Monday, March 26, 2012

Mass. Street to Bourbon Street!

Loose transcription of text message from Chris last night:


I believe this aptly summed up all of our most eloquent feelings on this crazy team making it to the Final 4.

Chris's earlier comparison with 2003 is holding true. The gritty two-seed knocks off the front-running one-seed, after some early-round games where we didn't look very sharp at times. And even though Vegas was favoring us, our guys still played with that loose, underdog attitude that we as KU fans so seldom get to experience. This was more exciting than surviving Davidson in '08, just as knocking off 'Zona in '03 was more of a thrill than hammering Oregon in '02.

And what a huge milestone for Self, getting that huge Elite 8 millstone off his neck once and (probably) for all.

I'm in such a good mood I'm going to post a Good/Bad Keegan Quote of the Day:

"The combination of ladders and scissors on nylon always puts a coach in a good mood, but this time it had a little extra meaning to the coach who doesn’t need a ladder to stand eye-to-eye with college basketball coaching giants, past and present."

I mean, it's so bad it's good. Or maybe I'm so happy right now that it just doesn't matter.


  1. A lot of numbers to like from that game:

    All five starters in double figures.

    Withey 5-5 from the field, T-Rob 5-5 from the line.

    Tyshawn with 22 points, including (hurray!) some jumpers. I'm not too worried about the 3s as long as he's at least got his midrange game back.

    EJ and Ty with 5 assists each. Before this season, who could have conceived of this motley pair quarterbacking us to the promised land?

    Travis scoring only 2 points less than the superstar he was guarding, Harrison Barnes, on 8 fewer attempts.

    Maybe most amazing of all, Kevin Young grabbing more rebounds than either Zeller, Henson, or McAdoo. That crazy, herky-jerky kid helped us a lot in this tourney -- and as I recall, he had a great game in December vs. the Buckeyes. Look out.

  2. Bob Lutz:

    Even with the threes not falling, Taylor was great. He made 10 of his 14 shots inside the arc and scored 22 points to go with six rebounds, five assists and five steals.

    I’m telling you, KU fans, if you have not made your peace with Taylor, you need to do so now.

    It was a five-man band playing all the hits — every KU starter scored in double figures and had at least one major contribution that had nothing to do with a point total.

    Even frontline reserve Kevin Young played some tambourine with eight rebounds.

    Read more here:

  3. Thanks, that is so perfect. Tambourine is exactly what he plays.

  4. Predictions?

    I wish I could see the Louisville/Kentucky game, but we've got visitors in town, and I might not need to subject them to 4 hours of basketball on Saturday.

    I will go out on a limb and predict Kentucky to win. I know Louisville is loose - but Kentucky's just too damn good.

    OSU looks to be a tough matchup for us. Even if we don the whites, we're the underdog. They don't seem to have much more depth than us, but they have more offensive weapons in their starting five. Vegas picks them to win by 3 or so.

    Point is, we should be loose. We're gonna need Teahan to hit some threes, Releford to lock it down, and EJ to invade the paint.

    KU by 6 : 71-65.

    Also, I did a little advanced math in the shower this morning and figured I've watched KU go to 8 final fours. 86, 88, 91, 93, 02, 03, 08, 12. Pretty good.

  5. Yeah, I think we're skipping the 1st game to attend the "baby reunion" for our birth class... Should've done a bracket pool with them! Well, next time...

    Anyway, if Withey can stay out of foul trouble and that crazy, herky-jerky kid can step up again, I like our chances against OSU. Hopefully the team can just have some fun.

    How about KU by 9: 74-65.

  6. I'm struggling to come up with reasons why Kansas is going to win this game. Chris's breakdown seems accurate, and if you add Sullinger's numbers to the game in December we presumably lose, even though I recall us nailing a bunch of 3s in that game.

    The good thing about this Final 4 is that there aren't likely to be any surprises. We probably have to get through two teams we've already played, and our monstrous schedule this year has prepared us for anything and everything.

    We've reached that point where we could play well and still lose. We have to be great in this game. We need Tyshawn to limit his turnovers AND Elijah to make shots AND the big guys to guard well without fouling AND hope that OSU doesn't get hot.

    We're just going to have to be the tougher team. We've done it before. It's go time.

    I can't be quite as optimistic about the spread as you two, although I agree about the scoring output. I'll say Kansas 72-69.

    One good omen is that Uncle G will be present at the SuperDome with his friend the OSU alum -- the same friend who was with him at the Fieldhouse for the December game.

    Also, speaking of '86 and '88: Fare thee well, O Danny boy.

  7. Great CNNSI piece on T-Rob-Withey.

    And The Wall Street Journal on Hudy.

    This would also be a good time to repost the quote that Yancy posted after the December game:

    “Here’s what I think, and I could be wrong,” Self said. “I think that Craft is the best defensive guard that we’ll see all year. I think he’s the best true point guard we’ll see all year. I think he’s as tough as any guard we’ll see all year. I think he’s as smart as any guard that we’ll see all year. And I think Tyshawn Taylor is just as good."

  8. Thanks for those!

    And lest we forget, TT was playing on a bum knee & had surgery the next day. Just sayin'...

    I also liked that the Times' blog post about the Final Four big men made it sound like TRob is a much tougher matchup for them than their dude is for us...

    Oh, and did you see this great write-up on Releford, which includes some friendly ribbing about that slow spin move that I recall Deron liking so much? (Oh, and if you want to see it again, it's in the NCAA highlight reel. Good stuff.)

  9. Yeah, the Jesse Newell breakdown focused on how difficult it may be for Robinson to step out and guard DeShaun Thomas. That may mean a lot of PT for Kevin Young instead of Withey, which could be an issue. But as that NYT blog points out, DeShaun Thomas also has to figure out a way to guard Robinson. So it may be a wash -- two pretty evenly matched teams here.

    As for the guard matchup, lest we also forget, TT did have 13 assists in that game.