Digger Phelps, the old Notre Dame coach who was in town to do ESPN's GameDay show, isn't in his second profession to make friends. He's in it to say things that make him look smart.
Phelps, who made his name by knocking off the favorites over and over again, sat in the rented trailer/office parked by the baseball field and talked about how he had taken notes while watching Kansas University games all season.
Phelps said his notes from losses revealed the Jayhawks tended to make key turnovers and miss key free throws late.
As did his three co-hosts, Phelps picked KU to defeat Texas A&M;, so he can't take credit for calling it, but he does know what makes the Jayhawks lose.
And everybody knows what makes the Aggies win the close ones: their Acie in the hole.
In the decisive moments of the game, KU stopped itself more than it could stop Acie Law and lost, 69-66, on the loudest night of the season inside jam-packed Allen Fieldhouse.
Law's three-point shot from the right corner over Brandon Rush with 25 seconds left looked the same in the air as his other three three-point shots, all misses. It looked like a knuckleball, without the pretty rotation of those long shots Jeremy Case buries in warmups.
Law's shot looked plenty pretty falling through the bottom of the net to make it 67-66. He also slipped in a pair of free throws between misses by Mario Chalmers, the first a runner, the second a hurried three at the buzzer.
Those misses didn't cause KU to lose an 11-point lead with 9:55 remaining. Five turnovers after building that lead had more to do with it, and the final two were committed by Sherron Collins, who was magnificent most of the night.
Sasha Kaun's missed free throw with 1:28 left and a three-point lead didn't help. Marlon Pompey, the player who committed the foul, and A&M; coach Billy Gillispie both said it was not planned, surprising statements considering it was the second time during the play Pompey had roughed up Kaun.
Even so, it's worth wondering if Kaun (a 53 percent free-throw shooter) again will be in the game in a similar situation.
Russell Robinson, an athlete who has mastered the skill of never letting his emotions wander either too high or too low, was asked if he was nervous with Kaun at the line.
"I wouldn't say nervous," Robinson said. "I was prepared to block out. Put it like that. He's going to hit some. He's going to miss some."
Robinson stressed it wasn't that free throw that cost KU the game.
"We weren't able to make plays, and they made all the plays down the stretch," he said. "That's why they won the game."
Kansas State will visit Allen Fieldhouse on Wednesday night tied with Kansas at 6-2 in the Big 12.
"We're no longer in the driver's seat as far the Big 12," Robinson said. "We just have to continue to play hard, continue to grow and get better."
The way Robinson talked, it was evident he already had put the frustrating loss behind him and was training his considerable intensity on K-State.
"That's going to be a tough game," Robinson said. "That's why we've got to let this game go. We can't let this loss become two losses."