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2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Keegan: Let’s not forget


Lost amid the euphoria of Kansas University pulling off the cardiac comeback of the millennium to win its third NCAA basketball championship are two meaningful events that will take place Saturday.

First is the KU spring football game, which kicks off at 1 p.m. at Memorial Stadium, where Todd Reesing and friends will play a game for the first time since defeating Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl to complete a storybook 12-1 season.

Next, at 7 p.m., is the third annual "Dealing With Alzheimer's" Texas hold 'em benefit poker tournament at Alvamar Country Club. Last-minute walk-ups are welcome. Someone at the final table will win it all and earn a trip to Las Vegas. The suggested donation for poker participants is $100 and $25 for non-players. Novice poker players can attend a clinic from 6 to 7 p.m. for a suggested donation of $25.

The silent auction features, among other things, an autographed basketball from the national champions.

The benefit raises funds and awareness for the Alzheimer's Association (Heart of America Chapter). If enough such benefits take place, one day a cure can be found for the dreaded disease that robs the memory and personality, and slowly, cruelly turns an adult back into an infant.

If the family curse hits me before that cure is found, the day will come when I forget the highlights I witnessed from press row these past couple of weekends:

Mario "Big Shot" Chalmers putting extra arc on his game-tying three-pointer to make sure the ball avoided the hand of Derrick Rose.

Sherron Collins stealing the ball under the basket and then swishing a three-point shot from the right corner with 90 seconds left in regulation in the title game. In the blink of an eye, the ball went from Collins to Chalmers to Russell Robinson and then back to Collins.

The referees looking at the TV monitor and correcting an initial mistake, changing Derrick Rose's shot-clock-beating bank shot from three points to two. It turned out to be a pretty important point.

Roy Williams, sitting in the stands 10 rows or so behind the KU bench, wearing a Jayhawk sticker over his heart two nights after his team lost to KU.

Cole Aldrich, KU's fearless freshman center from Minnesota, tossing Tyler Hansbrough around as if he were some stuffed rag doll, instead of the National Player of the Year.

Bill Self, the picture of stress, watching the slow-motion flight of Jason Richards' three-point buzzer attempt from his knees and then falling forward when the shot died wide left, looking more relieved than happy.

For many who attend or attended KU, those memories will endure for as long as their minds stay clear.

My favorite memory was born when I was a senior in high school. I watched from the den of our Rochester, N.Y., home as Marquette defeated North Carolina in the 1977 title game, sitting alongside my father, who took calls from two of my brothers, then Marquette students, after the game. With fingers crossed, I hope I remember that until the day I die. Seven-plus years after that night, the effects of Alzheimer's began stealing my father's mind. Thirteen long years after that, he moved onto his eternal reward.

Let's ante up Saturday night.


hellx 11 years, 1 month ago

You know, the Orange Bowl kids never got a parade. Why didn't they decide to fete both of our teams...and draw attention to the spring game?

Jonathan Allison 11 years, 1 month ago

honestly,which is more unbelieveable, that our basketball team went 37-3 and was the best team in the country? Or that our football team went 12-1 and won a major BCS bowl championship.Don't forget that the basketball team was 33-5 a year ago while the football team was 6-6 and didn't even have a postseason. We expect our basketball team to be competing at a high level every year and winning conference championships and competing for national championships. Don't forget that both teams had their best seasons in the history or their respective programs.

okjhok 11 years, 1 month ago

Sorry guys, but doing something improbable does not warrant a parade, even if it is winning the Orange Bowl. The BCS win on top of the outstanding season was sweet, but parades are for national championships, and national championships ONLY. We need to act like we've been there before, even if it was 50 years ago.

Meghan Sullivan 11 years, 1 month ago

There's also an important event on Sunday, April 13th! Go to to learn more

Tbird_KU 11 years, 1 month ago

The Orange Bowl was awesome and if that game was played for a national championship then yes it deserved a parade. However, the basketball team did win a NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP! Rock chalk jayhawk!

sevenyearhawk 11 years, 1 month ago

football team getting hosed for sure ...I hope for a GREAT turnout on Saturday, and that the guys see how high the bar is and get motivated for their own championship parade!! :D

Jonathan Allison 11 years, 1 month ago

I think the Orange Bowl Champs deserved a parade down Mass, but it should have happened in January. Doing it now would be confirming that our school is just a basketball school, and the football team with their unbelievable accomplishments last season are just piggybacking on the success of the basketball team.

Noweigh 11 years, 1 month ago

Great column and great insight. Keegan once again shows why we're lucky to have a writer with his presence of mind and insight penning columns about area teams.

chicagohawk52 11 years, 1 month ago

I'm sorry I almost spit my lunch out i was laughing so hard at your comment Noweigh.... HAHAHA!!!

Ted Toulouse 11 years, 1 month ago

Hoping to read about record attendance at the Spring Game!!!! Show your dedication again Jayhawks! Wish I could be there.

Ray March 11 years, 1 month ago

this Alzheimer's poker tournament would be an easy one to win."oh yeah, remember a second ago, i had a royal flush?? yeah, i know 6 hands in a row! what are the odds!? i already tossed my cards back into the stack, so i can't show you. remember you had a really bad hand?? looks like you're double blind again...anty up!":)

live4h2o 11 years, 1 month ago

No parade for the football team. The bball team doesn't get one if they "only" make the final four - only with a National Championship. The football WILL get their parade in the near future I believe. But if there is a parade for any team with post-season success, even when it is an Orange Bowl win will dilute the significance of the National Championship parade.

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