Saturday, March 18, 2006

In Lawrence, disappointment and disbelief


Irish eyes did very little smiling Friday night in Lawrence.

Kansas University supporters who had spent their day celebrating St. Patrick's Day were disappointed after watching the Jayhawks lose - again - in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Fans in the bar at The Eldridge Hotel, 701 Mass., tried to cheer the Jayhawks to a late-game comeback over Bradley University, but to no avail.

"I was hopeful that we'd go far," said Matt Spurlin, a KU senior from Edmond, Okla. "I'm in disbelief really."

Some blamed the Jayhawks' sloppy play in a game that played out much like the team's first-round loss to Bucknell a year ago.

"I really think it's because we had a young team. It's huge playing in an NCAA Tournament," Spurlin said. "Playing in the Big 12 Tournament was different because they had already played all of those teams."

KU alumnus Bobby Olm-Shipman, of Kansas City, Kan., said the Jayhawks' turnovers and poor shooting performance were the reason for the loss - not some first-round tournament curse.

He tried to find a bright side to the loss.

"It was a disappointment, absolutely, but compared to how this team played at the first of the season, if you would have told me they were in the tournament, I would have been a little impressed," he said.


A couple of frustrated Jayhawk fans show their displeasure late in the second half.

"It's a bummer, but there will be next year. I think (KU coach) Bill Self and the guys did a great job this year. It was so much fun to be a fan this year."

Others showed more of their disappointment.

Even before the game ended, contributors to online message boards at were speculating about Self's job security.

KU senior Jordan Bickford, from Salina, was at Free State Brewing Co., 636 Mass., and mentioned the Jayhawks' loss in the NCAA Championship game to Syracuse in 2003 and the Bucknell loss.

"I think they got overconfident," she said. "They don't think about little teams like Bradley or Bucknell."


scottzr 13 years, 9 months ago

ALL Jayhawkers should hold their heads high. We have an excellent team and had an excellent season. Be proud of your team and support them despite the loss.

actorman 13 years, 9 months ago

Anyone who questions Self's job security is a complete moron. Self has done a fantastic job and has the team headed in a great direction. He can't control whether his young players get nervous in a new situation.

jayhawkox 13 years, 9 months ago

If there's anything we can be confident in about this young team is that it doesn't take much to get them to learn from a situation. The whole NCAA better watch out next season, when the Baby Hawks take the court better, stronger, and more determined than ever. I was as disappointed as anyone last night, but we've got to remember that for the most part this was the first tournament visit of any significance for like 10 players on our roster. I hope they know how much Jayhawk Nation still loves them!

U2freak 13 years, 9 months ago

Please post more after thoughts from the players and Self. And sportscaster please!

Eliott Reeder 13 years, 9 months ago

Yeah, where's the Spodcast boys!?! How about those 'Ta State Shockers Andy Sam!!! Get some!!! I don't know about all of this, Jayhawk fans, are we cursed? Do we need an exorcism? Apparently, somebody put a black magic hex on us (Illini fans/Roy Williams, perhaps). All I can say is that I hope this shows Darrell Arthur that we could REALLY use him on this team if he decides to roll with Kansas. There is plenty of P.T. available. Either way, it is shameful to be 'getting used' to this first round loss thing. I feel I should be MORE upset. But I love my hawks, I'm still happy with Self. And I can't wait till next year...

bethnbob 13 years, 9 months ago

I really hated to see the season end so soon, especially when they looked so good playing together. But, I can't wait 'til next year because they're going to look even better. I don't care what anyone says about Coach Self he's still a great coach. Go Hawks

cobweb 13 years, 9 months ago

Hey! Sh*# happens. Let's forget it and look forward to next year which should be unbelievable if bird flu doesn't get us.

freebird 13 years, 8 months ago

This cracks me up...Everyone talking about next year and our recruits next year. That with our recruits we are going to be soooooo good. Weren't we talking about the same thing last year. Unbelievable!!! And if you truly believe inexperience is why we lost then you wouldn't be excited about more Freshmen getting PT next year. You would want to see the Sophmores and Juniors carrying the team. I don't think anyone believes we were to young to win it's just an easy excuse to make everyone feel better about the season. At least Texas is representing the Big XII well.

I still think Barnes should have been the Big XII coach of the year and I think he's proving it right now. (Not a Longhorn fan but have to give them props.)

san619 13 years, 8 months ago

I think we had a good year and I think that Coach Self is a good coach, but at the same time I wonder...will we play up to expectations? are we overrated?

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