Sunday, November 26, 2006

KU 82, UF 80 (OT)

What a fantastic game!

Rock Chalk Jayhawk.

Each team had big answers back and forth.

KU should not have choked away the 4 point lead with 15 seconds left in regulation, but they got it back. I think Florida had the early momentum in the overtime period, but the Hawks got it back on D. The steal at the end was, of course, critical.

Julian played a tremendous all-around game. Wow. Jackson had a solid first half. Rush played okay and disappeared at times which seems to be his M.O.

I've never seen Self so red after they fouled at the end of regulation. I mean, he was beet red.


  1. Nice photo, Scott. I've been waiting since March for someone to wipe that smirk off Noah's face; I should have known only the 'Hawks could do it.

    I thought my prediction was pretty on the money (80-77), but Yancy predicted KU's exact score of 82. So I'll have to give him the win on this one.

    I also concur with YHD (below) that the heroes were Julian, Darrell, and Russell. Julian turned in the greatest individual performance I've seen from any Jayhawk (given the competition) except for Collison against Texas and Duke in '03.

    And for Darrell to go for 19 and 9 (or thereabouts) despite sitting most of the first half--not to mention hitting all those free throws in the endgame--wow!

    But really, everybody came through. Rush shot poorly but hit when it really counted. Mario hit a number of big shots, and played an error-free game. DJ outplayed their 2nd-string bigs in the first half. Even Sasha was solid on D, I thought.

    The other good thing about it was that Florida didn't simply choke; they were a bit off early in the game, but in the second half and the OT they gave us all we wanted, and yet our guys didn't fold.

    And I don't think it's fair to say we choked at the end of regulation. The foul called on Sasha was ticky-tack; Julian screwed up on that 3-point play, but he thought he was in good position to block the shot; and that putback of the free throw at the end was just an unlucky bounce.

    Even if we had lost that game at the end I would have been proud of our performance, which the AP story described as "shockingly mature." We fought the champs and went the distance.

  2. Another huge factor was the crowd. The KU fan turnout was overwhelming, and had to have been a huge boost to our guys.

    Even the locals were clearly impressed by our turnout and enthusiasm.

    The only bad thing was that the fans felt it necessary to storm the court at the end. That is such a "mid-major" thing to do. KU fans should never storm the court for anything less than a Final Four berth.

  3. What a game! That was my first chance to see this team and I am impressed! Other than how they almost choked away the win it was a beautiful performance. I love how Julian passes, and what good decisions he makes (except the foul at the end). That being said, KU was an open three pointer away from having won only a "moral victory." Still, I am impressed by how the 'Hawks responded every time Florida made a big play. I am impressed that they pulled it out in OT after having lost all the momentum at the end. That was a huge win- if they bring that level of intensity each game it may be a while before they lose again.

  4. Not to nitpick here, but Scott and Ismail have now both used the word "choke" to describe what happened at the end of regulation, and I have to say again, that ain't fair.

    Missed free throws and turnovers (see: last season at Mizzou) would constitute choking. What happened in this case was a phantom touch foul called against Sasha, a failed shot-block by Julian, a bad long-rebound bounce on the free throw, and a couple of great plays by Florida.

    Besides, a 4-point lead with 15 seconds left and the opponent having possession of the ball, is never a mortal lock. Anyone who thought we had the game won at that point was kidding himself. A lot of shit can happen in 15 seconds, and in this case it did.

    But even last year when we did choke and lost the Mizzou game, I had a good feeling, because our overall performance was so good that it was clear we'd turned a corner. And after that we played brilliantly for almost the entirety of the season.

    I have a similar feeling about this game, except that since we won, we risk getting overconfident. Self has a huge challenge ahead of him to make sure that doesn't happen.

    I see that AP and ESPN still have us ranked below Florida, at #5, so that should help us stay hungry.

  5. Deron, you're wrong.

    Never an excuse to choke away a 4 point lead with 15 on the clock.

    You just tell your team "don't foul" and your probability of losing is under 1%.

  6. A one-percent chance that a team can score 4 points in 15 seconds? Are you kidding me? I've seen that happen many, many times.

    These are the defending champs we're talking about; let's give them credit for making great plays at the end rather than berating our own guys for "choking."

    Julian shouldn't have fouled (and it's not like he was trying to), but if he hadn't, Florida would have had an unimpeded layup, then fouled us on the inbounds; if we had missed even one free throw, they would have had a shot to tie it at the end.

    Our guys played with heart the entire game, and your continued use of the word "choke" in this case is downright slanderous.