It's the most bracket-filled time of the year, and thousands across America are shifting from friends to enemies as they place their bets on the 2022 NCAA Championship basketball tournament starting Tuesday.
Despite getting edged out of its second straight Big 12 championship in a TCU upset, the No. 25 University of Texas men's basketball team is headed to the NCAA Championship for the second year in a row. They'll play as the sixth seed against 11th-seed Virginia Tech to kick off the first round of the tournament at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
Want some March Madness on your home turf? The No. 2 Longhorn women's program will have a last hurrah at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin as they take on No. 15 Fairfield for the first round of the women's championship at 7 p.m. Friday.
Here's a look at both teams and tournaments, some bracket bets and where to watch the biggest tournament in college basketball:
Texas mens' basketball
The Longhorns are headed to their second straight NCAA Championship with redemption on the mind: the club won its first Big 12 Championship tournament in history last season against rival Oklahoma only to be thwarted by underdog team Abilene Christian University in the first March Madness round in 2021.
The team is ranked at 25th overall and sits as a sixth seed in the NCAA East. If it beats 11th seed Virginia Tech (23-12), it'll advance to the NCAA Round of 32 for the first time since 2014 to play the winner of Purdue and Yale.
The Longhorns are joined by four other Texas teams, including three of its Big 12 opponents.
First year head coach Chris Beard likely won't see his former team Texas Tech in the tournament. The rivalry team, which has sowed a deep sense of betrayal against their former leader and beat the Longhorns twice in hotly-contested regular season games, is secured as a third seed in the NCAA West.
If the team advances to the NCAA East final, it could take on rival Baylor, the No. 1 team to beat. Houston and ninth seed foe TCU take up residency in the NCAA South, while two Texas teams, Texas Southern and Texas A&M- Corpus Christi, are kicking off the tournament in the First Four round at 5:40 p.m. Tuesday.
The Longhorns face 'a really tough challenge’ ahead of them against the Virginia Tech Hokies as they look to shake off a three-game losing streak in the first round game at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
Texas womens' basketball
Meanwhile, Texas women's basketball is facing a different story as they head into the 2022 NCAA Championship—the first women's NCAA championship to ever host a full 68-team bracket like the men's tournament.
The Longhorns most recently toppled No. 1 seed Baylor from the Big 12 throne to take their first conference title in nearly 20 years Sunday. The team is hot off an 11-game win streak as they head into the tournament as the No. 2 seed against 15th seed Fairfield.
They'll hold the home court advantage, too, taking on the first-round foe as one of six matchups hosted at UT's Frank Erwin Center.
The team will need to beat out first seed team Stanford on their way to the top if they plan to avenge their 2021 loss in the Elite Eight round of the tournament. Fellow Texas teams UT Arlington, Stephen F. Austin and rival Baylor are in the tournament, but they wouldn't be eligible to see any Lone Star foe until the final round of the competition.
The two No. 2 seeds—Baylor and Texas—could once again see each other in another tight battle if both advance to the finals, which would mark the Longhorns' first appearance in the final round since 1986.
Check out the full schedule here.
Whether you're an underdog-lover or looking to place a safe bet, it can be hard to predict the outcome of the tournament. Many sites, including the Washington Post, have used careful calculations to predict tournament results.
Looking for an easy win? You'll be hard-pressed to find a more favored team than No. 1 Gonzaga, which is projected by some to have a nearly 30 percent chance of taking the tournament. Other top contenders include Arizona and Kansas.
If you're looking to support a Texas team and your Tech hate doesn't run too deep, the Red Raiders may be your best bet at a Texas team taking the tournament, while the No. 5 University of Houston could pose a threat in the NCAA South.
Meanwhile, the womens' bracket could see Texas take it all. Some safer bets include South Carolina, defending champions Stanford, or No. 1 seeds NC State and Louisville.
How to watch
Want some in-person March Madness action? Tickets for the Longhorn women's first round game are currently $30 a pop.
If you're looking for gameday cheer—and plenty of beer—head to popular sports haunts like Longhorn hub School Biergarten, Black Sheep Lodge and Haymaker Austin, all sports hubs with beer specials and more during the tournament. Click here for more March Madness sports pubs around Austin.
The first and second rounds of the men's championship will air on CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV, while the women's first and second rounds will take place on ESPN2.
- From Longhorns to the USMNT: 5 sports NFTs kicking off in Austin's ... ›
- UT Austin basketball season tickets for sale at Moody Center ... ›
- UT basketball takes on Texas Tech in Lubbock rivalry game - austonia ›
- Texas Tech's Chris Beard coming to coach at UT - austonia ›
- Longhorns basketball jumps in rankings after Kansas win - austonia ›
- March Madness begins with UT as No. 3 seed in NCAA Tournament ... ›
- Dell Match Play, NASCAR and Longhorns women basketball recaps - austonia ›
- No. 7/9 Women's Basketball tops Kansas State, 72-65, in Big 12 ... ›
- Women's Basketball advances to Big 12 Championship semifinals ... ›
- 2022 March Madness: Women's NCAA tournament complete ... ›
- See the men's March Madness schedule, bracket for Texas basketball ›
- Texas Basketball: Longhorns lose in first round of NCAA Tournament ›
Some of your favorite Instagram filters can’t be used in Texas anymore and Austinites are sounding off on social media.
Meta, Facebook and Instagram’s parent company, announced on Wednesday that certain filters would no longer be available in Texas.
The change is a result of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s lawsuit against Meta, alleging the company uses facial recognition technology that violates laws in Texas. A release from Meta says it stopped using facial recognition tech in November 2021 and denies Paxton’s allegations.
Some Austinites bemoaned the shift, saying some of their favorite filters were now unavailable.
This was my FAVORITE filter on @instagram and they done removed it cause I’m in Texas ! Like wowwwwww pic.twitter.com/uX60hdIC0Q
— Pinkyy Montana (@inkstar_pinkyy) May 11, 2022
i heard that instagram filters got banned in texas? what the actual fuck y’all better give me my favorite filter back
— lia 🤍 (@liatootrill) May 11, 2022
loved this stupid filter sm i hate texas pic.twitter.com/DXr9mmUc64
— birthday boy jeno 🎂 (@beabtox) May 12, 2022
But more often than not, locals joked about the ban.
Texas women seeing the filter ban on IG pic.twitter.com/yDMcP3Qtsr
— Christian (Anabolic) Flores (@christian_flo24) May 11, 2022
So, the state of Texas has banned filter use on IG? THE END IS NEAR. 😂
— THE FRANCHISE! Франшиза (@NYCFranchise718) May 12, 2022
And some in-between chose to show off some natural beauty.
I live in Texas, but no filter needed. 😉 pic.twitter.com/A6teRgYMKn
— bad and bruja (@starseedmami) May 11, 2022
filter, no filter..texas women still reign supreme.
— 🎍 (@_sixile) May 11, 2022
Finally, some are trying to cash in on the opportunity.
Texas IG users- if you want to filter your picture cashapp me $1.50 $ErvnYng
— Gemini (@ervn_y) May 11, 2022
Meta said it plans to create an opt-in system for both Texas and Illinois residents, who are facing the same issues.
Power demand is forecast to push within 600 megawatts of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas' capacity Friday afternoon as a record month of heat continues.
Demand for the statewide power grid hit over 65,000 Mw at 5 p.m., just under the capacity the grid can handle. ERCOT announced approximately 2,900 Mw of power was lost on Friday due to six power generation facilities tripping offline. At 5 p.m. it said all reserve generation resources available are operating. Texans have been asked to conserve energy.
Inbox: ERCOT says "six power generation facilities tripped offline resulting in the loss of approximately 2,900 MW of electricity. At this time, all reserve generation resources available are operating." Asks Texans to conserve power... pic.twitter.com/g6LxJlHlop
— Forrest Wilder (@Forrest4Trees) May 13, 2022
As the power grid threatens to buckle under the weight of consumers, record-breaking heat continues to push up demand. Austin is currently in the hottest May on record, with temperatures averaging at 82 degrees—eight degrees higher than average—at Austin's Camp Mabry.
And Austin is expected to have another triple-digit onslaught next week, with temperatures peaking at highs of 100 degrees Friday and Saturday. As a result, demand could peak Monday, with forecast demand expected to reach a May record of 70,758 Mw. The previous record was 67,265 in 2018, while ERCOT's all-time high was 74,820 Mw in August 2019.
While ERCOT has not yet seen a heat surge reminiscent of 2021's Winter Storm Uri, power outage woes became all too real for around 3,600 southeast Austinites Saturday as Austin Energy put on a last-resort power pause from around 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.
The outage was a culmination of many factors—from near-100 degree heat to unfortunately-timed maintenance checks and growth in the Bluff Springs area. The result was an overheating circuit that needed relief fast.
"It was related to high usage overloading one circuit at a time when some of our infrastructure was still undergoing maintenance in preparation for the months to come," Austin Energy spokesperson Matt Mitchell told Austonia. "So it was a very unique set of circumstances that we do not see repeating itself."
Mitchell said that all seasonal maintenance is complete and that Austin Energy will open a new power substation in Bluff Springs this June. The organization also said the issue had nothing to do with ERCOT, which released a statement assuring consumers that power was not threatened during that time.
NEW: ERCOT projects there will be sufficient supply of power to meet demand for this week. pic.twitter.com/fPZWHbWyoc
— Lindsey Ragas (@LindseyRagas) May 10, 2022
ERCOT also told Austonia before 5 p.m. that it "projects there will be sufficient generation to meet demand for electricity" on Friday. It then informed the public about the energy loss due to a power trip.
- Beat the heat at these iconic swimming holes in and around Austin ... ›
- Voters decide on decriminalization of weed in May 7 election ... ›
- Austin record heat followed by cold front this weekend - austonia ›
- May broke heat records—so is Austin is in for a hot summer ... ›
- 3 reasons Texas and Austin don't have enough power - austonia ›
- Austin Energy earned $54M in net revenue during winter storm ... ›
- Texans report thermostat manipulation from energy companies ... ›
- ERCOT: Controlled outages over after Texas weather emergency ... ›