They’ve released a $4.99 app for the iPhone and iPod touch that allows you (via WiFi or 3G) to stream live game video and get highlights, audio, scores, and more wherever you choose to be when not working. Details from the iTunes App Store:

For the first time ever starting March 19, CBS Sports Mobile: NCAA March Madness on Demand (MMOD) is streaming every game on WiFi from the first round to the NCAA Championship LIVE. This includes the NCAA Sweet 16, Elite 8, NCAA Final Four and National Championship, all on the iPhone and iPod Touch.

As long as you have a WiFi connection, you can see the games where you go – at work, on the road, at the stadium, or even at home. Catch the college basketball upsets and buzzer beaters as they happen, no matter where you are! NCAA March Madness on Demand (MMOD) also features game recaps, bracket information, and up to the minute scores and headlines. It’s your complete NCAA March Madness companion, and it’s only on the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Go download MMOD for iPhone (iTunes link) now, just don’t tell your boss.

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Posted March 17th, 2009 by Brian
Filed under: Basketball, NCAA Tourney

Barely any Texas talk but ESPN has a brief look at the teams in the East Region of the 2009 NCAA Tournament. Watch Rece Davis, Digger Phelps, and Scott Bilas break down the region below…

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Posted March 16th, 2009 by Brian
Filed under: Basketball, Feature, NCAA Tourney

Rick Barnes has his work cut out for him in the East bracket. (TexasSports.com)

Rick Barnes has his work cut out for him in the East bracket. (TexasSports.com)

The Texas basketball team’s once in a decade loss to [tag]Baylor[/tag] was bad but apparently two Big 12 tournament wins were enough to get the Horns a 7 seed in the tough East bracket. The Longhorns will open the tournament against Minnesota on Thursday at 6:10pm.

The East may be the toughest region in the tourney. If Texas can get past Minnesota they’ll have to face [tag]Duke[/tag] in the second round in what would be essentially a home game for the Blue Devils in Greensboro, North Carolina. If the Horns get by that tough test, it could actually set up a rematch with two top teams they beat earlier this season in 3-seed [tag]Villanova[/tag] or [tag]UCLA[/tag].

We’ll have previews of Thursday’s game and the rest of the tourney so check back in on the 40 Acres all tourney long.

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Posted March 9th, 2009 by Mike
Filed under: Basketball, Feature, NCAA Tourney

Dexter Pittman dunks against the KU defense. (AP)

Dexter Pittman dunks against the KU defense. (AP)

The Texas Longhorns men’s basketball team finished the season with a win over [tag]Baylor[/tag] and a second half meltdown loss against [tag]Kansas[/tag]. Texas finished the 2009 regular season 20-10 (9-7 in conference), good enough for fifth place in the Big 12. Rick Barnes’ squad will take on [tag]Colorado[/tag] Wednesday in the Big 12 tournament.

Most experts feel UT locked up a March Madness berth by beating Baylor and earning their 20th win of the season. Texas holds wins over UCLA, Villanova, Wisconsin, and [tag]Oklahoma[/tag]. Out of Texas’ 10 losses only the ones to Arkansas (who also beat Oklahoma), Nebraska, and Kansas State can be considered “bad” losses.

Texas may not need to win Wednesday over the Buffaloes to make the dance, but a loss would most likely result in an 8/9 seed. Beggars can’t be choosers, and right now the Longhorns probably just want to get to the tournament and see what happens, but an 8/9 seed would set up a potential second round matchup with the number one seed of their bracket. That is assuming the Horns get past their first round opponent, which is no given this year.

If Texas can make a nice run in the tournament they have a chance to creep up to a 6 seed. Texas would likely need to beat Colorado, beat Kansas State in the second round then have a good showing in the semifinals. A 6 seed would set up a matchup with a 10 seed and set up a second round matchup with a team ranked no better than a three seed in their bracket.

Texas has the ability to play with any team in the country. In the first half against Kansas on Saturday the Longhorns proved that. When [tag]Damion James[/tag] is attacking the basket and making jump shots, and new point guard [tag]Dogus Balbay[/tag] is getting into the lane Texas is very dangerous.

The problem is this team has had a very hard time sustaining a team effort for 40 minutes. The Longhorns fell apart offensively down the stretch against Kansas and the defense couldn’t hold up to the pressure. If teams keep Balbay out of the lane and James and even [tag]Gary Johnson[/tag] stop hitting their mid-range jump shots teams are able to focus all of their defensive energy on taking away sharp shooting [tag]AJ Abrams[/tag] and clogging the lane.

Kansas moved into a form of box and one to take away Abrams and completely shut down the lane and Texas had no answer. The Longhorns have been prone to long droughts between points and against the type of teams they will face in the national tournament teams can’t afford to do that.

Anything can happen in March, which has been proven year after year. Texas does have a few of the ingredients needed for an unlikely tournament run. They play great defense, they have a deep front court, and they have a guy who can make four or five three pointers in a row.

March Madness is a guard dominated tournament. And that is where the problem lies for this year’s Longhorns. Texas has a guard who can shoot. Texas has a guard that can defend. Texas even has a guard who can break down a defense off the dribble and get to the bucket. Unfortunately they need three different small guards on the court to have all of them on the floor at the same time.

Texas has their work cut out for them, and they enter this post season in a different role than they’re used to the past few years. It will be interesting to see how the team reacts. There is no doubt Rick Barnes can recruit with the best coaches in the nation. Now it is time to prove he can elevate a team to achieve more than their talent should suggest.

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Posted April 1st, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Basketball, NCAA Tourney

This was too entertaining not to post:

At first I was sympathetic to Aggie fans, it would be tough to lose a game that way. Then they started acting like Aggies and threatening a lawsuit over the non-call. Seriously. It didn’t take long to remember there is never a good reason to take pity on them. Now I laugh and laugh and laugh at their despair. (via)

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Posted March 30th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Basketball, NCAA Tourney, Quick Hits

The Houston Chronicle looks at how Memphis and UT match up. They give Memphis the edge overall, but I think they’re off in saying Rose has the edge over Augustin.

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Posted March 30th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Basketball, NCAA Tourney, Quick Hits

Longhorns lean more on Dexter Pittman for defense. Facing a much more athletic lineup than Stanford, might be a game where we need Gary Johnson to shine.

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Posted March 30th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Basketball, NCAA Tourney, Quick Hits

Derrick Rose, DJ Augustin battle for spot in Final Four. DJ got the best of a Rose in a game this summer, hopefully he can do it again with more on the line.

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Posted March 30th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Basketball, NCAA Tourney

After a big victory over Stanford Friday, the Longhorns now face their toughest test by far of the tournament in the [tag]Memphis[/tag] Tigers. Before the tournament started, I thought the Tigers had a chance to be one of the first number one seeds knocked off. It’s a lot later than I thought but that could still be the case if Texas takes care of business Sunday afternoon.

If the Horns want to hand Memphis only their second loss of the season they’ll have to contain the dynamic guard duo of freshman Derrick Rose and 6-foot-7 junior Chris Douglas-Roberts. Both players are averaging around 15 points and 4 rebounds per game and are excellent on offense and defense. The battle between point guards Rose and [tag]DJ Augustin[/tag] should be an entertaining match-up to watch.

Watch the SI.com video preview of Memphis below:

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Posted March 29th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Basketball, NCAA Tourney

Below is SI.com’s Luke Winn’s excellent Q&A with Ian Mooney, enjoy…

Ian Mooney shoots before a gameThe Blog’s two-season series of player-and-coach (but mostly player) Q&As has featured such luminaries as Roy Hibbert and Rick Majerus, but we’ve never before interviewed a walk-on. That changed today, as the subject is Texas senior forward [tag]Ian Mooney[/tag], who shares a name with the former host of WWF’s Wrestling Spotlight and, unlike most walk-ons, had three double-digit-minute games this season, averaging 0.3 points on the season. Mooney wears the No. 22 in honor of his late brother, Brendan, and transferred from St. Louis to Texas after one year as a walk-on with the Billikens. Longhorns point guard D.J. Augustin says Mooney “sets the best screens” on the team, and strength and conditioning coach Todd Wright warns onlookers not to dismiss Mooney as unathletic because of his stocky Irish frame. “He might look like he’s been drinking for three days, or that he just fell off the potato truck,” Wright says of Mooney, “but he can really jump. Seriously, he’ll throw down dunks.”

We caught up with Mooney in the Horns’ locker room before their Friday practice:

Luke Winn: You went from being a walk-on as a sophomore, to a scholarship guy last season [when a gap was left by Daniel Gibson leaving early], back to being a walk-on. That’s an interesting back-and-forth.

Ian Mooney: I just take what comes my way. I had a scholarship fall in my lap, and now I’m back to just doing what I do, walking on.

LW: Did you earn the full ride last year by harassing Kevin Durant in practice? [Coach Rick Barnes had said that Mooney guarded Durant "better than anyone."]

IM: I think they kind of had some extra [scholarships] lying around last year, but I’m fine with the Durant angle.

LW: And you’ve already graduated?

IM: I graduated this past summer in corporate communications. It’s like communication studies in corporate situations — doing sales presentations, things like that. And I’m in grad school now, for advertising, which is pretty tough. That’s fine, though — I’d rather do advertising than be taking basket weaving or doing the Leinart plan.

LW: What’s the University of Texas equivalent of a ballroom-dancing class?

IM: I took a semester of piano once, and that was my fine-arts credit. I don’t know if that was as bad [as ballroom dancing], but our homework was singing in class and practicing our stuff.

LW: You’ve seen some serious time in a few games this year [against TCU and St. Mary's in January]. How did that come about?

I think coach [Rick Barnes] just kind of got frustrated with some of the guys, and gave me a shot. We were playing against TCU and they had undersized big men, and our guys were having trouble with it. Coach gave me a shot, I did well, and found a couple more minutes the next game, which was cool.

[Note: In order to conduct this interview, Mooney took a break from playing a white-board game with teammates Matt Hill and Damion James that was essentially Pictionary for movie titles. Mooney is the one drawing in the photo below.]

Ian Mooney draws Honey I Shrunk the Kids

Where did you come up with that game? And which movies did you draw?

IM: I brought it over from high school [at St. Michael's in Austin], but it just started today because we’ve been bored like crazy. We just needed to pass the time. I did Courage Under Fire — you see, the lion without the heart from Wizard of Oz, and then the fire? It’s supposed be be flip-flopped, but it’s there. Then I did Camelot, drawing camels in a parking lot. [He also did Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, with a pot of honey and some small stick figures, and Hill drew Next Friday by using a calendar.]

LW: I heard last week about the team’s obsession with Rock Band in your home locker room …

IM: We first got it started with Guitar Hero. One of the managers brought it in, and then we convinced him to get another guitar — and then we made him keep the guitars in the lounge, because we were playing it so much. Then Rock Band came along and the next thing you know, we had a band. D.J. is good at drums, because he played in middle school, and Clint [Chapman] is probably the best at guitar. Justin [Mason] is on the mic. He sings the classic rock. Very adequately.

(more …)

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