ARLINGTON, Texas - It's a pretty early morning for the Pioneers. With an afternoon game, the shoot around started at 8 a.m.
After Saturday's game, everyone loaded onto the bus and settled in for a four-hour ride to the Dallas area. There are flights from Shreveport to DFW, but it would have actually taken more time, so it was nice to get the trip out of the way, even if it meant pulling into the hotel at 2 a.m.
The hotel itself is pretty literally in the shadows of the Dallas Cowboys football stadium, an absolutely enormous facility that is preparing for the Cotton Bowl between Oklahoma and Texas A&M later this week (it's also the site of next year's Final Four).
Next door, the Texas Rangers ballpark sits, looking tiny in comparison.
After the late-night bus ride, the team slept in a bit before grabbing breakfast and heading to the College Park Center for a 90-minute practice.
It was nice having an extra day here, since Chris Udofia (Irving, Texas), Chase Hallam (Mesquite, Texas) and Bryant Rucker (Frisco, Texas) are all from the Dallas area, and Royce O'Neale (Killeen, Texas) and Jalen Love (Wichita, Kan.) live close enough to have family drive in for the game. The extra day meant a little extra time to relax with their friends and family, many of whom will be in the arena today.
Hopefully, the guys give them a good show.
Happy New Year everybody. See you at Magness Arena in 2013.
About Texas-Arlington: Like Denver, UT-Arlington is in the WAC for this year only. They were in the Southland Conference, where they won three league titles and went to the NCAA Tournament in 2008. Next season, the Mavericks head to the Sun Belt.
With about 33,500 students, UTA is sixth-largest college in the state, which is saying something in Texas.
The school has gone through significant changes throughout the years. It opened in 1895 as a small private college of 75 students for the people of Arlington, which at the time was a recently founded rural town.
Seven years later, it transformed into a military training school until 1917, when it joined Texas A&M as an agricultural junior college. In 1959, the school expanded to a four-year college, and finally it joined the University of Texas system in 1967.
In addition to the men's and women's basketball teams, UTA sponsors theMovin' Mavs, a wheelchair basketball team that has won seven national titles.
UTA's alumni base includes Country Music Hall of Famer Ray Price; LouDiamond Phillips, who starred in La Bamba and Young Guns; Major League Baseball players John Lackey and Hunter Pence; and Keith Alcorn, the Cartoonist that created Jimmy Neutron, among others.
Yearly travel totals:
Total Flights - 10
Total Mileage by Air - 9,226
Total Mileage by Bus - 1,059
Total Number of Hotels - 7
Total Number of Different Airports - 6
Total Number of Airline Delays - 4
Streak of Road Trips With At Least One Airline Delay - 4
Total Number of Cancelled Flights - 0
Total Number of Bags Lost - 0
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