MJ in Austin: It's nice down here
Each day he's in Austin covering the Illini, beat writer Marcus Jackson will check in:
Howdy from chilly Austin, where the high temperature today was 73 degrees. Seriously, it was 90 degrees earlier this week, so the 17-degree drop is considered a cold snap in this part of the country.
The temperature was 15 when I woke up in Chicago Wednesday morning. I was sweating in my light jacket and long-sleeved t-shirt when I walked outside here.
OK, enough about the weather, I know you’re suffering back in the Midwest.
Traffic here in the state capital is a nightmare. It took me more than a half hour to make the 9-mile drive from Austin-Bergstron International to my hotel just off Interstate-35.
I found out the Illinois basketball team is staying across the parking lot from me at the Marriott. The Illini used the Longhorns’ practice facility for a workout Wednesday and then had dinner downtown.
The local CBS affiliate, KEYE, had a 30-minute special tonight about the NCAAs in Austin. It was well done. They had footage from all eight teams’ media sessions from earlier in the week and they caught up with Minnesota coach Tubby Smith in the parking lot at the team hotel.
Rick Barnes’ disappointing Longhorns played a CBI game at Houston on Wednesday. The local sports guys aren’t fans of the Horns playing in the tournament.
Things kick off here today with media day and open practice sessions. There’s some concern here as to whether the 16,734-seat Erwin Center will be full for Friday’s game. Texas averaged 10,945 fans for home games. “This is a college football city,” one of the local television guys said.
Talk to y’all later,