Posted by Ryan Clark at 5:36AM

Now that LRT is in its third year of existence, it’s a known fact that there will be a rough stretch of traveling hidden somewhere in each season’s schedule. The first year, it was an eight day span that included trips to Stillwater, Philadelphia, and Lincoln. Last year, it was two lengthy trips via car to Norman and Iowa State just days apart.

This season, that time is right now. Fresh off the heels of a there-and-back shot to Lincoln, this weekend has given us the pleasure of a Saturday contest in Boulder followed by a tilt in College Station just two days later. It’s sometimes tough to look forward to a game when you’ve just spent nearly as many hours in a car (33) as you did in the mountain town you visited (39). It’s often even tougher to look forward to that following game on just over an hour of sleep, especially when you consider the recent losing streak Texas has enjoyed on its road trips to College Station (4). We’re certainly not complaining, but when your brain is running on sleep debt, these are the kinds of numbers that run through your head.

For now, it’s off to work where we’ll pound the energy drinks and look forward to the possibility of exorcising the Reed Arena demons that have haunted Texas. We’ll be back this afternoon with a brief refresher on the Aggies, but in the meantime you can revisit the game preview from the first match-up in Austin.

Posted by Ryan Clark at 4:53AM

We leave Austin Bergstrom International Airport in a little more than three hours, the first step in a very long day filled with tarmacs, cramped legs, and fattening airport fast food. But it all leads up to an incredible week in Hawaii that includes luaus, snorkeling, hiking, and three Longhorn basketball games. I suppose that’s a fair trade.

Sometime this weekend we’ll take a look back at Tulane and a look ahead to St. Joe’s, although we’re sure that all Texas eyes will be focused on the football game in Norman. But in between the beers and the Corn Nuts, swing on by Longhorn Road Trip to see what’s new. Hopefully there will be some Hawaii pictures and trip logs mixed in with fresh basketball coverage.

Happy Friday, y’all. I’m off to Maui!

Posted by Ryan Clark at 11:18PM

Just forty-five minutes shy of midnight, we finally arrived in Kansas City — well, Leawood, Kansas, to be precise — ready for tomorrow’s games, but carrying heavy hearts. On Thursday, March 13th at roughly 12:30 P.M., the hardy and well-traveled Road-trip-mobile finally died.

I suppose technically it’s still alive. But after exiting the highway in Crandall, Texas, it refused to hit anything higher than 1000 RPM. The car lurched and groaned, protesting against the short quarter-mile I still needed it to travel. It sputtered down the tiny back-country road at a painful crawl that makes ghost riding the whip look like a high-speed chase. Inch by inch we trudged towards Austin’s house, fingers crossed that I wouldn’t have to push the heap the rest of the way. And by the time I finally coasted into the driveway, Suri Cruise was a legal adult.

But thankfully Grant had driven cross-state from Lubbock to meet me, and we switched cars for the rest of the journey. I’m not sure how we’ll get the thing back to Austin, or how I’ll get to work next week, or even how we’ll travel to the first weekend of the NCAA tournament. But I do know that there’s three days of exciting basketball ahead of us, and that’s what I’m looking forward to.

So let’s take a moment of silence for a good car. Whether the destination was Dallas, Austin, Spokane, Manhattan, Oklahoma City, Ames, Lawrence (twice), College Station (thrice), Atlanta (twice), Norman (thrice), Stillwater (four times), or just Hut’s Hamburgers down on West 6th, the Road-trip-mobile got the job done. And that’s more than I can say for Lindsay Lohan’s publicist.

Posted by Ryan Clark at 5:33PM

Just checking in for a few minutes after work, as we’ll soon be hitting the road for a special late-season roadie. Texas A&M visits the Ferrell Center tonight to face Baylor in a game with huge bubble implications, and Longhorn Road Trip will be there.

At the moment, both teams seem to be safe for the NCAAs, but a slip tonight could mean that the Aggies head to Kansas City as losers of six out of seven. With every upset in a mid-major tournament stealing a bid from the bubble, Mark Turgeon’s team can’t afford that trend.

For Baylor, a win would solidify their résumé and practically ensure a first-round bye in the Big 12 Tournament. It is also Senior Night for the Bears, which means that Aaron Bruce and Mark Shepherd will be playing their last game in the Golden Nipple. Take all of these storylines, mix in the hated Aggies as the opponents, and Waco should be absolutely rocking tonight.

A few notes on the Nebraska win will be headed your way late tonight or sometime tomorrow, along with a report on the trip to Waco.

Posted by Ryan Clark at 3:16AM

It’s moments like these that I sometimes question my sanity. Rolling into Austin at 3 in the morning with a ten-hour shift calling my name at 5:30 A.M. Realizing I have to get in a car before the sun comes up tomorrow morning and drive 16 hours to Ames, Iowa by myself only to watch a game, check out their campus, and turn around to go back home. Looking at the hours of footage of the Cyclones I have saved on the DVR and wondering when exactly I’m supposed to sleep. These are the moments where I think maybe this is all just a little bit crazy.

But then I think about the incredible things I’ve experienced over the last season-and-a-half on this journey. Sixty-four consecutive games. Kenton Paulino’s buzzer-beater to go to the Elite Eight. The triple-OT thriller in Stillwater. Double-OT victory over the Aggies. A 72-hour round-trip adventure to Spokane, Washington that I’ll never forget. Thirty-plus games of seeing Kevin Durant. In person. Damion James’ dunk to silence the Pauley Pavilion crowd. These are the things that keep me going. Well, those things and a lot of energy drinks.

For now, I’ve got to try to cram in an hour or so of sleep, but I’ll get to the OU wrap later this afternoon. I’ve still got that ISU tape to watch and some service to do on the car, so there’s no telling when it will all get done. But check back here for more Texas basketball coverage before I hit I-35 yet again only 24 hours from now.

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