• North Texas coach could take over women's basketball program

    Texas may have found its successor.

    Baylor coach Kim Mulkey confirmed with the Austin America-Statesman that North Texas head coach Karen Aston will take over the Texas program from Gail Goestenkors who resigned after Texas’ first round bow out of the NCAA tournament.

    Aston served as an assistant coach under Mulkey and is said to have texted her the news.

    “This has to be her dream job,” Mulkey told the paper.

    Aston is considered an extremely able recruiter, and proved herself as one while working under Jody Conradt fom 1998-2006. She went 15-16 (7-9 Sun Belt) with the North Texas Mean Green this past season.

    A Daily Texan source from within the UT athletic department said there has yet to be a decision made. The UT Board of Regents will meet Monday to officially discuss the future of the position. 

  • American League East Preseason Power Rankings

    Spring Training continues to grind on in Arizona and Florida, and now we suddenly begin to find ourselves in the meat of the spring training schedule. Decisions are starting to be made, pitchers are being stretched out for more than 30 pitches an appearance, and lineups are starting to get closer to resembling major league lineups rather than a mixture of hopeful minor league prospects. As the season draws closer, we’re going to give you a preseason set of power rankings to get you up to speed for April 4th.

    1. New York Yankees: The Yankees are always, for as long as the sun rises, going to be a contender in the AL East and they had another big offseason. Along with adding young pitching stud Michael Pineda, they also added Hiroki Kuroda and will be receiving a healthy Phil Hughes to christen the new season. We know the lineup is stacked, and the Yanks will most certainly be a force to be dealt with come October.

    2. Boston Red Sox: We all remember the disastrous end to their 2011 campaign, and they were pretty quiet in the offseason, but don’t forget the monster offseason they had a year ago. Carl Crawford had a down year, John Lester and Clay Bucholz bounced on and off the DL, and they still were the best team in baseball for a few months last year. Bobby Valentine should give this team a fresh start, and everyone out east should be afraid of this sleeping giant.

    3. Tampa Bay Rays: The Rays won the wild card on the last day of the season last year, and that was before the Earth shattering emergence of Matt Moore in the ALDS. With him as a staple in the rotation to go along with David Price and James Shields, the Rays have one of the best stable of starters in the league, and will continue to give the traditional AL East powers fits.

    4. Toronto Blue Jays: The Jays are on the cusp of perennial contention, and if they played in a different division, they may have made more noise over the past few years than they have. Jose Bautista is an absolute monster in the middle of the lineup, and they have young talent oozing from within. If J.P Arencibia can continue to emerge as a front line catcher and Ricky Romero can build on a stellar 2011 season, these guys can also threaten for that last and brand new wild card spot.

    5. Baltimore Orioles: The Baltimore faithful have to be losing hope. They haven’t made the playoffs since 1997, and help does not appear to be on the horizon. Maybe the cavalry fell asleep before they could make their heroic entrance to save the franchise before they fell into baseball purgatory? Who knows, but this is not a good baseball team and will be an afterthought once more in 2012.

  • Stat Guy: Final Four Preview

    Its Final Four time. The underdogs have been dealt with, and the Cinderellas have sent home: this one is exclusive. After a couple of seasons of upsets, and unlikely runs to the national semis, only the blue bloods of basketball made it through this one.

    Kentucky, Louisville, Ohio State and Kansas are the four teams left, and they collectively combine for 13 National Championships and 44 Final Four appearances, counting this season(it would be 45, but Ohio State had a Final Four vacated by the NCAA).

    The biggest question going into this seasons national semis is whether or not anyone can beat Kentucky. The Wildcats have scored at least 80 points in every tournament game, including a 102 point outburst against No. 4 seed Indiana. The y have been the hands down tournament favorite since they turned a tied ball game into a 20 point lead in nine minutes against a tough Iowa State team in the second round. Those feelings were only bolstered when they jumped out to a 22 point half time lead against Baylor in the regional finals. Kentucky has been a very tough team to play, out rebounding three of their four opponents-they tied Baylor at 29-and are shooting 53 percent over the four games. It only shot below 50 percent one time, but still put up 102 points.

    Kentucky may have the most prolific offense left in the tournament, but it will face the stingiest defense in the Final Four. Louisville is holding teams to 57.5 points per game in the NCAA tournament, including holding No. 1 seed Michigan State to just 44 points in the Sweet Sixteen. That is the best defense effort in the tournament this season, matched by South Florida in the first round. It has held three teams under 40 percent shooting, and held the Spartans to a pitiful 28 percent shooting from the field. The Cardinals have held five of their last eight opponents to under 60 points, and under 50 on two occasions. Only Marquette was able to eclipse 70 since the first round of the Big East tournament with a whopping 71. No team has been able to corral Kentucky on offense in the tourney, and Indiana was unable to outscore it, so a new strategy could provide different results.

    On the other side of the bracket, the major battle should be in the paint. Ohio State's Jared Sullinger will square off against Kansas' Thomas Robinson in what will be a showcase of two of the top post men in the college game. Both average 17 points per game to lead their teams, and have nearly identical stat lines with Robinson having a slight edge in rebounding. Both are accompanied in the middle, with Sullinger pairing with Deshaun Thomas, and Robinson with Jeff Withey. Thomas is much more dangerous on offense averaging 16 points per game, while Withey only averages 6, but gets three blocks per game with his longer reach. Kansas is taller, with Robinson being measured at 6'10'' and Withey at an even seven feet, and has more length on the interior, while both the Ohio State players carry more bulk. Sullinger and Thomas may have games that look a little better in the box score, but Robinson's and Withey's length and defense could have a larger impact on the game. It will be interesting to watch.

    With only three games left in the college season(sorry Washington State and Pitt of the CBI, and Stanford and Minnesota at the NIT), the best of the best will be vying for immortality. And while having a Final Four banner is nice, having a championship is even nicer.

  • Dodgers sold for record 2 billion dollars to group headlined by Magic Johnson

    Late Tuesday night, one of the crown jewel franchises of Major League Baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers, was sold for a record 2 billion dollars.

    Previous owner Frank MCcourt filed bankruptcy for the club last June, and it was mandated by Comissioner Bud Selig that McCourt sale the team. McCourt bought the team in 2004 for 430 million dollars, but a recent divorce caused major financial strain which ultimately lead to the sell.

    Los Angeles legend Magic Johnson, who played and won titles for the Lakers decades ago, is part of the group that is buying the legendary Dodgers. Mark Walter, CEO of the financial services firm Guggenheim Partners, becomes the controlling owner while Magic will become the public owner.

    This sale breaks the previous record for a franchise that was held by the Cubs, when they were sold in 2009 for 845 million dollars.

    The Dodgers finished in third place in the National League West last season with 82 wins. Cy Young award winner Clayton Kershaw is due to hit the free agent market in 2013 after reaching an agreement in arbitration this winter, and it will be Magic Johnson’s job to keep the Dodgers ace in those classic blue uniforms for an extended period of time.

  • Travis County court rules in favor of Texas over ESPN

    A Travis county judge ruled today in favor of the University of Texas in a lawsuit against ESPN involving the privacy of the school's conference realignment documents from 2010.

    The lawsuit stemmed from a June 22, 2010, public records request ESPN sent to the university. After Colorado and Nebraska elected to leave the Big 12 in 2010, ESPN requested records from Texas that disclosed the workings of the conference realignment process. Big 12 chairman at the time, and university president William Powers denied parts of the network's request, which ultimately led to the lawsuit about whether the records were public.

    Texas argued that it was within reason to withhold some information because Powers was wearing two hats at the time as the conference chairman and school president. As president his emails could have been subject to closer scrutiny, but Texas argued that much of the conference realignment correspondence that took place between Texas and other member schools at the time were under the guise of his Big 12 chairmanship position.

    "...While Powers wears two hats, UT System gets to decide which hat he has on, depending on which documents are at issue. ESPN's position is that it is not the hat, it is the man," said one of ESPN's attorney.

    Shortly after, ESPN and the university agreed to a 20-year, $300 million dollar television deal called the Longhorn Network.