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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Jayhawk faithful take no chances

Superstitions trump the odds when title on the line

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— 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."

Comments

nbnozzy 7 years ago

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

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DerekR25 7 years ago

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

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DerekR25 7 years 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)

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Joe Ross 7 years ago

BREAKING NEWS...

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!

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scottku1 7 years ago

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

You have gotta love Bob Davis on the radio.

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Jaminrawk 7 years ago

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

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

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couranna1 7 years ago

Put Chris Piper on their but I love Vitale's enthusiasm

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BLITZED 7 years 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.

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RalkChalk 7 years ago

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

BTW, to answer your question, r1ck...

"ITS A GREAT DAY TO BE A JAYHAWK!"

Beak 'm Hawks!

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r1ck_jayhawk 7 years 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!

"WHAT KIND OF DAY IS IT?"

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JayCeph 7 years 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.

RCJH- Go KU!

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jaycolo 7 years ago

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

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Jaminrawk 7 years 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.

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kujayhawk 7 years ago

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

Packer and Vitale are horrible.

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justinryman 7 years 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.

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Sigmund 7 years 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.

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craigers 7 years ago

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

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Robert Brock 7 years ago

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

Brock

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countryjayhawk 7 years 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.....

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