Friday Longhorn Sports Page

Stay up to date on all things Burnt Orange with a daily stop at IT's Longhorn Sports Page, with links to the latest news and opinion articles on UT football, basketball, baseball, recruiting and other sports from around the web.

Men's hoops:

Home Field Advantage
Inside Texas
HOUSTON -- The Texas Longhorns will face twin seven-footers Brook and Robin Lopez on Friday, but the Horns will also have the help of a very Burnt Orange Reliant Stadium. Question is, how much will it help?

Hoops: Texas vs. Stanford Game Info
Inside Texas
The Longhorns are in Houston for the Sweet 16 and on Friday, No. 2 seed Texas will take on the No. 3 seed Stanford at Reliant Stadium.

Trying to cut giants down to size
Austin American-Statesman
Other than DeAndre Jordan, coming off the bench for Texas A&M, the Texas basketball team hadn't seen a 7-footer up close and impersonal all year long. So here comes Stanford with a pair of guys who can blot out the sun.

Stanford: Underrated Johnson is his team's 'motor'
Austin American-Statesman
Mitch Johnson was not sent to Stanford from central casting, circa 2008. He is not the most talented point guard around. He's no D.J. Augustin. Mitch Johnson is more of an old-fashioned, classic caretaker type. He's the guy who enables Brook and Robin Lopez, the 7-foot twins who combine for 29 points a game, to use their height advantage.

South Regional coaches have fun - at each other's expense
Austin American-Statesman
Longtime friends finding it difficult coaching against each other, but still find ways to keep Sweet 16 matchups light.

Stanford presents tall order on Texas' big stage
Dallas Morning News
Not every big-time basketball player would be comfortable with the world knowing they were into collecting Disney figurines. Not Brook and Robin Lopez, Stanford's fearsome, 7-foot sophomore twins, who will attempt to derail the Texas Longhorns' attempt to bus their way to a Final Four without leaving the state again.

Even in Houston, Texas isn't home free
Dallas Morning News
At first glance, it appears to good to be true. Really, could Texas have drawn a more favorable path to the Final Four than playing the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament in Houston?

Men's NCAA Tournament: Texas-Stanford preview
Dallas Morning News

UT's Augustin a devilishly smart All-American
San Antonio Express-News
Dexter Pittman rationalized that three weeks was good enough for a statute of limitations. No memory — not even D.J. Augustin's — could hold on that long. It was three weeks ago that Pittman found Augustin struggling to lower his body into the cold tub — a necessary, but frigid, postgame therapy — so Pittman hurried the process by creeping up on the Texas point guard and pouring a cup of ice water down Augustin's back. Pittman spent the rest of the day waiting for payback. Nothing. A day became three weeks, and still nothing. Not even a mention. Then came Wednesday, as Pittman was sitting inside the team film room before the Longhorns departed for the Sweet 16, where they will face Stanford tonight at Reliant Stadium.

'Horns see way around trees
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
To say that the Texas Longhorns face a tall order against Stanford is understating the obvious, by a half. The Cardinal mascot is a tree, but its basketball team plays with two redwoods, 7-foot sophomore twins Brook and Robin Lopez.

UT, Memphis look to stay on top at the South Regional
Houston Chronicle
THERE is likely some motivational undercurrent when Memphis coach John Calipari insists his team is the underdog in this weekend's NCAA South Regional at Reliant Stadium. It's a hard sell, considering the Tigers sit as the regional's No. 1 seed. But Calipari does have a point, because the Tigers' road to next week's Final Four in San Antonio comes through the backyard of No. 2 seed Texas.

Confident Abrams emerging as Longhorns' special story
Houston Chronicle
I don't have to know what a chin cut is to know Texas guard A.J. Abrams might be the most remarkable player we'll see this weekend. There are plenty of other good ones, including three probable NBA lottery picks — Derrick Rose of Memphis, Brook Lopez of Stanford and D.J. Augustin of Texas. None of them is as intriguing as Abrams.

Rice interviews UT assistant Terry
Houston Chronicle
Rice interviewed Texas assistant basketball coach Rodney Terry on Thursday for its vacant coaching position, according to an NCAA official.

Approaching the summit
Daily Texan
The Longhorns take their place in the rarified air of the Sweet 16 today when they take on Stanford in Houston, but Texas' survival this deep into the tournament isn't so rare after all. The Longhorns are making their fifth appearance in the third round of the NCAA Tournament in the last seven years. Going any further won't be easy though, at least not with the Lopez Twins standing in their way.

James makes presence felt on the boards
Yahoo! Sports
Which player in the Sweet 16 pulled down the most rebounds in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament? The answer may surprise you. It's not UCLA's Kevin Love, North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough, Memphis' Joey Dorsey or any other post player. The most prolific rebounder remaining in the NCAA Tournament isn't a post player at all. He's Damion James, a 6-foot-7 sophomore swingman from Texas who recorded 26 rebounds in his first two South Regional games.

Robin Lopez emerging from brother's shadow
San Jose Mercury News
For someone who has lived in his twin brother's shadow since coming to Stanford, Robin Lopez has managed to find a nice chunk of the spotlight this month. His play in the NCAA tournament has been superb. His NBA stock is rising. Kids approach him for autographs in airports. And, oh yeah, there are reports that he is dating golf phenom and fellow Stanford student Michelle Wie. As the Cardinal gets set to play Texas tonight in the South Regional semifinals at Reliant Stadium, life is pretty darn good for the other half of the 7-foot Lopez twins.

The matchup: Stanford vs. Texas
San Jose Mercury News

He's not biggest tree in forest, but Finger thrives in shadows
San Francisco Chronicle
Like most prominent actors, Taj Finger wants to direct feature films. But first, he has at least one more turn this evening at his more familiar role as the Stealth Lopez. Finger, the senior seventh man and wing man for Brook and Robin Lopez, has lasted long enough this year to have finally gotten a question that wasn't entirely about the twins, and it came in the media session to advance tonight's game against two-seed Texas in the South Regional semifinal.

There's no overstating it: Stanford is a good play
Los Angeles Times
For most of the regular season, strong interior defense made Stanford a solid under play on over/under combined-point-total bets. But since Feb. 10, the Cardinal has been giving up more points and, at the same time, increased its scoring. That has turned out to be a good combination for over/under players with the over going 11-2 in the last 13 games involving Stanford, which has scored 75 or more points in four of its last five games. Tonight, Texas (30-6) -- seeded No. 2 in the South Regional -- is favored by two points over No. 3-seeded Stanford (28-7) with a 134 over/under combined point total.

Stanford a tall order for Texas
New York Daily News
At first glance, it's easy to conclude that the South Regional will be decided by a guard. From arguably the best point guard in the country in Texas' D.J. Augustin to Memphis' backcourt tandem of Chris Douglas-Roberts and Derrick Rose to Michigan State's sharpshooting sniper Drew Neitzel, the South bracket is loaded with backcourt stars. But then there's third-seeded Stanford and its 7-foot twin trees Brook and Robin Lopez. The Lopezes stick out in this guard-dominated regional like two giraffes. And the Cardinal hopes to prove that size still matters as the Lopez brothers try to swat away second-seeded Texas on Friday night in a Sweet 16 matchup at Reliant Stadium. The winner will face either Michigan State or Memphis, who square off in the late game.

Texas is a small team with big task: Stanford
Philadelphia Daily News
You know what they say about Texas and everything being big. Well, someone forgot to tell that to the basketball coach of the Longhorns. When Rick Barnes sends his club out on the court at spacious Reliant Stadium tonight against Stanford in a South Regional semifinal, he will court a team that is the antithesis of what the Lone Star state reveres - bigness.

Stanford out of comfort zone
Chicago Sun-Times
You wouldn't think the team with the two 7-footers would be the underdog, especially in Texas, which is famous for obsessing about big things. In this case, you would be wrong. Bolstered by a throng of Longhorns fans in Reliant Stadium, the home of the NFL's Houston Texans, Texas, the No. 2 seed in the South, is favored by a couple of points against No. 3 seeded Stanford.

Augustin uses speed, smarts to guide Longhorns' run
USA Today
At the beginning of the 2007-08 school year, Texas coach Rick Barnes met with point guard D.J. Augustin. "What's your goals for next year?" Barnes recalled last weekend asking Augustin. "He immediately started talking about our team. I said, 'I'm talking about you personally.' He said, 'I'd like to be an Academic All-American.' " After fall semester grades were released, Dr. Randa Ryan, Texas' senior associate athletics director for student-athlete services could not contain her tears of joy when she called Augustin's mom, Vanessa.


Spring Scrimmage: What to Look For
Inside Texas
Depth charts are usually established the last week of spring football, but there remains much that is unsettled as Texas begins its second decade under head coach Mack Brown. Saturday's scrimmage is sprinkled with a number of questions that still must be answered, including...

Texas puts body of work on display
Daily Texan
The Longhorns have a new drill, and it's not the N.O.S punishment routine. New Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp brought from Auburn an exercise defensive end Brian Orakpo called the "Longhorn Drill." According to him, it's three offensive and defensive players "just going at it." For Orakpo, three defensive lineman square off against three offensive lineman, and his job is to not let the offense advance 10 yards. The "Longhorn Drill" is just one example of how Muschamp has impacted this year's spring practices, which culminate in the Orange-White game Saturday at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium at noon with TV coverage on FSN Southwest beginning at noon.


Texas faces Nebraska in key series
Austin American-Statesman
Two are moving home, to the positions they've always loved and the places where they feel most comfortable. Two are moving away, to new situations, foreign territories where new obstacles await. Changes are coming at 3 p.m. today for the 13th-ranked Texas baseball team, which opens a three-game series against No. 19 Nebraska at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.

Longhorns still searching for fix to defensive woes
Daily Texan
If your car isn't running right, you can't fix it while you're driving down the highway. You have to stop your vehicle before you can start repairing it. This season, the Longhorns haven't really had a chance to slow down, much less stop. But three practice days this week, only Texas' fourth, fifth and sixth practices since the season started in late February, gave the Longhorns a chance to perform some much needed maintenance to their shoddy defense.

UT never pursued Texas Huskers Pribanic, Abieta
Lincoln Journal Star
Aaron Pribanic and Mitch Abeita are always up for a trip back to their home state. But it isn't like the Nebraska baseball team's series at Texas this weekend holds any special meaning to the two Huskers. Neither ever saw himself playing for the Longhorns.


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