Saturday, March 12, 2011
Kansas defeated Colorado 90-83 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. The win advanced the Jayhawks to the 2011 Big 12 tournament championship game.
Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 90-83 victory over Colorado on March 11, 2011.
Kansas City, Mo. Kansas University’s basketball players were in a bit of a daze the last time the Jayhawks played Texas.
“I didn’t go to sleep. I was up all night,” KU junior guard Tyshawn Taylor said.
The Jayhawks spent the late-evening/early-morning hours before a 74-63, Jan. 22 home loss to Texas in the dorm room of Thomas Robinson, who’d just learned of his mother’s death back in Washington, D.C.
KU played well early in racing to a 35-23 halftime lead, but was outscored, 51-28, the second half.
“I almost felt for a while that we didn’t even count that as a loss, that it wasn’t even on our record, because we had so much going on,” Taylor said Friday, the eve of today’s KU-Texas rematch in the Big 12 title game (5 p.m., Sprint Center).
“We played bad down the stretch. But they got us. They played good and got us. But to get a chance to play them again ... I think we’ll have the attitude we can beat them, and I’m sure they will come out with the same attitude. They have a good team, but I definitely think if we play ’em again it’d be a different story.”
KU coach Bill Self understands his players’ feeling of wanting a rematch of a game in which KU’s 69-game homecourt win streak was snapped.
“I think everybody who is competitive wants another shot at somebody who kicked their butts from that standpoint,” Self said. “There is a payback deal with our guys.”
Of the first meeting with UT, Self said: “They beat us on a day that was a weird day in Allen Fieldhouse, but no excuses. They still beat us. Regardless of what happened, they totally dominated us the last 20 minutes of that game.”
Robinson said he greatly appreciated the support of his teammates the night before the Texas game.
“Texas played a good game. At the same time, we weren’t mentally ready for that game,” Robinson said. “With everything that happened, of course we want to play them. Win or lose, we want to play them again.”
Noted Marcus Morris: “We were in the locker room (before the game) so juiced we had nothing else to give. We didn’t have a lot of energy until two minutes were left when we realized we might lose. They have a great team. Yes, we’d like to play them where we feel we’re at full strength.”
KU beat UT in three consecutive Big 12 title games, in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
“From my standpoint, we’ve had some unbelievable games against Texas,” Self said.
The Longhorns are also ready for what could be a classic final.
“Kansas is upset about what happened at their place. They will come out and play hard and try to outrebound us,” UT’s J’Covan Brown said. “It’d mean a lot to us to be the first team from Texas to win the Big 12 tournament.”