LONE STAR SHOWDOWN
HOW WE GOT HERE
IF TEXAS WERE ancient Greece, culture-rich Austin would be its Athens, while College Station, where Texas A&M was founded as an all-male military school, would be its Sparta. The cities' college hoops programs fit the analogy as well: The Longhorns adopted a free-flowing offense last season to better suit player of the year Kevin Durant and his sidekick D.J. Augustin, while the Aggies played defense with boot-camp intensity under former coach Billy Gillispie. A one-sided conflict for years—Texas leads the series, 128--80—A&M announced its revival as a worthy rival in one dramatic moment on March 1, 2006. Acie Law's buzzer-beating three-pointer, known simply as The Shot, toppled Texas in College Station and helped the Aggies earn their first NCAA tournament bid in 19 years. Law and Durant then waged two classic duels in 2007: At A&M, Law had 21 points and 15 assists in a victory; at Texas, Durant had 30 points and 16 boards to win in double overtime.
Year the Longhorns and the Aggies began playing each other in basketball.
EVERY STARTER for both teams attended a Texas high school, and Texas coach Rick Barnes (left) duked it out with A&M for top recruit DeAndre Jordan. The 7-footer out of Houston landed in College Station—along with his AAU coach, Byron Smith, who's on new Aggies coach Mark Turgeon's staff.
TALKING THE TALK