This time of year really has become a pressure-cooker for Jayhawk fans, hasn't it?
Rather than looking at the early-round matchups and saying, yeah, we can beat these teams, now we look at them and wring our hands and come up with ways that they could beat us.
I'm certainly the worst offender. I look at Detroit and see VCU, I look at St. Mary's and see UNI.
The good thing about Detroit and St. Mary's is that they don't seem to be strong defensively, so if we can just play our usual hard-nosed D without fouling and avoid unforced errors on offense, we win. (The same would be true vs. UNC if it comes to that.)
I think our defense is steadier than it was last year, maybe steady enough to avoid a VCU-like collapse -- and I think our offense is steadier than it was two years ago, maybe enough to avoid a UNI-like collapse. The biggest question will probably be how the games are called -- this team can ill afford foul trouble.
I'm trying to keep things in perspective this year and focus on the opportunity for triumph rather than the opportunity for failure. I hope Self and co. can do the same.