College basketball is finally here! I pretty excited about this basketball for several reasons but probably the most because of the games I will hopefully get to see. I've got a couple of different trips planned to see some different teams and new arenas. Plus there are always last minute adds, like the Baylor game yesterday.
I originally planned on only going to Austin to see the Longhorns on opening day but with Baylor playing at 11:00 AM it was possible to see both games. So over the weekend I decided to go for it and bought a cheap ticket to see Baylor open the season against Central Arkansas.
It wasn't supposed to be a close game, and it wasn't, but I just wanted to get in the gym and see some hoops. There was a decent crowd for an unusually early weekday game but it was made up for with around 4,000 elementary kids attending the game. They filled the majority of the upper half of the arena's seats and made up about 85% of the crowd noise. There was a constant buzz that you probably wouldn't have experienced otherwise at an 11:00 AM Tuesday game. And it kind of made it fun.
My seat was on row 10 but I moved up a few to get a little closer. Baylor did very well for a season opener and I thought they looked like a top team in the Big 12. Before the season I expected them to be in the upper tier with Kansas and Texas Tech. They have 4 really good guards and once Tristan Clark comes back fully from his knee injury they will have a another formidable big man.
Baylor won 105-61 and I was off to Austin to see the University of Texas open it's season at 7:00. Along the way I took part in a Texas tradition and stopped at Buc-ee's on I-35. We don't have them on many of the routes I travel from Abilene so it was necessary.
I was not sure what to expect from the Texas Longhorns that evening. We had 2 seniors depart from the previous season and have appeared to have problems scoring the last few seasons. I was hopeful with a few older guys and the addition of Andrew Jones, alongside some freshmen, we might have a solid team.
Texas won 69-45 and Andrew Jones scored a career high 20 points after returning from 18 months of fighting cancer. With our other two guards, Matt Coleman and Courtney Ramey, playing very well and scoring the ball I am optimistic about the rest of the season. Even with a blowout win I was just pumped to be in the gym and get the season started.
I'm not sure of the next trip to Austin for a basketball game but I have a 3 game road trip planned for the beginning of December and should be a fun one with 2 new arenas to add to the growing list of venues I've seen games at.