A place for us to rant and rave about the Hawks.
There could be a 4th meeting on the horizon. A lot of people seem to like K-State over the wounded 'Cuse, which could mean another rematch with them in the semis.That was the best wall-to-wall performance we've seen from the 'Hawks in quite a while, I thought. No bad stretches, few bad plays -- just steady as she goes for 40 minutes. We weren't able to put them away, but that was more to their credit than our blame, IMO. They just kept on making guarded shots.I hope that's going to be the template for our play next week and beyond. I'm a little concerned about the second round, where we might have an opponent that could make us pay if we start poorly like we have so many times this year. But more on that later.
Going back to our earlier discussions about the schedule, I count 11 KU opponents on the bracket. No Memphis, UCLA or Michigan, but how about Temple, Cornell and Yancy's favorite, Oakland (Mich.) Factoring in repeat matchups, roughly half of our games have been against tourney teams.Also, for those who missed Saturday's game, the Star's highlight reel is a must. Great blocks by Tyshawn and X, some sweet assists from Brady, the obligatory big shots from Tyrel, and Sherron's classic spin-and-teardrop at the end.I really did succeed in enjoying that game without getting stressed out; I hope that wasn't the last time I'll be able to say that this season. The blue jerseys are mothballed till next season: it's JUGGERNAUT time, baby.
Oh yeah... Also in that reel, some long-awaited alley oop-age.
I hate to repeat myself, but here's me on Twitter:Nice! "if [NCAA tourney] teams advanced based solely on their outcomes in the classroom," Kansas wins! http://bit.ly/ddST12Saw that buried in a kusports.com article... Just feels so nice to be able to cheer for this team with such pride in what they've accomplished in school as well as on the court.That's some impressive schedule info, Deron, and this year's clearly shaking out as (so far) the best since I've been watching KU closely (I believe that started in '99-'00). I love that you remembered Oakland, by the way.To add another obvious but fun fact about our record this year: we're 6-2 against top 25 teams. Or is it 7-2? (Baylor was in one poll but not the other) Either way, that's a great line.Speaking of those ranked teams, at first I was going to say that I don't want to face K-State again, but the more I think about it the more confident I feel (wait, that sounds dangerous--hope the players aren't thinking like that). As dgl reminds us, we've repeatedly proven ourselves against good competition, so even if our bracket is the toughest (but is it? really? anyway), I'm more excited than worried at this point.
Is it the toughest bracket? Maybe. It's definitely one of the two toughest, which was not supposed to happen.Just look at the final rankings. The Midwest has 7 in the AP Top 25, 8 in the coaches -- including possible KU 2nd-round opponent UNI. The West has similar numbers, but the others have only 5 or 6 each.Our #2 seed (Ohio St.) is one of two #2s that had a legit case to be a #1. We were supposed to get the weakest #2; instead we get one of the strongest, while the weakest (Villanova, which should have been a 3) is given to Duke. The Dookies also have the weakest 3 seed (by ranking) in Baylor. Also, UNI is RPI # 17 -- the highest of any 8 or 9 seed in the tournament. This team has a strong whiff of Bucknell, Bradley, So. Illinois, Davidson to me. I need to look at their numbers more closely to see if I should start really worrying.So on paper, yes, the committee kind of screwed us. On the other hand, some of our worries may just be hype. The Buckeyes, Hoyas, Vols and Terps are good but far from great, IMO, and the Spartans don't really seem to be very good at all.Also, the other #1s all have hurdles. The 'Cuse may not have a single easy game; Kentucky could have tough 2nd and 3rd rounds; Duke may have to face A&M and/or Baylor in Houston, and could struggle with the athleticism of those teams or 'Nova. So I don't want to overplay the victim card here.
Obama unveils his bracket:"He also called Kansas State coach Frank Martin a "scary dude" for the stare-down he sometimes offers on the court. "I could send him up to Congress to get them to vote for health care," the president joked."But who did he put in the winner's circle? A team that had just as good a 2008 as he did:"The president predicts that Kansas will defeat Kentucky in the national championship game in a rematch of coaches John Calipari (then at Memphis) and Bill Self from the 2008 championship game. "And I think, once again, Self wins," said Mr. Obama."
More love from the administration:WASHINGTON — Arne Duncan hasn't had time to fill out a bracket, but the secretary of education knows whom he is rooting for — Kansas.It's not because the Jayhawks are tops among the No. 1 seeds in the men's NCAA basketball tournament, but because he is such a fan of senior point guard Sherron Collins."He's a kid I've played with since he was a freshman in high school," Duncan says. "He's a winner. I watched him mature, and I've seen what he's accomplished."Shockingly, Sherron remembers Duncan:"He's got game," Collins says."
Wow, thanks for finding that, Chris. I knew Duncan was a baller, but I didn't realize he was hitting the South Side playgrounds.Programming note: I won't have time for my usual tourney blogathon this week, as I'm headed to KS Thursday on wedding business. I know you guys will pick up the slack.Let's go, 'Hawks. Time for some (Mid-) major ass-kicking!
Agreed--great find, Chris!Everything is falling in place right now (isn't it?) to have '10 match '08 as a great year for my team and my country... let's just hope things shake out like they should!I'll do my best, dgl, but this is finals week, so no promises. Hope your KS plans allow time for toasting the 'Hawks as they attend to that ass-kicking.
kusports.com asks Collins about Obama:The leader of the 32-2 and top-ranked Jayhawks was asked what it would be like to meet the leader of the free world, a perk of winning it all.“He’s the first black president,” Collins said of Barack Obama, who picked KU to win it all. “That alone would make it special.”Collins, who met President George W. Bush during the 2008 team’s White House visit, knows of the lefty president’s passion for playing basketball.“Of course I’d like to run with Obama,” Collins said. “I’d like to have him on my team. I heard he’s a pretty good passer.”