Posted March 17th, 2006 by Brian
Filed under: Basketball, Live

Couple of upsets over the last two days that should serve to remind the Horns that this is March Madness and anything can happen. I imagine Rick Barnes mentioned to the guys that #1 seed Connecticut was down twelve to #16 Albany with about ten minutes to go.

First Half
  • The defense is forcing Penn to take shots they probably don’t want to. Long threes with the shot clock running down with a defender in their face.
  • Three minutes in and someone finally scores. Texas is getting some good shots and is just a little rusty right now. They’ve got to start early getting the ball to LaMarcus Aldridge inside.
  • Aldridge has position right under the basket and we don’t get the ball to him.
Penn 0, Texas 2
  • 5 minutes in and still only 3 total points on the board. The Quakers haven’t gotten off a single decent shot.
  • Just as I type that last comment, Penn nails an open 3 pointer and ties the game at 3.
  • Aldridge is giving the ball up too easily. There’s not a guy on the floor that can guard him and he needs to realize it.
  • How many people are at the game? I can here individual people yelling “hey” at the Penn free throw shooter. Or is it mic placement?
  • AJ Abrams turns the damn ball over as usual. Protect the ball young man.
Penn 8, Texas 9
  • Texas versus Penn action courtesy the Austin American-StatesmanAbout 11 minutes remaining in the first half and we’re letting them hang around because we’re useless on offense. It’s hard to pull away from a team if you only score 20 points per half.
  • Still playing good D. I’m not sure if Penn has anybody that can really kill us from beyond the arc. We’re dominating on defense, shooting decently on offense, we’ve just got to stop turning the ball over.
  • Nasty rejection by Aldridge.
  • Brad Buckman has missed several shots from point blank range but keeps getting his own rebound.
  • Terrible call by the official as they call Abrams for a block as he takes a forearm to the chest. He’s set and the Quaker bowls him over and they call AJ for the foul.
Penn 11, Texas 13
  • Seven minutes left. Daniel Gibson just passed up an open 3 and drove and blew a layup. He had a lane to the basket but he can be afraid to pull the trigger.
  • And we’re done by one. Maybe I spoke too soon about their long range shooting. Of course they’re getting more open looks lately.
  • Buckman hits Texas’ first three of the game with 4 and a half left.
Penn 16, Texas 16
  • 3:41 remaining. We should think about scoring some points. I think that would be useful.
  • They seem to be calling random crap away from the ball on us inside. Announcers didn’t see anything either.
  • 90 seconds left and we don’t have a single point from our guards.
Penn 22, Texas 22
  • The announcers made it sound like Gibson undercut the Penn player on purpose. It’s kind of hard to intentionally back into a guy who you don’t see coming.
Penn 23, Texas 22
  • We have about 6 seconds not to go into halftime freaking down to #15 seed Penn.
  • Abrams can’t get the ball down court because of the pressure (Penn was intentionally trying to foul him but the refs didn’t notice) and we only get off a halfcourt heave. Going into halftime down 2. It’s not like Penn is playing well, we’re just handling the ball like crap and shooting even worse. We’ve had open shots and inside looks, and often had trouble even hitting rim on those looks. It’s an awfully late start, maybe it’s past our guards’ bed time.

Second Half
  • Aldridge and PJ Tucker have to take this game over. If the guards aren’t going to do their job, step up and dominate.
  • Gibson hits a 3 for his first points and the first points of the game from any Texas guard.
  • More energy from the Horns so far. We just got about our 5th offensive rebound already in the first 90 seconds of the half. I guess that means more hustle but still no shooting touch.
  • Another big rejection by Aldridge. He should just rip those out of the air instead of swatting it into the upper deck.
Penn 25, Texas 27
  • The first emotion out of the team and the first noise out of what should be a Longhorn crowd. It’s only two points but take this little bit of momentum and freaking run with it. Play defense and run on offense.
  • Can you really fool people at your reunion with an Enterprise Rent-A-Car? Don’t they have that little green “e” on the back of all the cars?
  • Is there no such thing as an intentional foul anymore? Tucker is out on the break and the Penn guy reaches out and essentially dives to foul him at midcourt.
  • Good free throw shooting by Aldridge and Tucker. Four in a row.
  • Abrams has gotten two open looks from 3 and missed them both by a tenth of inch. Rattled around and finally roll out but we got the offensive rebound on both and turned them into points anyways.
  • More poor officiating. Gibson picked up his 4th on a clean block a couple of minutes ago and now Buckman gets called for a charge despite the fact the Penn’s defender is directly under the basket.
Penn 30, Texas 34
  • 11 and a half minutes to go.
  • Holy crap. Ref from about 30 feet away calls foul on Tucker when he was screened by about 4 different guys from seeing the play.
  • Even I know not to save the ball under the opponents basket. We got stupid with the basketball but got lucky when the Penn player dove to save the basketball and dished it right out to three Texas players by themselves under the basket.
  • Penn’s threes haven’t exactly been pretty but the damn things keep going in.
Penn 36, Texas 41
  • I guess it’s legal to nail our guys on the arms when they’re shooting.
Penn 40, Texas 41
  • Let’s go Horns! That a boy Daniel! Back to back drives for layups. He’s got to be smart on defense with those 4 fouls.
  • Man four points in a row seems like a monster run in this game.
Penn 40, Texas 45
  • By the way, is anyone getting this game in widescreen HD? It’s 4:3 for me and eventhough they said it was high def it sure doesn’t look like it.
  • Aldridge is so much better from the line than he was last year. One of our better free throw shooters.
  • Why do you switch to a game just to go to a timeout? At least do picture-in-picture.
  • We sure as hell tried to turn the ball over to the Penn press. It looked like we (Paulino) had absolutely no plan when the pressure came.
  • Oh look, another cutaway to a timeout. Yay. CBS you used to be my friend (compared to the suckage that is ABC’s college football coverage) but now you’re on my list too.
  • Jiminy Christmas!! You don’t have to give the 30 second intro you morons. Cut that out between switches and I could watch 30 more seconds of the game I’m freaking trying to see. They cost me a minute on both sides of the freaking switch.
Penn 45, Texas 51
  • Why do we keep inbounding the ball to the sideline?
  • Kansas is in trouble too.
  • Man we suck at this.
  • This is embarassing. Paulino traveled but they missed it. Ugh.
Penn 45, Texas 52
  • We are a stupid basketball team. How do we let them drive down the length of the court and hit an easy layup and foul them?
  • Think NC State is going to run a little full court press Sunday?
Penn 49, Texas 56
  • Damnit our game is close too. SPLIT SCREEN!
  • Where’d all the fans go? This is a close game, possible huge upset and you take off early?
Final: Penn 52, Texas 60
Final Thoughts

Lots of close games and a lot of higher ranked teams actually got upset these last two days so as a Longhorn fan you have to at least be a little happy just to survive. UConn struggled, Tennessee sucks, Iowa lost to a 14 seed, Ohio State was down 5 at the half, and Kansas lost. UCLA is the only number two seed who didn’t struggle. It’s the NCAA Tournament and this is why millions of people love it.

Full Court Press (Orca Young Reader)All that considered we sucked tonight and we’re not going to last long if we play like this Sunday. Our first half performance was pitiful, and while we looked like an actual basketball team during most of second half we never exactly played lights out. The end of the game exposed a glaring weakness that most opposing coaches already were aware of: our abysmal ability to handle the press. I don’t know if it’s coaching, incompetence, or a brain fart but it honestly looked like we’d never seen it before. We had trouble getting the ball in bounds and when we managed that we couldn’t dribble or pass out of the immediate pressure. It’s a miracle we didn’t turn the ball over on every single one of those plays, and if it wasn’t for some favorable foul calls and plentiful timeouts we would’ve been screwed.

If I’m the NC State coach I spend all day tomorrow putting in various half and full court presses to force our below average ball handlers into trouble. If I’m Rick Barnes, I spend the next two or three hours tonight running the team through practice in the bowels of the American Airlines Center. I then spend tomorrow tearing the guys a new one and walking them through an actual plan if the opponent does press.



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