Target Centermass


US Open: Agassi Farewell Tour Reaches 3rd Round

Filed under: — Gunner @ 12:30 am

It’s the last hurrah for my second-favorite tennis player ever (behind only the amazingly entertaining Jimmy Connors), as Andre Agassi competes in what he has deemed his final U.S. Open and last appearance on the tour.

Tonight — okay, actually last night time-wise — he pulled an upset against an eighth-seed who couldn’t even read when Andre turned pro, advancing to the third round in dramatic five-set fashion.

How about that? Andre Agassi, 36 years old and burdened by a bad back, held up better than the kid across the net in a thriller that will be talked about for years.

Buoyed by a cortisone injection, along with a raucous, sellout crowd that boosted his spirits when things suddenly looked bleak as could be, Agassi extended his career for at least one more match by beating eighth-seeded Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 5-7, 7-5 at the U.S. Open.

They traded stinging strokes for nearly four hours as Thursday night became Friday, and it was the 21-year-old Baghdatis who broke down physically, his body contorted by cramps in both thighs during an eight-deuce, four-break-point game that Agassi eventually held to lead 5-4 in the fifth. Later, Baghdatis used the chair umpire’s stand to stretch his aching legs.

And there was Agassi, still hustling to reach seemingly unreachable shots, responding with winners, and skipping out to the baseline to start games at his record 21st consecutive Open — one for each year of Baghdatis’ life.

“Tonight has been another example of moments you’re not guaranteed,” Agassi said.

When it was over, they shook hands at the net, then embraced. And Agassi was quick to thank the 23,700 or so of his closest friends who sure are enjoying quite a ride right along with him at Flushing Meadows.

Another match, another chance on the stage ensured. The farewell bows will come, but I’d rather they wait just a bit.


College Football Is Back

Filed under: — Gunner @ 10:44 pm


The 2006 season officially launched today, and I’ve already grabbed a bit of couch-tater time this evening watching South Carolina down Mississippi State 15-love.

Full-scale madness starts Saturday, although I’m not hoping for much of a game for my Aggies in their opener against Citadel.

Ah, but I do love this time of year.


Aggie Hoops at the Dance: A&M Falls in Second Round’s Final Seconds

Filed under: — Gunner @ 10:37 pm

Ah, last night brought such a heart-breaking loss, ending the Aggies’ season when they were only seconds away from the Sweet Sixteen.

LSU calls the play “special,” and Darrel Mitchell ran it to perfection.

With the clock running out on his team’s hopes, the Tigers’ lone senior made a long 3-pointer with 3.9 seconds remaining to give the Southeastern Conference regular-season champions a 58-57 victory over Texas A&M on Saturday in the second round of the Atlanta Region.


The victory sends fourth-seeded LSU (25-8) to the regional semifinals against top-seed Duke (32-3) on Thursday night.

Davis led LSU with 21 points, including a key basket in the final minute. Mitchell finished with 16.

The Tigers seemingly were in control when Mitchell made two foul shots for a 53-46 lead with 3:31 to go. But No. 12 seed Texas A&M (22-9), in the tournament for the first time since 1987, wasn’t ready to go home.

The Aggies wiped out the seven-point deficit over the next 91 seconds, then went ahead 55-53 on Joseph Jones’ jump hook in the lane.

“That’s how it’s been all year. Things ain’t always going to go well for us,” Law said. “Coach always tells us to stick with it, continue to fight, continue to fight. We played a bad game. We weren’t ourselves tonight, but we continued to fight.”


Law finished with 15 points on 5-for-16 shooting. Kavaliauskas added 12 for the Aggies.

The Aggies were in the second round of the tournament for only the third time, and their victory over Syracuse was their first in the NCAAs since their only trip to a regional semifinal in 1980.

Despite the loss, the Aggies clearly have a program on the rise under coach Billy Gillispie, the former Bill Self assistant who inherited a team that was winless in the Big 12 and won seven games overall two years ago.

“This will leave a sour taste in our mouths. But it doesn’t take away from the year we had,” Law said.

“A lot of people didn’t expect us to do what we did. We finished in fourth place and got 10 wins in the Big 12 and got our first Big 12 Tournament victory. … We had an outstanding year, but unfortunately for us, we didn’t finish out the year the way we wanted to.”

All this just two seasons removed from an 0-16 Big 12 campaign. Yes, this is certainly a program on the rise.

Thanks for the thrills and constant effort, Ags. I’m glad I finally got to watch my alma mater in March Madness.


Six Meat March Madness Update

Filed under: — Gunner @ 11:23 pm

Well, yesterday was good for the ol’ Gunner, as I found myself all alone in first place.

Unfortunately, day two has been not so kind to my picks.


Aggie Hoops at the Dance: A&M Wins Opener

Filed under: — Gunner @ 11:26 pm

There’s always something magical about the 5-12 seeding matchup. Ags win 66-58.

Next up in round two: border rival LSU.

Aggie Hoops at the Dance: Game 1 Last Minute

Filed under: — Gunner @ 10:59 pm

Ags up.

Crap. This is killing me.

Aggie Hoops at the Dance: Game 1 Halftime

Filed under: — Gunner @ 9:48 pm

Texas A&M leads Syracuse 33-24. Whoooop!

They may not win, but the Aggies have certainly come to play and have shown themselves worthy of the ticket to the tourney. Feel free to watch the second half if you enjoy a team that plays a tight man defense, hustles after every loose ball and gives constant effort.

Gig’em, Ags!


That Time of the Year

Filed under: — Gunner @ 11:52 pm

Sorry, folks, no real blogging tonight. I’ve been busy filling out my March Madness brackets. One bracket for the blogosphere, free of charge courtesy of Six Meat Buffet. Three for the office pool at ten bucks a pop. Hey, I won it all in 2000 and figure I’m financially ahead of the curve for many, many years to come.

Just so I can look like an idiot, I’ll go ahead and publish my probably pathetic prognostications.

Office #1:
Final Four — Duke, Gonzaga, UConn, BC
Finals — Duke, UConn
Champ — Duke
Texas A&M reaches the Sweet 16 (hey, I said there might be a toll to be paid by their reaching the Dance)

Office #2:
Final Four — Texas, Memphis, UConn, Florida
Finals — Texas (grrrrr! that hurt to enter), UConn
Champ — UConn
A&M falls to ‘Cuse in the first round

Office #3 (went somewhat wacko):
Final Four — LSU, Pitt, UConn, ‘Nova
Finals — Pitt, ‘Nova
Champ — ‘Nova
A&M falls to LSU but loves their first NCAA tourney win since 1980

Six Meat Buffet’s Basketball Challenge:
Same as Office #1 but with UConn winning the championship over Duke


March Madness, Blogosphere Style

Filed under: — Gunner @ 10:20 pm

Six Meat Buffet‘s Preston Taylor Holmes has announced that it’s time for the 2006 Six Meat Basketball Challenge.

The brackets were just released. Number one seeds include Duke, UConn, Memphis and Villanova. Are you ready to rumble? I think so.

We’re bringing back the Six Meat Basketball Challenge this year. Last year, you may remember, The Kid from Deliverance won the whole thing, which got him a custom ad graphic and a month-long ad at Six Meat Buffet at the top of our sidebar. This must have sent a month-long avalanche of traffic from which he barely recovered. We had 11 participants last year – let’s get more involved this year.

Need some help with your brackets? Here’s a list of twenty tips for ya.

Need another tip? Always bet on black! No, wait, that’s a tip for roulette. No, wait again, that’s just an asinine line from a crappy movie. Oh … never mind.


Aggie Hoops: Dancing Again at Last

Filed under: — Gunner @ 10:25 pm

It was spring break of my freshman year. The Texas A&M basketball team had reached the NCAA tournament after surprisingly winning the Southwest Conference tournament as the eighth seed. I was unable to see the Aggies first-round NCAA game against Duke, which they lost.

That was 1987. Since then, the Southwest Conference has retreated into collegiate athletic history. In the many years since, I’ve not had another chance to watch the Ags in an NCAA tourney game. That is, ’til now.

Texas A&M waited 19 years for a trip back to the NCAA tournament, so what was another few minutes?

The Aggies (21-8) joined about 350 fans in a conference room in Reed Arena to watch this year’s pairings show on Sunday night. After only a few nervous moments, Texas A&M was one of the first names that appeared, drawing a No. 12 seed and a matchup with fifth-seeded Syracuse (23-11) on Thursday in Jacksonville, Fla.

The room exploded with cheers as coach Billy Gillispie raised both arms with clenched fists. His players embraced and danced around him as dozens of cameras flashed.

“You just hope and hope and hope and pray,” said Gillispie, finishing his second season. “We were just lucky to have our name come up.”

The 46-year-old Gillispie nearly broke down in tears three times as he addressed the fans from a podium.

“Y’all know me,” he said, “I get emotional. It’s always great to have your name called on that show.”

The Aggies will make their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1987, two years after the field was expanded to 64 teams. Texas A&M lost to Duke 58-51 in the first round in Indianapolis, the site of this year’s Final Four.

The Aggies, 3-7 in the NCAA tournament, made their deepest run in 1980, beating Duke and North Carolina before losing to eventual champion Louisville 66-55 in the Sweet 16.

None of the past mattered on Sunday night.

“Six months of basketball for this opportunity,” said senior guard Chris Walker. “You can’t even put words on how it feels.”

The only history many Aggies were recalling on Sunday night was the 7-21 record in 2003-04.

When Gillispie replaced Melvin Watkins, he visited guard Acie Law and his family at their home in Dallas. Gillispie promised Law that he would get the Aggies to the NCAA tournament.

When Law took the podium on Sunday night, he looked at Gillispie and thanked him.

“Words don’t describe how I’m feeling,” Law said.


Now, the question that remains is this: how much will finally having Texas A&M involved affect how I fill out my March Madness brackets?

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