Chris's 2003 analogy held true to the end: a freshman-led but incredibly talented opponent in the final, who couldn't miss a shot early on and stifled our offense with their length; KU makes a valiant, hard-fought 2nd-half comeback but makes a few too many mistakes to get over the hump.
This is easier to take than '03 for reasons discussed in the previous post -- plus, although we did have some semi-embarrassing misses and turnovers last night, there was no equivalent to the free throw woes we suffered that year. The only thing that doesn't sit well with me, as in '03, is the fact of getting beat by such a young team, talented or not; that's just not the way it's supposed to play out.
Another point about that 2003 game: It always annoys me that people blame Collison for choking while forgetting that he had 19 points and 21 rebounds. With that in mind, we must give a parting salute to Tyshawn and T-Rob for leading us this far, and for their performances last night. They both struggled at times, but they played their asses off as they have all year: Robinson with 18 and 17, Taylor with 19 on nearly 50 percent shooting (and his long-awaited first 3-pointer of the tourney).
The always-entertaining Tyshawn, as a four-year starter, leaves with a record of 127-21 by my quick count, and with only one loss at the Phog (the day after T-Rob's mother died).
Also, even though The Unibrow outblocked Withey last night, congrats to Jeff for setting the NCAA single-tourney blocks record. Assuming he's back, I like our prospects for next year -- a senior-laden lineup bolstered by promising newcomers.
It's pretty amazing; Chris first made the '03 analogy before the tourney began; if I'd known then that it was going to hold true, even to the end, I'd have taken it. Rock chalk.