Hi, I'm SterlingIce. You might remember me from such recent losses as "Rice has a football team?" and "In an NCAA tourney game, is it better to lead by 14 points with under 7 minutes or 5 with under 21 seconds? Neither!"I think after Saturday, I may be banned for life from future live Kansas sporting events. But, in my defense, I was on a really good string of live games before like the 2004 Sunflower Showdown where the Jayhawks beat the Wildcats for the first time in over a decade, a couple of games where underdog Mangino bested Pinkel, and the time where the crowd was audibly mad that The Fat Man didn't try for 80 against Nebraska. On to Saturday's game.
Everyone seems to universally love Austin. It's a young, vibrant city with a disproportionately good music, social, and food scene that everyone thinks is a small city. Thing is- the Austin metro area is only about 200K smaller than Kansas City's (2.04M to 1.83M) so it's not some little town any more. To the right is the Texas state capitol, where crazy happens, and to the left is the ever growing downtown skyline. I'm thinking I may try to make it up to Waco and Fort Worth for road games in the next couple of years. Lubbock's just a bit too far going through a lot of nothing to get there.
Welcome to the Frank Erwin Center. It's kindof a drab building built (predictably) in the 1970s. When I was waiting in one of the long lines at the restrooms, I chatted with a guy in a Longhorns jersey who said they were going to be replacing this arena in a few years. I have to be honest: there's not a lot of charm in the building: limited concession stands, small bathrooms, and not much on the walls. The fans, however, were another matter.
As you saw in the last picture, there was a lot of blue entering along with the orange. However, the Longhorn faithful outnumbered the Kansas fans and the house was packed for this game. I don't know if it was a sellout but it had to be close as there were few empty seats. Speaking of our seats, here is the view from ours. I picked these up in October for the face $22. They are basically center court upper tank and there were a lot available at the time, prior to Texas's run through the conference season.
Does that banner look familiar? In case you forgot, that team was led by TJ Ford, Brandon Mouton, James Thomas, Brian Boddicker, and Royal Ivey. I'm sure they were itching for a rematch after their only regular season meeting was the Nick Collison Big Monday game where he went off for 24 points and 23 boards. I'm sure Nick would have welcomed it along with fellow senior Hinrich and that set of sophomores coming up behind them in Simien, Langford, and Miles. But then Gerry McNamara, Hakim Warrick, and Carmelo Anthony happened to both teams in the Final Four. I don't want to talk about it.
Two Jayhawk highlights are in this picture. It might be Joel Embiid's best play of the day against what is clearly a human-steer hybrid in Cameron Ridley. It was also one of the more favorable scores for Kansas in the game.
Speaking of the Texas bigs, this is just the kind of day it was. Two Longhorn man mountains in the way while Perry looks afraid, Wayne looks stunned, Joel looks clueless, and Nadiir looks disgusted.
As you've seen in some of my other photo essays, I love these sorts of pictures. This is one of the timeout contests where a fan has to hit a shot sitting down to win the recliner. Unfortunately, he missed both and I got to thinking about how hard that would be because you can't get any arc on your shot.
I didn't get a good picture of one of the other games, but it was the highlight of the commercial break entertainment. They had Tic-Tac-Toe basketball where you make a shot and then get to place and X or O on the board. One guy fell behind and on his next made shot, while the other player was at the far end of the court, he switched where the Xs and Os were placed and was disqualified. The crowd enjoyed it, tho.
This picture is for Selden, since he was about the only player who could be said to have had a good game on Saturday. Take a second and look at that lineup: Mason-Selden-Wiggins-Traylor-Black. Self was just throwing stuff at the wall to see if it sticks. I believe at one point in the first half, it was Tharpe-Mason-Greene-Traylor-Lucas. Yuck.
I turned to my fellow Kansas alumnus that I was at the game with and said: "Well, the good thing about a game like this is that there are two halves". Hah (oops)! I didn't see anything that went on at halftime due to the aforementioned lines for the bathroom and concessions. I think there was something about Texas football, by the sounds of it.
Unfortunately, second verse was same as the first. I'm pretty sure I could have taken this picture a dozen times on the game. There are three blue jerseys closest to the ball and it's the white jersey with the offensive board. Did I read that right and fetch said their oReb% was close to 50%? It sure felt like it.
I'm just going to say it: I think Bevo is underrated. I think the Longhorns are one of the more unique mascots in college sports. Then again, I'm not so keen on burnt orange.
I don't remember whose shoe it was but I think it was Taylor. Someone on Texas made such a fast move that he faked himself out of his own shoes. Shockingly, I believe the result of the play was a foul call as whoever it was for Texas blew by any semblance of Kansas "defense" en route to the rim.
Speaking of TJ Ford, did you know that Texas men's basketball has 3 retired numbers? Along with Ford, there's Kevin Durant and Slater Martin, who was a Longhorn in the 40s. He went on to be a 7 time NBA All-Star and 5 time NBA champion, playing with George Mikan on the Minneapolis Lakers.
Seven time Cy Young award winner
and celebrated asshole Roger Clemens was also in the house. More popular, however, was 49ers (backup) QB Colt McCoy. They showed him quite a few times and he looked a little bored to be there and bored with his celebrity but the crowd loved him
The last two pictures are from the salt in the wound department. First, there's Andrew Wiggins taking a seat after fouling out. Boy, the free throws really did drag the game out in the second half, too. I think at one point the entire Kansas lineup in the game had either 3 or 4 fouls.
Normally, this is where I'd post the final score picture, but I think this says it all. The only thing that kept Texas from emptying their bench against us was the ref missing the stoppage of play with about a minute to go. The team looked like some combination of disinterested, confused, and shocked. But there's no time to dwell on the loss as the team is off to face the fighting Drews tomorrow night in Waco.