The University of Texas improbable run to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball run in this year’s tournament came to an end with a 79-65 loss to the Michigan Wolverines. The Longhorns advanced to play the Wolverines by defeating the Arizona State Williams 87-85 with a buzzer beating dunk by Cameron Ridley.
The Longhorns have nothing to hold their heads down. In most preseason polls the Longhorns were picked to finish near the bottom of the conference standing and finished the year with a 24-11 record. With the appearance in the tournament it marks the fifteenth time out of the sixteen years that Rick Barnes has been the head coach of the Longhorns.
The unlikely run will have two very important impacts on the future of the program one economic the other in regaining the respect from the nation’s highly touted recruits. There do not appear to be any turmoil or players that think they are ready for the NBA, as a result the team should come back intact next season.
The team had plenty of heart, but there is definite areas of improvements that are needed to make the team even more competitive in the long run. The first area is to improve the talent level on the bench. Most starters had to play extended minutes, because there would have been a big drop off on the court with a substitution.
Another area for improvement is for another consistent outside shooter. This will allow for even better production from the inside play of Ridley and Johnathan Holmes. These two players did all of the little things that were necessary for the team to achieve the success that the team had this season.
The second benefit for the Longhorns will be economic. Every year a team makes the NCAA tournament they receive a payout from the NCAA basketball fund for the next six years. The payout is determined by the number of games that the school plays in the tournament.
This year the fund will distribute $194 million to the Division One conferences. Conferences get a tournament unit for every non-championship game played by a conference member in those six years of the tournament. A tournament unit is projected to be worth $250,106 this year. So if teams from the Big 12 played a combined 35 tournament games over those six years, then the conference will receive $8.75 million. Depending on the revenue sharing formula with the conference will determine the amount the school will receive each year.
This is all made possible by the $10.8 billion television contract the NCAA is in with CBS-TV. This has lead to a saturation of the airwaves from advertisers trying to get your attention. Advertisers pitch range from humor with CDW and their head spokesman Charles Barkley to purchasing computer equipment. While others lend toward intellectual with Dove Men’s Care campaign headed up by Villanova head coach Jay Wright by making good decisions.
Barnes this year’s Big 12 coach of the year has made great decisions all year in making a group of individuals into a very respectable team and making it into the third round of this year’s tournament.