Weekly College Basketball Roundup

Houston drops its first, Texas stumbles, Tech continues to roll

Chris Beard and Tech are on a mean roll. Sarah Stier/Getty Images

TEXAS LONGHORNS (10-7) 2-3 Big XII

Last week (0-3):
L- @ Oklahoma State 61-58, L- Texas Tech 68-62, L- @ Kansas 80-78

This week: Saturday vs. Oklahoma

Any momentum Texas had going into this week after a 2-0 start to Big XII play is out the window after a horrid second week of conference play. First, the Horns dropped a heartbreaker to Oklahoma State on the road, 61-58. You don't have to dig deep into a box score to find out what led to Texas' downfall. Texas shot 2-22 from 3-point range in the game, including a miss with a chance to tie the game at the buzzer. Kerwin Roach was the leading scorer for Texas with 18. Things didn't get better with Texas Tech coming into Austin. The Horns dropped a 68-62 battle with the Red Raiders, giving Tech their first win in Austin since 1996. Roach had 17 points in the loss. Texas' biggest issue in this one was turnovers, as the defensive-minded Red Raiders forced 14 in the game. Finally, the Horns battled hard and came up just short against Kansas in Phog Allen Fieldhouse, dropping their third straight by a final of 80-78. Texas shot the ball well, won the rebounding battle 38-31, and only had 6 turnovers, but it wasn't enough. Kansas only committed 4 turnovers all night. 5 Longhorns hit double digits, led by Matt Coleman III's 16 points. Texas will look to get back on track this week against Oklahoma.

TEXAS A&M AGGIES (7-7) 1-2 SEC

Last week (1-1):
L- @ Kentucky 85-74, W- @ Alabama 81-80

This week: Wednesday vs. Auburn, Saturday vs. Mizzou

The Aggies started well against Kentucky, but couldn't hold off the talented Wildcats, losing 85-74 in Lexington. The game was closer than the score indicates, with the Aggies shooting nearly as well as the Cats all game. The 19 turnovers for Texas A&M were the deal breaker, though. TJ Starks and Jay Jay Chandler both had 18 points for the Aggies. The Aggies came back strong with a buzzer-beater win over Alabama, 81-80. Starks struggled mightily in this one, getting his 12 points on 4-17 shooting. He came through when it mattered most, though, banking in a game winning 3 as time expired. Josh Nebo was near perfect, shooting 10-12 en route to a season-high 21 points. The Aggies get Auburn and Mizzou at home this week.

HOUSTON COUGARS (16-1) 3-1 American

Last week (1-1): L- @ Temple 73-69, W- Wichita State 79-70

This week: Wednesday @ SMU, Saturday @ South Florida

Houston tasted defeat for the first time this season, dropping a 73-69 battle with Temple. A late charge call sealed the win for Temple. The game was only the 3rd road game all season for Houston, who has a nation's best home winning streak at 29 games. Senior Breaon Brady's 19 points kept the Cougars in the game on a night when their top two scorers, Armani Brooks and Corey Davis, combined for 6 of 23 shooting. The Coogs bounced back with a 79-70 win over Wichita State. Davis led the way with 20 points in the win, with Brooks adding in 14 more. Houston held Wichita to just 39% shooting in the win. Houston hits the road for matchups against SMU and South Florida this week.

RICE OWLS (7-11) 2-3 CUSA

Last week (0-2): L- @ UTSA 95-79, L- @ UTEP 65-64

This week: Saturday @ North Texas

Rice followed up their first back to back wins in two years with a week of back to back losses. The Owls dropped their game at UTSA, 95-79. Rice shot just 25% from 3-point distance and turned the ball over 15 times. Chris Mullins and Quentin Miller-Brown each had 14 for the Owls in defeat. That was followed up dramatic 65-64 loss to UTEP. The Owls hit a 3-pointer to take a 1 point lead with just 1.5 seconds left. The inbound was knocked out of bounds, so UTEP had a chance to inbound again with .5 seconds left. The 3/4 court inbound was on the money, as was the turnaround jumper that followed it, giving the Miners a 1 point win. Jack Williams led the Owls with 15 points and 11 rebounds in the loss. Rice plays at North Texas on Saturday.

BAYLOR BEARS (10-6) 2-2 Big XII

Last week (1-1):
W- Iowa State 73-70, L- Kansas 73-68, W- Oklahoma State 73-69

This week: Saturday vs. Texas Tech, Monday @ West Virginia

Baylor went 2-1, but their biggest loss of the week won't show up in the standings. Baylor's 2nd leading scorer, Tristan Clark, was lost for the season to a knee injury. He scored 16 points in the 73-70 win over Iowa State. Makai Mason led the team with a season-high 25 points. Mason hit 5 free throws in the last minute to seal the win, and the Bears were 17-20 from the stripe overall. The Bears lost their other game this week, dropping a hard fought 73-68 matchup with Kansas. The Bears cut a 23 point Kansas lead to just 4 with under a minute remaining. Freshman Jared Butler led the Bears with 14 points in defeat. Baylor got a massive showing from King McClure to pace them to a 73-69 win over Oklahoma State on Monday. McClure had 29-points 9 rebounds and 4 assists in the win. He knocked down 7 3-pointer's on the night. The Bears as a team were 15-25 from deep. Jared Butler, starting for the injured Clark, had 16 points in the win. Baylor gets Texas Tech on Saturday and a road trip to West Virginia on Monday.

TCU HORNED FROGS (12-3) 1-2 Big XII

Last week (1-0):
L- @ Kansas 77-68, L- @ Oklahoma 76-74

This week: Tuesday vs. WVU, Saturday @ Kansas State

TCU had its worst week of the season, dropping two road games to drop their conference record to 1-2. First, they lost 77-68 to Kansas in Lawrence. The Frogs killed themselves in this one, turning the ball over 20 times in the loss. The Frogs had five players in double digits, led by RJ Nembhard's 14 points. Things didn't get much better in Norman, OK, where the Frogs blew a 6 point halftime lead and fell to Oklahoma 76-74. Kouat Noi was the lone offensive bright spot for TCU, scoring 30 points on 10-14 shooting. The rest of the Frogs shot 15-58 from the field. TCU gets West Virginia and Kansas State next week.

TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS (15-1) 4-0 Big XII

Last week (2-0): W- vs. Oklahoma 66-59, W- @ Texas 68-62

This week: Wednesday vs. Iowa State, Saturday @ Baylor

Texas Tech again trailed at halftime, and again Jarrett Culver led them back to a victory, 66-59 over Oklahoma. Culver had 23 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Red Raiders back from a halftime deficit. Tech's dominant defense held the Sooners to just 32% shooting and 31% from 3-point distance. They followed it up with a win in Austin, downing the Longhorns 68-62. Matt Mooney led the charge with 22 points. The Red Raiders forced 14 turnovers and only gave up 9. Texas Tech, now 8th in the polls, gets Iowa State and Baylor this week.

SMU MUSTANGS (11-5) 3-1 American

Last week (1-1):
L- @ UConn 76-64, W- Tulsa 77-57

This week: Wednesday vs. Houston, Saturday @ Memphis

SMU started their game at UConn well, but shot their way out of it and ended up getting beat 76-64. SMU shot 23-66 and 3-23 from distance in the loss. Jimmy Whitt, Jr. shot 9-18 for 20 points and 10 rebounds in the loss. Things improved dramatically for the Ponies against Tulsa, winning in blowout fashion, 77-57. Jahmal McMurray led the way scoring 22 points on 7-12 shooting, including 6-11 from 3-point range. McMurray added another double-double scoring 10 points and hauling in 10 rebounds. SMU held the Golden Hurricane to just 36% shooting in the victory. SMU gets Houston and Memphis this week.

LSU TIGERS (12-3) 2-0 SEC

Last week (2-0):
W- Alabama 88-79, W- @ Arkansas 94-88 (OT)

This week: Tuesday @ Ole Miss, Saturday vs. South Carolina

LSU looked well rested after their week off. They started off with an 88-79 win over Alabama. LSU jumped out to a big lead and never looked back. The Tigers hit 10-15 from long range, and hit 49 percentfrom the field overall. Tremont Waters was 6-9 shooting and led the Tigers with 19 points. Kavell Bigby-Williams had 14 points, 13 rebounds and 5 blocks as well. They followed that up with a solid road win against Arkansas, 94-88. Freshman Naz Reid was dominant, with 27 points and 7 rebounds on 10-12 shooting. Again the difference in this game came at the 3-point line, where the Tigers shot 40% and the Hogs shot 19%. LSU goes to Ole Miss on Tuesday and hosts South Carolina on Saturday.

With 3 division winners and a recent championship they should be near the top

Is Houston the top pro sports city in the nation?

Getty Images
Astros World Series photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

It's a great time to be a Houston sports fan. Sure there are always going to be teams and situations that could be better, like the Texans offensive line, but overall it could be a whole lot worse. All 3 of H-town's major sports properties are sitting pretty in their current situation. The Texans, Rockets, and Astros all currently stand as the reigning division winner in their given league and all have a legitimate shot to compete for a championship. OK, realistically two of them do and the third has the makings of a playoff team that could get to that elite status if they draft properly and make a late addition or two. Let's take a look at the squads in the space city and how they stack up with other metropolitan areas of the United States.

Jose Altuve has a 3 home run game against the Red Sox in game one of the ALDS. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Astros are the easiest team on this list to talk about. All they do is win in the last few years including bringing the city its first-ever World Series title just two short years ago. The team never seems to rest on the success of the past and has loaded up and locked down key players to assure that they will be in the hunt for another title this October and be on the scene in the postseason for years to come. Jeff Luhnow and owner Jim Crane used savvy transactions and the financial commitment necessary to keep the good players the had like George Springer, Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, and Carlos Correa and then went out and made moves to get big names like Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Michael Brantly.

A.J. Hinch and Roberto Osuna Bob Levey/Getty Images

They also took chances and ran the risk of losing the luster on all their sparkling success by trading for a much-needed closer in Roberto Osuna who was facing serious legal issues in Toronto. They did their due diligence and plenty of homework to believe he would be cleared of all charges eventually and made the surprising and controversial trade that helped to re-shape their bullpen. Along with Ryan Pressly, another late-season trade acquisition last season, the Astros quickly turned their biggest weakness into another position of strength. Houston, you have a world class baseball team and the organization to keep it that way for years to come.

Hakeem Olajuwon playing for the Houston Rockets in 1993 Photo by Tim DeFrisco/ALLSPORT/Getty Images

The Rockets are a team that can never be questioned when it comes to going for it and chasing championships. When you think back on it, ever since the back-to-back championships in the mid-nineties the team has always aggressively pursued big names like Clyde Drexler, Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen, Tracy McGrady, and Dwight Howard. It hasn't always worked out for them in terms of winning it all, but it always gave them a shot and made them a team to watch nationally.

Chris Paul and James Harden

Things are going well when Paul and Harden are both healthy. Tim Warren/Getty Images

When GM Daryl Morey traded for James Harden and later acquired Chris Paul, it assured the city that they would have one of the top teams in the NBA and a roster equipped to compete with the best in the league, mainly the Golden State Warriors. We all know that if Paul doesn't pull a hamstring last season in the Western Conference Finals we may very well be talking about another title team in our fair city. After a rough start and some missteps with the roster and replacing players lost in free agency, the team has re-tooled and most importantly is healthy heading into another playoff run. With Boogie Cousins going down for the Warriors, this could be the year that the Rockets take down the champs.

Houston Texans Bill O'Brien It's time for a change Kirby Drive. Houston Texans/Facebook

The Texans are the lowest sitting team on the city's list of success stories but not without accomplishments along the way. If the biggest knock on your favorite football team is that it wins its division and then fades away in the postseason, it could be a lot worse. In the past five years, they have had a team that most experts gave a legitimate chance to upset the New England Patriots and represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. We all know how that turned out as the Pats did what they always do when the stage is bigger and the stakes higher. Since then they have managed to win more than they have lost and done what they needed to do to win the division and at the very least, give themselves a chance to compete for a Lombardi trophy. Even last year when it looked like all hope was lost after a horrendous 0-3 start, the team manufactured nine straight wins to secure another playoff birth and the division title. In the process, they were a national story as they broke the record for most consecutive wins after losing their first three contests to start a season.

Bob Levey/Getty Images

Sure it ended prematurely and in disappointment, but not without another successful year and not without providing hope that they will be back if they can improve their offensive line and defensive secondary. The draft is right around the corner and GM Brian Gaine has his hands full and a whole lot of eyes on him and his every move as the team gets prepared to defend one title and compete for another. As long as they have thier franchise quarterback thay will always have a chance.

In looking at the big picture and comparing cities across the nation in their current sporting state, there are not many metro areas that can say they are better than Houston and their 3 teams. Boston is probably the one cut and dried town that can boast better numbers and accomplishments than H-town. The Patriots are a dynasty coming off yet another Super Bowl victory, the Red Sox are the reigning World Series champs and the Celtics made the conference finals last year and are a top 4 seed in this year's playoffs. That's pretty tough to beat. Other than that, there are a whole lot of slight seconds and runners up, starting with the Bayou city. New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles have blatant shortcomings and can't compete. That in itself is worth celebrating. So enjoy the ride H-town, from a sporting perspective, life is good!

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