Will UCLA's homecourt advantage be a factor tonight? It's not Pauley Pavilion, of course, and the crowd on Thursday wasn't as anti-Kansas as I thought it might be, but you have to think most of the SIU and Pitt tickets will be swallowed up by Bruin partisans.
At the beginning of the season, I believe Chris, Scott and myself picked Kansas to get exactly this far, w/ only Yancy and Ismail predicting a Final Four berth. There are a lot of reasons to think we the naysayers were right: not only the venue but the fact that UCLA is more experienced and more disciplined than we are. The 'Hawks are more explosive offensively, but the Bruins are yet another SIU-style defensive juggernaut that, unlike SIU, has a few offensive weapons as well.
Good reasons to pick against my guys for the first time all season ... but I just can't bring myself to do it. I have to think we'll be less tight and more inspired in this game than we were on Thursday, and even if both teams play well, the one with more talent (us) should prevail.
By the way, who would have thought back in October that the teams most favored by jayhawknation bloggers would make up 3 out of the Elite 8? I give both Memphis and the Ducks a good chance to win this weekend.
To paraphrase "The Simpsons" again: "They'll be overturning cars in Lawrence tonight!"