Thursday, March 22, 2007

Jayhawk faithful take no chances

Superstitions trump the odds when title on the line


— Don't tell Todd Guerrieri that he's overconfident.

Just because the Kansas University graduate shelled out $1,400 for four tickets to Saturday's regional final doesn't mean that he's taking anything for granted, heading into tonight's Sweet 16 game against Southern Illinois.

But the numbers tell a different story: Kansas is the third-winningest program in NCAA Division I history, the Salukis have never advanced to the Elite Eight and the line in Las Vegas favors the Jayhawks by nine points.

"We're a No. 1 seed. We should beat a No. 4," said Guerrieri, a '98 KU grad now working in San Jose as a software consultant. "But we're not overconfident. The game plan for us is we won't talk about Saturday. We can't even think anything about it.

"As superstitious and as stupid as that sounds, that's what we're doing."

Guerrieri, his buddy and fellow KU grad Jeff Fay and their wives may be giving the future the silent treatment, but they're among legions of KU fans facing the same quandary these days in San Jose: Just how to avoid overlooking tonight's game and ahead to a potential clash against either UCLA or Pittsburgh for a ticket to the Final Four.

Julian Wright, a sophomore forward, reminds folks that this is the first Sweet 16 for all players on the Kansas roster.

Reader poll

Will KU beat Southern Illinois tonight?

  • Yes 92% 913 votes
  • No 5% 51 votes
  • Undecided 2% 28 votes

992 total votes.

"We're just trying to be focused, knowing that you've got to go out there and earn it," he said, before Wednesday afternoon's public practice at HP Pavilion. "It's not going to be given to us. We've learned that."

Jay Bilas, a former Duke player calling the game as an analyst for CBS, said that while the fans can do whatever they want - "They can sleep in their jocks if they want to," he said, "because that's not going to affect the players" - the Jayhawks in uniform had better be prepared.

"You need to play every game like it's a championship game," Bilas said. "If you lose, you won't have a chance at playing in the championship game."


Robert Brock 11 years, 1 month ago

It will be fun having someone call the game who can tell you-know-what from Shinola...


countryjayhawk 11 years, 1 month ago

sweet Duke boy is calling the game instead of packer and nantz! and i hope this team has learned enough lessons about looking past teams.....Bradley, Oral Roberts, Depaul, etc.....

craigers 11 years, 1 month ago

I just don't want to hear Vitale tonight. That's all I got to say.

Sigmund 11 years, 1 month ago

Who are these Packer, Nantz, and Vitale folks you are talking about? As usual I'll be listening to the radio for the play-by-play.

justinryman 11 years, 1 month ago

SPN has a great write up about how Packer has been doing it way to long. I will listen to Bilas.

Its going to be D vs D and given the KU depth over the SIU system. KU by 15.

kujayhawk 11 years, 1 month ago

Bilas, even though he is a Dookie, is good.

Packer and Vitale are horrible.

Jaminrawk 11 years, 1 month ago

I want Gus Johnson!!!! (By the way, the name Gus Johnson has to be followed by three exclamation marks) Anyone who heard him call the end of regulation of the Ohio State - Xavier game, has to love the guy.

jaycolo 11 years, 1 month ago

Onions!! With a little kiss... Raferty is the man. I wish he would do all KU games

JayCeph 11 years, 1 month ago

Hot Rod Hundly from the Utah Jazz has a nice gift for game calling. "With a gentle push and a mild arc, the cowhide globe hits home!"

Jaminrawk~ you put 4 exclamation marks after the name.


r1ck_jayhawk 11 years, 1 month ago

I'm with Sigmund. I watch on CBS (because I don't have a choice), but I listen to Bob and Pipe! Its too bad, they aren't nationally syndicated. I know my Sis in Maryland would love it!

Rock Chalk!


RalkChalk 11 years, 1 month ago

Unfortunately, I am in Chicago and have to listen to the idiots on TV.

BTW, to answer your question, r1ck...


Beak 'm Hawks!

BLITZED 11 years, 1 month ago

I wish Dave Armstrong and Paul Splittorff would announce the game, they are the best crew in the NCAA?Big XII is due for a new t.v. deal, I bought an awesome HD TV and ESPN+ has a terrible picture. Thank goodness for March Madness on CBSHD.

Jaminrawk 11 years, 1 month ago

Correction, four exclamation marks for Gus Johnson!!!!

-Thanks JayCeph, Johnson deserves no less than the four I gave him.

scottku1 11 years, 1 month ago

Bilas and Nantz. I like them both. Packer sucks.

You have gotta love Bob Davis on the radio.

Joe Ross 11 years, 1 month ago


Tubby Smith's coaching career at Kentucky ends with a loss to Kansas. The AP is reporting that Coach Smith will be the next coach at the University of Minnesota.

Stupid, Kentucky...Stupid!

DerekR25 11 years, 1 month ago

whoa!!! do you have the link jross? I can't believe my eyes just read that. Man, that is really stupid of Kentucky! (If it's true)

DerekR25 11 years, 1 month ago

So, I wonder who would be on Kentucky's radar to succeed Smith?

nbnozzy 11 years, 1 month ago

Let's have Kevin Harlan announce the game. He does b-ball and keeps the announcing interesting.

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