Originally Published: Mar 9, 2011 10:3 PM CDT
I landed here this afternoon at around 2 and immediately felt like I was in a different world. Its so close to Mexico! For those of you who havent been here, its on the border with our neighbors to the south and the influence spills into the streets here. Cantinas to the left. Taco trucks to the right. Ive seen sombreros and cactus and mustaches.
Oh, and its hot here.
The heat is turned up on the court as well. This is going to be a very competitve tournament. All of the teams are very evenly matched. As I type this, SMU and Rice are battling it out in a 1 point game in the first half. Whoever advances could give TU trouble tomorrow.
I spoke with Doug Wojcik and C Steven Idlet earlier today after the teams evening practice. Both looked eager. They sounded ready. All this sitting around is getting to be pretty boring. The team wants to play and prove that theyre worth of the #2 seed.
The thing that stuck out to me is how relaxed the players were. They jokes and goofed with each other after practice and were all smiles loading onto the team bus for dinner. Even when theyre just a few hours away from a do-or-die game, they were still having fun.
The moment hasnt gotten to them yet. To me, thats important. I expected to see a team that was maybe a little nervous with all that is riding on this week. That couldnt be more from the case.
Idlet said he personally needs to stay focused and get out of foul trouble. He wants to be in the paint so that he can score more for his team. He hasnt been doing that as much as hes wanted this season. I expect him to have a big game on Thursday.
Right now, its hard to pick a winner for tomorrows game because we dont know who TU will play yet. TU has had a lot of success agaisnt both SMU and Rice in recent games. 17-1 combined in fact .That doesnt guarantee a trip to the next round.
Wojcik is pumped. You can tell. So am I. I am ready for tip off.