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Things That Have Happened Since Texas Last Missed The NCAA Tournament

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The last time the Texas Longhorns missed the NCAA Tournament was the 1997-98 season. After the season, Tom Penders was kicked to the curb, and Rick Barnes was brought in to vitalize (no re-) the program. Since 1998, the Longhorns have made fourteen consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, a remarkable achievement that oft goes overlooked. Since 1998, the following awesome and not-so-awesome things have happened. That should put into perspective what Barnes has done for this program.

  • Tom Penders was hired by the University of Houston.
  • Under Penders, the University of Houston made one NCAA Tournament appearance (thanks to an inexplicable C-USA Tournament Title run). It was the Cougars' first NCAA appearance since 1992, when they were still a member of the Southwest Conference.
  • Tom Penders was fired by the University of Houston immediately following a first-round NCAA Tournament exit. Err, excuse me: "resigned."
  • The Oklahoma Sooners have missed the NCAA Tournament five times. Ha ha ha ha!
  • The Longhorn basketball program has been the regular season conference champion three times. The Longhorn football program has been the conference champion twice.
  • The Kansas basketball program has been the regular season conference champion ten times. The Oklahoma football program has been the conference champion seven times.
  • The Texas Longhorns, under Rick Barnes, have made one Final Four (in 2003). Texas' previous Final Four appearance was 1947.
  • The Kentucky Wildcats, the winningest program in basketball history, has made one Final Four (in 2011). Kentucky's previous Final Four appearance was 1998. And 1997. And 1996. And 1993. And 1984...
  • Kentucky hired Billy Clyde Gillispie from Texas A&M. Seriously.
  • Kentucky fired Billy Clyde Gillispie, who then took a job at Texas Tech.
  • Kentucky has had three coaches to Texas' one.
  • T.J. Ford won two UIL 5A State Championships with Fort Bend Willowridge.
  • T.J. Ford led Texas to its First Final Four in 56 years in the 2002-03 season.
  • T.J. Ford became the second Longhorn ever drafted in the Lottery, going 8th overall in 2003 (Chris Mihm went 7th in 2000).
  • T.J. Ford, sadly, retired.
  • T.J. Ford was (and still is) kind of awesome.
  • Since Ford was drafted, the Longhorns have had 5 more players picked in the Lottery, 9 played drafted in the first round, and 12 drafted overall. Including Ford, Mihm, Kris Clack (1999), and Chris Owens (2002), Texas has had a total of 16 players drafted in the Rick Barnes era.
  • Leslie died.
  • The Wendy's Guy moved home.
  • They built an American Apparel on the Drag.
  • Rick Barnes signed 13 McDonald's High School All-Americans, nine of whom have gone on to play in the NBA. The list includes C.J. Miles, who declared for the NBA Draft straight out of high school, and Myck Kabongo, who will become number ten on the NBA list. Prior to Barnes, Texas had signed a grand total of one McDonald's All-American (Kris Clack in 1995).
  • Kevin Durant was drafted 2nd overall in 2007, the highest ever Longhorn draft pick. (Ed. Note: Intrepid readers have pointed out I forgot about LaMarcus Aldridge, who was also drafted 2nd overalll and is also kind of awesome.)
  • Both T.J. Ford and Kevin Durant won the Naismith and Wooden National Player of the Year awards in 2003 and 2007, respectively, becoming the first and second Longhorns to be so honored.
  • Kevin Durant led the NBA in scoring in 2010 (and 2011!), becoming the youngest NBA scoring leader in league history, and the first ex-Longhorn to accomplish that feat.
  • Kevin Durant continues to throw up his Horns, even in the state of Oklahoma.
  • Kevin Durant was (and still is) kind of awesome.
  • Britney Spears.
  • Hannah Montana.
  • Ke$ha.
  • TCU jumped from the WAC to C-USA.
  • TCU jumped from C-USA to the MWC.
  • TCU jumped from the MWC to the Big East.
  • TCU reneged on its agreement to join the Big East in order to jump to the Big 12.
  • TCU was scheduled to become Texas' Thanksgiving Day opponent in football, the first non-Aggie opponent for Texas on Thanksgiving weekend since 1994 (Baylor).
  • Texas A&M planned to continue to use Texas' name in its fight song and reference TCU in its mascot name, despite the fact that Texas A&M will play neither team now that it is a member of the "vaunted" SEC.
  • Clipper Cooper rose to prominence.
  • Clipper Cooper may or may not have spent time in a Tijuana prison.
  • Clipper Cooper may or may not currently still be in a Tijuana prison. Only Scipio knows for sure and he's not telling.
  • Kansas won the National Championship in 2008. The Jayhawks have been to the Final Four three times since 1998.
  • The only other Big 12 school to make the Final Four in the Rick Barnes era, besides Kansas and Texas, was Oklahoma (2002). (Ed. Note: 2004 Oklahoma St. Tony Allen'd.)
  • Texas has made five Sweet 16 appearances, but none since 2008.
  • Baylor swept the Longhorns in football, men's basketball, and women's basketball in one calendar year (if I didn't write it down, in twenty years, no one would believe this actually happened).
  • But Texas is on the precipice of winning the National Championships in football and men's basketball in the same academic calendar year. Most likely 2013, but 2012 works too. Hey, hope springs eternal.