The Morning After is our semi-daily recap of the night's best basketball action. Try not to make it awkward.
No. 10 Texas 72, Oklahoma State 60: There's a reason Jordan Hamilton arrived in Austin ranked in most recruiting scouts' top 10. Before Monday night, Texas fans were wondering why. Monday night, they got their answer. Hamilton went off for 27 points on 11-of-16 shooting -- including 5-of-8 from beyond the arc -- to lead the Longhorns to a 12-point win in a tough environment on the road. Hamilton was supposed to be the fresh-legs foil to Texas uber-freshman Avery Bradley. Until Monday night, that hadn't happened, and Texas coach Rick Barnes was almost as frustrated with Hamilton as Texas' fans, which is why Hamilton sat for 38 minutes in Texas' loss to Baylor Saturday. Monday night was a statement -- to his coaches, to his teammates, and to Texas fans: Hi. I'm Jordan Hamilton. I can score. You should be aware. We're aware now, Jordan. We hear you loud and clear.
Hamilton picked a good time to figure things out. Texas desperately needed a win, any win, and a win over a tough Oklahoma State team on the road will do just fine. Texas was efficient on offense, didn't turn the ball over, and rebounded enough of its misses to stay one step ahead of a pesky Cowboys front line. It wasn't perfect, but it was pretty darn good. Given the past two weeks' results, I have a feeling Texas will take it.
Louisville 82, Connecticut 69: I'm not one to whine about college basketball games and the entertainment therein -- if the brutally long offseason has taught me anything, it's to appreciate whatever hoops you have while you have it -- but I'm tempted to make an exception here. Why? Because not only could this game have been one of the best of the season had either of these teams lived up to advance billing, but it could have at least been close, right? At least both teams were similar, yes? Not so much: Louisville is much better per possession than UConn, but doesn't have the wins to show for it, and last night proved why. The only intriguing question here is whether Louisville figured out how to play defense, or if UConn was just that cold from the field. If it's the latter, oh well. If it's the former, maybe the Cardinals have enough to make a run at the tournament after all.