The Ledger has no problem whatsoever with Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett and quarterback Tony Romo hanging out together in public.
Former Cowboys DE Marcus Spears and current analyst for ESPN’s SEC Network went on the record saying it’s a problem for a coach and any player to mingle together outside the locker room.
True, we would never see Tom Landry and Roger Staubach hang out at a Duke basketball game, but then again this is a new era of sports. Spears went on to say it causes internal discussions amongst teammates about the coach having “favorites”. Having favorites in turn could potentially create division within the ranks.
As much merit as this may have, the threat doesn’t present itself in this case.
Jason Garrett is a young coach with a veteran quarterback. Garrett and Romo have a natural bond: they both quartebacked the Dallas Cowboys at one point in their careers. Why can’t an ex-quarterback who is now the coach hang out with his current quarterback?
No issues here.
Now that college basketball is down to handful of teams remaining in tournament action, Sarge takes a look at what we’ve learned thus far about college basketball in the Lone Star State.
Q: How many teams did the state send to the NCAA post season?
A: Texas sent a total of eight teams to the men’s and women’s NCAA Tournaments and one to the National Invitational Tournament (NIT).
NCAA Mens (4): Baylor, Texas, Stephen F. Austin, Texas Southern
NCAA Women (3): Texas A&M, Baylor, Texas
NIT (1): SMU
Q: What teams have advanced?
A: Of the eight state representatives, three have survived the slaughter in their respected conference. All three coincidentally may end up playing for a national championship.
NCAA Womens: Texas A&M & Baylor (Elite Eight)
NIT: SMU (Final Four)
Q: Of the teams remaining, who has the best shot at bringing home a title to Texas?
A: SMU, without a doubt. The Mustangs are playing with a chip on their shoulder after being snubbed by the NCAA selection committee a few weeks ago. They very well should have been a twelve seed in the NCAA Midwest region and would have given St. Louis fits in the first round. But everything happens for a reason and SMU coach Larry Brown has made sure his players understand that. Instead of complaining and finger-pointing, the classy Brown took the snub like a champ and moved on. His Ponies followed suit, and are now just one game from the NIT championship.
A2: I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the title hopes of Texas A&M and Baylor. As mentioned, both have a shot of meeting in the Women’s NCAA title game. However, the Lady Aggies face the best team in basketball (UConn) and the Lady Bears face arguably the second-best team in the country (Notre Dame). If they can somehow manage the upsets, there is no reason why we wouldn’t have an all-Texas final.
Q: Of the teams eliminated, who was the biggest surprise and disappointment?
A: By far the biggest disappointment was Baylor. They cruised to the Sweet 16 with that Waco Swag we’ve seen all year, dominating Nebraska (74-60) and #3 Creighton (85-55) with a smothering defense and an electrifying offense. To see them come out flat vs #2 Wisconsin (52-69) was a bit of a shock for everyone.
The biggest surprise was none other than the mighty Lumberjacks of East Texas. Stephen F. Austin brought excitement to the Lone Star State with that magical “4-point” play against Shaka Smart’s Virginia Commonwealth, sending the game into overtime where the ‘Jacks would eventually stun the nation. SFA played tough the next round but were no match for the experienced UCLA Bruins.
Q: What team overachieved in the tourney?
A: It’d be easy to select Stephen F. Austin here, but the overachiever tag goes to Texas. Not in a bad way though. The Longhorns were once again stacked with a locker room full of wide-eyed freshman and underclassmen that can flat out ball. The hard part for Rick Barnes (and this may what get’s him fired eventually) is not getting recruits to Austin…it’s keeping them there for more than one year. I’ve always wondered the possibilities of a Sweet 16/Elite 8 or possibly a Final Four appearance for Texas if they somehow were able to keep a squad together for more than a year. Maybe next year. Maybe
The Ledger is giving away a Starbucks Gift Card to the winner of the group. Join and fill out your bracket here at this link ESPN Tournament Challenge. Good luck!
There are so many potential “upsets” this year that Warren Buffett and QuickenLoans.com is offering one billion dollars to anyone that correctly fills out a perfect bracket.
Chances of Jerry Jones stepping down and hiring a real GM are higher than filling out a winning billion dollar bracket.
The Ledger has Florida-Michigan State and Arizona-Louisville making it to the Final Four, with the Gators beating the Cards for the national championship.
The Ledger bought into the New Mexico hype but not the Wichita State hoopla.
The Lobos make it to the Elite 8 before bowing out to the eventual champs and the Shockers lose their first game of the season in Round Two.
Look for 10th ranked St. Joseph to make some noise (Sweet 16) as well as the 12th seeded Lumberjacks of Stephen F. Austin to bust some brackets (2nd Rd).
Home state schools Texas & Baylor might make it out of the first round but nothing more from the lightweights out of the Big XII.
Whatever your strategy is, it really doesn’t matter. It’s like picking a needle out of a stack of needles.