Advertisement

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Keegan

Path to Final Four not easy for KU

Advertisement

Call me stupid — it wouldn’t be the first time — but I never have understood the cliché that goes something like this: “The bracket really has opened up.” It becomes a fashionable phrase whenever multiple low seeds advance to the same regional site.

It was uttered in 2008, when the three teams that joined Kansas in Detroit were No. 3 Wisconsin, No. 10 Davidson and No. 12 Villanova.

KU had little trouble getting past Villanova and advanced to a regional final matchup against Davidson. Some opined then that KU was “lucky” that Davidson advanced because it was seeded seven spots lower than Wisconsin. Funny, but Kansas didn’t look so lucky when coach Bill Self dropped to his knees and Davidson’s final shot hung in the air for six or eight days before missing. Heavy underdogs tend to play loose. Plus, Davidson wasn’t “lucky” to defeat Georgetown before knocking off Wisconsin, it was better than the Hoyas.

One problem with the whole concept that upsets make a bracket “open up,” giving a favorite such as KU an easy path to the Final Four, is that it elevates the selection committee to Solomon status. If a higher seed automatically is better than a lower one, why bother playing the games? Just have the four No. 1 seeds play it off in Houston.

The bracket has “opened up for KU” talk rages again, louder even than three springs ago. This time, the seeds are 10, 11 and 12 joining the Jayhawks in the Southwest.

Sure, Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth and Florida State don’t have as much talent as Notre Dame, Purdue and Louisville, but it’s not the team that has the best basketball players that wins, it’s the one that plays the best basketball.

KU’s Friday night opponent, Richmond, has won nine in a row, seven by double digits. During a hot-and-cold nonconference schedule, double-digit victories against Purdue and VCU drew national attention for the Spiders.

Which brings us to VCU, an 11 seed. The widespread lambasting of the seeding committee for letting the Rams into the field seemed justified, but they proved they belonged by riding 5-foot-10 water bug of a point guard Joey Rodriguez to three victories in five days.

The Rams blasted USC, Georgetown and Purdue by an average margin of 16.3 points and Rodriguez had 23 assists and three turnovers. Going into its game against VCU, Purdue had allowed two teams to score more than 70 points in a game: Ohio State (87) and Michigan State (74). With Rodriguez delivering the ball on time, on target, to a hard-cutting teammate freed by a series of screens, the Rams slaughtered Purdue, 94-76.

And the Jayhawks are supposed to do back flips because VCU advanced?

Florida State went 3-3 when 6-9 power forward Chris Singleton was sidelined by a foot injury, and 20-7 in games with Singleton, including a victory against Duke. Five of those seven losses — Ohio State, Florida, Butler, North Carolina twice —came against teams in the Sweet 16, four against teams seeded first or second.

Sure, Kansas will have the best basketball players this weekend in San Antonio, but it must play the best basketball to make it to Houston.

Comments

100 8 years, 5 months ago

Just beat Richmond....

Own!!!!!!

The!!!!!!

Statsheet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

duanep5ku 8 years, 5 months ago

I concur with 100 just beat Richmond, Just focus on the next task by beating Richmond before you worry about the next opponent. One game at a time and own the boards Friday night.

Alohahawk 8 years, 5 months ago

+1 One game at a time!!!!

This is the article, not the UNI reminder, that needs to be in every KU players's locker. What's past is history. The future is for anyone to reach out and grab. It's who wants victory the most.

RCJHGKU

KCjayhawk24 8 years, 5 months ago

Alohahawk, I completely agree, the past is history, we need to focus on one game at a time. However, I don't understand why you said the opposite in your post on the Richmond article, that we need to look at that game in '04 to find motivation. It's about who wants THIS game the most.

DevilHawk 8 years, 5 months ago

Revenge is sweet and a good motivator in case any was lacking.

With the hell that this team and Jayhawk Nation has been through over the past year, it shouldn't be difficult to find motivation - but the revenge aspect certainly adds a little icing to the cake.

overseasjhawk 8 years, 5 months ago

What??? Last year I'm sure Michigan St was just yearning for a chance to play us instead of Northern Iowa. You know, because apparently they were better than us.

This was ridiculous.

kranny 8 years, 5 months ago

They were that day which was all that mattered. I think that's the point of the article.

overseasjhawk 8 years, 5 months ago

Actually, that wasn't the point of the article. We're not talking about who played better on the day of the previous round. The article is about who you play in the next one. And my point is that, while it's true that UNI played better than we did on that day, that doesn't mean they were the better team. And it certainly doesn't mean that every team in our region didn't breathe a huge sigh of relief to see us gone. No coach in their right mind would all of a sudden decide that they would rather face KU instead of UNI just because they beat us.

The fact is that the bracket has "opened up for us", but I never intended for that to mean that it will be "easy". Only that it will be "easier".

Dirk Medema 8 years, 5 months ago

Not exactly.

Duke against a 5 seed Arizona is still considered easier relative to advancing to E8. tOSU is still considered easier for advancing to NC game.

LAJayhawk 8 years, 5 months ago

"Just have the four No. 1 seeds play it off in Houston. "

And, yet, that would still be better than the BCS.... :)

klineisanazi 8 years, 5 months ago

You can spin it any way you want, but if KU does not make the Final Four this year it will be considered the biggest flop ever. It is never easy to make a Final Four. But KU has the "easiest" road of anyone to do it this year.

KGphoto 8 years, 5 months ago

Don't be a moron. Did you even read the article?

klineisanazi 8 years, 5 months ago

Why do you come on this board and call names and insult someone you have never met? Can't you just disagree with someone in a civil manner?

Aimee Polson 8 years, 5 months ago

Funny comment coming from someone using the moniker "klineisanazi." Not that I don't agree with your basic sentiment(s), but we're talking about name calling here.

FinalFour1993 8 years, 5 months ago

Oh man. That's the funniest thing I've ever seen on this board.

hawksquawk 8 years, 5 months ago

ell oh ell...

I too appreciate the irony.

Michael Bratisax 8 years, 5 months ago

Well..the road has 'Opened Up', but we still need to be at our best.

BigPrune 8 years, 5 months ago

Thanks for posting the link when Richmond beat KU ending KU's 52 home game winning streak in '04. I actually remember that game. KU choked.

Don't count the scary Spiders out, goofy name and all. Consistency is the key to the game.

Michael Bratisax 8 years, 5 months ago

Spiders have twice beaten #2 seeds as a 15...pretty incredible.

CloveK 8 years, 5 months ago

I remember that game very well. There is still a hole in my bedroom wall at my parents house to remind me.

Eric J. Baker 8 years, 5 months ago

Thank you, Keegs. The fact is, all of these teams earned their way into the Sweet 16. And not by overachieving, they didn't just win on final buckets to pull off a "stunning" upset. Morehead State did that, and their dance ended in the second round. Richmond and Florida State were practically favored in their first games, and each have won convincingly in their games over quality opposition. Then there's VCU-- VCU is not just squeaking by decent teams, they're blowing out good and great teams. These games are sometimes over by halftime. They're arguably the hottest team in the tournament right now, and I bet you OSU and Duke don't envy us for being on a collision course with that wrecking ball right now.

You might as well forget the seeds and act like your season could be ended by anyone. Because it can.

fansincewilt 8 years, 5 months ago

It appears to me that the two most dominating teams in the first week were VCU and Ohio State. Looks like we have one of those teams in our region. What happened in the season is over. It's down to who came to play in the Big Dance. Kansas knows that scenario all too well as it has been there just about more than anyone. I think they came to play in this one but are we playing well enough to advance over teams that are very hungry which is why they are going to San Antonio? That remains to be seen. We will have to bring our best game to advance to Houston. It is probable that some unexpected team will advance to Houston. I just hope that team does not show up from the SW region.

Steve Gantz 8 years, 5 months ago

Similar "easier" path in 1988 also. Avoided Purdue, Pittsburgh who were top seeded.

Kevin Studer 8 years, 5 months ago

If KU does not come out of this region, it will go down as one of the biggest choke jobs of all time. I certainly don't want to spend the next 5 or 10 years being reminded of it if it doesn't happen by obnoxious KSU and MU fans!

KGphoto 8 years, 5 months ago

You are sounding a little obnoxious yourself.

SaulGood 8 years, 5 months ago

You know what I'm going to say to my friend Jon, an MU grad, and my brother-in-law, a KSU grad, if we lose Friday? See below. I don't care what they think. I've heard 'em (MU/KSU) gripe for the last 20 years. This is my team and we've played one amazing season. It's played out almost as though I've been watching it in 3D Imax. Anyone who calls themselves a Jayhawk fan this year doesn't need to speculate on what those hacks will say. I'm excited for Friday, win or lose. Could be the beginning of a championship run, could be the culmination of an astounding season. It's going to be a thrilling chapter. You sound like a loyal fan - why do you care what they say?

Kevin Studer 8 years, 5 months ago

It's not that I care, Saul, as much as this one will really feel like a lost opportunity, much like the '97 team's tourney. Of course anybody can win. But three double-digit seeds in the Sweet 16? Not making it to the FF would hurt.

SaulGood 8 years, 5 months ago

I've seen nothing in this tournament so far if I haven't seen KU buckle down and focus on playing like a team. I'm tired of "ifs" and "maybes". I don't do brackets for this very reason - when the tournament begins, what the heck is the value of a number next to your state/college? This tourney proved...that number means exactly squat.

You know what? I could talk about "if" KU loses and "maybe" it'll be this huge flop/choke/disappointment, but I have been extremely lucky to have watched some of the greatest basketball I've ever seen this year. I've seen two kids from my home state hold a team together and practically alternate pushing this team through to wins. I've seen a young man's heart broken, and in the wake, the responsibility of taking care of his family foisted upon him, and I've seen him keep playing like there's no tomorrow and the sky's the limit. I've seen a pair of brothers punch their tickets to becoming millionaires within the next five years. I've seen a player go from being the most conceited, selfish, careless jerk on the court to being one of the most reliable, productive, work-oriented point guards with unbelievable talent at his disposal.

The words "choke" or "flop" simply don't come to mind for me like they seem to for others here.

Admirable success and one hell of a season, no matter what the result, are the only things I see.

I'm going to watch Friday's game with my father, with whom I've seen more KU games than any other person on the planet. This is the man who taught me to understand the value of integrity on the basketball court, and to play hard, no matter who the opponent is or what the stakes are. And no matter what the final score is, I will support my 'Hawks after they blessed me with a terrific display of amazing basketball.

You can keep your "chokes" and "flops" to yourself.

Ludwig Supraphonic 8 years, 5 months ago

At times I'm so intent on winning that I lose sight of the game. Thanks for the reframe!

OreadFog 8 years, 5 months ago

It has been a great ride. I will never forget this season even if it ends in a loss. Amen

SaulGood 8 years, 5 months ago

It's really been a hearty season, hasn't it? Appreciate your comment, Oread.

RockCaCO3 8 years, 5 months ago

Well said. I've said it before and will say it again, this has been an incredible season no matter how it ends.

Rock Chalk Beat Richmond.

PhogAdvisory 8 years, 5 months ago

+Several

Seriously love this team.

So much so that I really want to watch them play four more games.

Heck, if we lost in the tournament but still found a way to play games through the summer, I'd probably take that trade-off.

RCJH.

FL_Jhawk 8 years, 5 months ago

That post got me all choked up. Love those guys.

KU_FanSince75 8 years, 5 months ago

SaulGood---- That was an all-star post. Thanks! I enjoyed reading it. It has CSI attached to it----CSI=Common Sense Index!

yates33333 8 years, 5 months ago

Nothing stupid about this column or your opinion.

joeloveshawks 8 years, 5 months ago

I agree that this would be an epic flop if we don't make it. I don't really buy this article at all and love the comment about MSU wanting to play Northern Iowa instead of KU last year. Totally true. These lower seeded teams are playing great basketball, but they have less talent than the high seeds and have already made their entire season by getting this far in the tournament. I look for KU to take care of Richmond on Friday night and hopefully we focus on that first, but this bracket has "opened up".

jayhawkinATL 8 years, 5 months ago

Just some simple advice:

Step on their throats from the on-set and DO NOT let up!!!!!

BCRavenJHawkfan 8 years, 5 months ago

Let's not forget that VCU also had the benefit of playing early in the week in one of the play in games. Then they play in the rounds at the end of the week and on the weekend. The point being they did not have to sit around for a week. This allowed them to really build that confidence with immediate feedback. Now they have had to cool their jets a bit.

Lindsey Buscher 8 years, 5 months ago

Call me stupid — it wouldn’t be the first time — but I never have understood the cliché that goes something like this: “The bracket really has opened up.”

Stupid is as stupid does, Keegs, and our bracket has really opened up.

Marcia Parsons 8 years, 5 months ago

The trouble is, "The bracket really has opened up" is based on seeding, and seeding is based on the wisdom of the system that seeded Davidson in 2008 and Kansas in 1988.

Tim Bingaman 8 years, 5 months ago

Great article and right on.

This is going to be a tough game Friday night. Hopefully we will get another tough game Sunday. Then two more tough ones after that.

I like our swarming D against this Rodriguez kid, but we have to execute and keep our cool!

Rock Chalk!

Brad Boline 8 years, 5 months ago

great article, agreed 100%. KU justs needs to play one half at a time. Early this season KU would dominate the 1st half and still win despite losing the 2nd half. As of late they are winning the 2nd half and keeping the oppenent from stiking distance. They can't overlook these smaller schools and always contest each three point shots, that is the only way these teams can keep up with KU.

jayhawktalk 8 years, 5 months ago

"There are only a few factors to basketball: skill, luck, enthusiasm and confidence."

+effort, size, athleticism, stamina, planning & execution. Minus size, athleticism & stamina, the same factors probably hold true for successful coaching, as well (+recruiting).

hawkdiek 8 years, 5 months ago

That is why I've been constantly posting about trying to push up the enthusiasm and confidence for our team.

And yet you picked UConn to win it all. Nice show of confidence

Kurt Eskilson 8 years, 5 months ago

Agreed, drgnslayr (although I'm in another pool elsewhere). Picking another team to win in your contest is also a way to hedge your bets. If KU wins, life is great! If they don't, maybe I at least get the money instead. But make no mistake, I'd forget the money consolation prize in a week. A KU win lives forever!

KGphoto 8 years, 5 months ago

Oh dragon! I'm a fan of yours, but I don't know. I think hawkdiek has a point. In my view, you can't separate brackets from fanhood. That's betting both sides.

That doesn't fly. Either you think UConn is better, or you don't. If you picked KU, they won it, and you lost the TV, would you be sad you missed the TV?

If you need money maybe I can help or start a fund or paypal or something. ;-)

KUbsee69 8 years, 5 months ago

I do like the concept of just letting the # 1 seeds play it off, at least one time. That would bankrupt the overcontrolling, underachieving NCAA ... he he!

doctorWho 8 years, 5 months ago

I agree that the path is not easy. According to kenpom.com, the remaining teams would be in the upper half of the Big 12. They are all ranked higher than Oklahoma St, one of them is ranked higher than K-state. I'm not saying that KU doesn't have the easiest remaining path. Nor am I saying KU is not up to the task - I fully expect to see Jayhawk Crimson and Blue at the Final Four. But instead of thinking Richmond and FSU/VCU in KU's path, think Missouri and KSU/CU in our path - very achievable, but not without danger.

<p>kenpom.com ratings:
  1. Florida St.
  2. K-State
  3. Richmond
  4. Missouri
  5. Texas A&M
  6. Colorado
  7. VCU
  8. Nebraska
  9. Oklahoma St.

Dirk Medema 8 years, 5 months ago

Good insight on the comparisons, especially KState & NU. Our pair of games with each was at opposite ends of the spectrum. The one end is what Tom is talking about (loss or close win) and the other is what the non-thinking journo's are regurgitating.

The bottom line is any team is beatable given the right matchup and/or wrong mindset. Regardless, I like the way our team has come together. Our coaching staff are BB Picassos (?SP).

Marcia Parsons 8 years, 5 months ago

The best thing to come out of that whole episode was a quote I read from Tyshawn that went something like -- I'll keep playing as long as I play the way I'm supposed to. I was relieved to see that he didn't think, now that he was back to starting, that he could relax and go back to his old ways.

FreddyinLA 8 years, 5 months ago

Too many donuts this morning Keegs.

Our path has parted like the Red Sea. We will be the favorite in every game until we play either The Ohio State University or the Yankees, I mean Dukies in the championship game.

Anything less will be a disappointment.

jayhawktalk 8 years, 5 months ago

As second highest 1 seed going into the tournament, so were the favorite in every game except Ohio State, regardless of how the regional brackets played out.

...I love donuts.

slowplay 8 years, 5 months ago

Who said it was going to be easy? It will be "easier" with the lower seeds advancing, but it will not be easy. KU is a #1 seed for a reason and realistically and logically they should advance, especially in light of the lower seeded teams they will have to play. Those teams were seeded lower for a reason. KU is the better team. Period. And yes, the bracket did open up. Whether or not KU takes advantage of this fact or plays down to the level of the competition and shoots 40% from the field, make only 50% of their FT's and score only 59 points like they did against Davidson, is another matter altogether.

justinryman 8 years, 5 months ago

KU can not be blamed for other teams losing against a 10 seed or higher. Why is that it's called an open bracket when really it might even be harder than the others?

Harder yo ask? Yes, when you are playing Arizona, North Carolina or BYU you know about them, you know what they do game in and game out. But Richmond? VCU? How many really knew what these teams did on the floor before Sunday night? Not many. Sure the coaches will watch film and read scouting reports, but there has to be a sense of unknown when it comes to playing a lower ranked team.

Couldn't believe that someone above thought if KU loses this weekend it will be the biggest flop ever. What about Hampton over Iowa State, 2001. Coppin State over South Carolina in 1997. Santa Clara over Arizona, 1993. Richmond over Syracuse, 1991. All 15 seeds beating a 2 seed in the first round.

Richmond, VCU are very strong teams, or they wouldn't be where they are. Florida St. beat Duke this year, and now their best defender is back. They are a big team that plays very solid D.

After watching this years turny one thing is for sure. There are no easy wins. Gotta work for them, just like the regular season. The only difference now is that there are no style points. Its win and live to play another day. Lose and you go home.

jaybate 8 years, 5 months ago

Richmond is the only team in tournament history with five starters averaging between 39.7% and 46% from three that I can recall.

We hold the edge in muscle, speed, defense, rebounding and depth.

They hold the edge in shooting.

42% Treys = 63% Twos

Even the Twins have trouble making 63% of their twos.

Be afraid.

Be very afraid.

Then go out and defend the trey stripe like there is no tomorrow.

Because there isn't unless you do.

But if KU gets by Richmond, KU and Self can find a way to beat any other team in the tournament, regardless of what the stats say.

Rock Chalk!

Sally Presson 8 years, 5 months ago

At this stage of the tournament, there is NO easy road and I really feel Bill has made that loud and clear. Richmond is a team to be leary of, but we can take them, I'm sure of that. Go getem boys!!! We're back in San Antonio where there will be tons of KU fans. wish I could be there, but will watch it, in the same chair, with my lucky sweatshirt on. We're so proud of this team and the great young men they are!!!

Rock Chalk

Chris Shaw 8 years, 5 months ago

Here is a great article talking about Richmond's upset of Kansas. I always enjoy stories from other perspectives and this is straight out of the Richmond Newspaper.

http://www2.timesdispatch.com/sports/2011/mar/22/tdsport01-ur-made-fond-memories-at-ku-ar-918925/

Chris Shaw 8 years, 5 months ago

A Congrats to Everyone:

I've been frequenting this board since 2006 and I've never seen LJW or this website (Board and Forums) as stong as it is right now. I don't want to single anybody out, but we literally have 3 or 4 dozen posters right now bringing their "A Game".

I love the fact that people can have so many great opinions, bring some basketball knowledge, and show things from a different perspective all in a classy manner. Occasionally, over the last month or so we will get a board rat or troll or we get some "Newbies" that just don't understand the IQ, intellect, and complexity that this forum brings.

I'll be honest, I can't remember the last poster that complained about "The Length" of a post. So refreshing isn't it? I think it's fantastic. Keep it coming Ladies and Gents. This is my favorite time of year and big KUDOS to everyone who posts on this forum.

justinryman 8 years, 5 months ago

If we are all Kansas Basketball fans here, then yes our IQ has to be high when it come to the game itself. Plus we need to have a high IQ of our team and the teams we play.

Without the occasional "rat" what would we really complain about or have a reason to become a team of our own here on the boards?

Length? Thats just presenting facts and backing them up. If you are going to argue your point on kusports.com, you better be able to back it up like you just told a "your momma" joke in prison.

One thing I will add to the list of "Thank yous" is all the links to different articles and expanding our knowledge from places other than just here.

KUShaw, you and others on here are just another reason why it's good to be a Jayhawk!

REHawk 8 years, 5 months ago

justinryman, thanks for the Omaha article re Tyshawn. I cabbaged onto that word masterstroke.

tis4tim 8 years, 5 months ago

It's pretty simple really: As long as we win, no one can beat us.

justinryman 8 years, 5 months ago

+1

That one made me laugh. I had a high jumping coach that told me he figured out what I was doing wrong, "you're just not jumping high enough."

justinryman 8 years, 5 months ago

+1

Had a track coach come up to me while high jumping, I had missed twice and he looked me right in the eye and said, "I know what you are doing wrong, you are just not jumping high enough." I went on to make that height, set a school record a few jumps later and win the meet.

Gotta love the obvious, sometimes we just forget how simple it really is.

KU_FanSince75 8 years, 5 months ago

tis4tim--- Kind of like, how do you not get a ticket on the highway-----don't speed. Simple game----yep, I agree. You just put the ball in the hole.

WilburNether 8 years, 5 months ago

No, Mr. Keegan, VCU's performance in the tournament does not "prove that they belong" in the tournament field. Selections are based on a team's body of work DURING THE REGULAR SEASON, and how teams proceed to perform in the tournament is completely irrelevant to the question of whether or not they should have been selected.

Would you suggest that the several Kansas teams that were #1 seeds and proceeded to lose in the second round proved that they did NOT belong in the tournament field, because of their underperformance in the tournament itself? Surely not, but that is the same argument you made, viewed from the opposite direction.

Some teams can get hot and win some games in the tournament, more than the news media expected, and teams that were superb in the regular season can flame out much too early, winning far fewer games than the news media expected. Neither event has any bearing whatsoever on whether or not a team should have been selected.

Meeting or failing to meet news media expectations does not determine whether or not a team should have been selected. This is just more media nonsense.

8 years, 5 months ago

Speaking of which, it looks like Gillispie just got the Texas Tech gig:

http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketball/news?slug=ap-texastech-gillispie

Since they are heated rivals of aTm, the Aggies may not look back as fondly on his time there now.

Thomas Thompson 8 years, 5 months ago

I feel that KU has a tougher scedule going forward because of the upsets in their bracket. The lower seeds are primed and ready to play up and prove that they belong in the dance. All the papers talk about is the TOP SEEDS BEING UPSET, again just as if the lower seeds don't belong in the big dance. I am ready for Friday, I was at the games in Tulsa and the Hawks looked great against Illinois. Go HAWKS!!

slowplay 8 years, 5 months ago

Sorry, got to disagree. They may be "primed and ready" but that doesn't make them more talented. Some of the lower seeds did NOT belong in the Dance. See WilburNether's post above.

Kye Clark 8 years, 5 months ago

The bracket absolutely opened up. Consider that the '88 KU team was the lowest seeded (6 seed) team to ever win it all. Why? Because while lower seeded teams are certainly capable of getting hot and winning some games, they simply aren't capable of maintaining that level of play. And that's what it's all about. Upsets happen, but sooner or later teams that low will stop playing above their talent level and will revert to level of play that earned them the lower seed.

Also factoring into the equation is that the further teams advance into the tournament the greater the distractions become. This is where the higher seeded teams, teams that for the most part have coaching staffs who have been here before, are better equipped to prepare their teams for what they can expect. Consider that of all the coaches of teams left in the tournament, all have been to the sweet 16 except for 4 - Buzz Williams of Marquette, Dave Rose of BYU, Chris Mooney of Richmond, and Shaka Smarts of VCU. Two in our region. And Leonard Hamilton is over a decade removed from his last sweet 16 appearance. 9 coaches have a Final Four on their resume, our region has none aside from Bill Self.

As it has been said, it's not going to be easy, but it certainly is the easiest path of the remaining teams. If you don't believe that, look at the other regions and ask yourself if you would trade places with any other team in the tournament.

Kye Clark 8 years, 5 months ago

Correction - I completely forgot about the '85 Villanova team that was seeded 8th that won the tournament, making them the lowest seeded team to ever win a National Championship. Regardless, the point is still valid.

Kirk 8 years, 5 months ago

I'd rather be facing teams like Richmond, VCU and Florida State...

...than teams like UNC or Kentucky. And when I look at the first game of the final four, I prefer the prospect of going up against (say) Florida to that of going up against Duke.

Even before the tournament kicked off, I thought KU had the easiest road to the final four; I think now it's even easier, for several reasons.....

...not least of which, the media can't stop yapping about last year's UNI upset. And suggesting that KU could be rife for Yet Another Upset.

I like this. Keep writing that story. Because our guys have had their medicine and they're sick of hearing it.

If we lost to Richmond, or to some other double digit seeded team, it will have to be because that opponent can beat a really solid effort from us, and I wouldn't bet my money on that prospect right now.

So yeah, I like where we are.

Chad Smith 8 years, 5 months ago

Bottom Line: Kansas is a #1 seed. They are expected to go far NO MATTER WHO they play. While I can certainly understand the argument that the bracket opened up for us based on seeding and what have you, I was not scared of the other top seeds in our bracket to begin with. If Lousville had made it this far, I would feel very GOOD about our chances playing them in a sweet 16 game and I would have felt very very comfortable about a game with Purdue or Notre Dame in an elite eight. But you don't control the other games in your bracket, you play who wins their games.

And at this point in the tournament, every team you play will be good and you can lose any of the games. When Davidson came into the Elite Eight, they were on an absolute ROLL and had decimated Wisconsin. Stephen Curry was playing out of his mind.

The key to that game and to these games coming up is similar: On the Ball Defense. Richmond's point guard Kevin Anderson is a playmaker, scorer and distributor. We successfully neutralized McCamey for Illinois and if we can limit Anderson and play well on the inside as we have consistently all season, then I know we will win this game.

We're top 15 in both offense and defense according to Ken Pomeroy and we have not aloud either team we have played this tournament over 60 points. 53 for Boston, 59 for Illinois. You hold a team under 40% shooting, under 60 points and don't TURN THE BALL OVER, You have a good chance in any game. Our defense will be the reason we win these games.

The Morris Twins are playing very sound basketball right now(I don't expect that to change, they are both playing at a very high level) and our bench contributions from TRob, Elijah Johnson and Josh Selby have all been solid during the first two rounds. The guards need to keep up their superb perimeter offensive and defensive play and we will be in San Antonio.

I'm not cocky or arrogant or presumptuous to think that we will just coast in these games, but I am confident that we are the best overall team left in our region and it will be proved on the court. We're a #1 seed, aren't we expected to make a run at a championship? Isn't that what we expect at KU? I certainly hope so.

ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK!

Cheers from Saint Paul!

Steve Gantz 8 years, 5 months ago

A couple of people have mentioned this being the biggest disappointment ever if KU doesn't survive this regional. Wow, such short memories! Last year, ranked #1 all year, in fact as soon as UNC won in 09 everyone began anointing us as the team to watch for 10. Losing last year to UNI was to me the worst loss in my 25 years as a Jayhawk.

Steve Gantz 8 years, 5 months ago

I thought of that team, but that was a bit different. For one, Arizona was a four seed. Secondly, Arizona won it all. That soothes the sting a lot. Third, we made a nice comeback and had a miss at the buzzer that would have tied it and sent it to overtime. If they make it, like 08, who knows?

But last year? Overrated? Really? 2 losses all year. Hard to think of a better team last year.

I also thought of the 03 team. While they certainly weren't a tourney disappointment, the sting of missing 18 of 32 FT's in a 3 point loss made it one of the toughest to take, maybe harder than last year.

Also, not sure why Roy leaving would sour you on KU, you must not be a lifer like so many here.

KULA 8 years, 5 months ago

The 97 Arizona team was a very good team with NBA caliber players who got hot at the right time, beat three #1 seeds (never been done before), and went on to win it all. That was no fluke. Our 3 point loss was their closest game, so statistically, it played out correctly, meaning KU ended up the second best team that year. Stinging and painful, but no fluke.

Last year's team was a legitimate #1 all year, overrated or not. At least half a dozen guys on the roster who would (or will) earn NBA paychecks. UNI had no NBA players and went on to lose their next game. A much bigger flop than the AZ game, I think.

And if we don't move through this year, I would consider it almost as bad as last year, and much worse than 97.

HawksWin 8 years, 5 months ago

It's the attitude. Will we play with the fear of losing or as winners to take what's ours? Fear of losing is a loser's mentality, and fear itself will cripple our players. Jay Bilas nailed it, and Kief got it. Can't wait to see how the twins will respond this Friday! Down with Richmond. Rock Chalk.

http://www.kentucky.com/2011/03/22/1681295/kansas-path-goes-through-double.html (Sorry if it's a re-post.)

Ethan Berger 8 years, 5 months ago

My problem is that when the lower seeds won it all, they opened up doors. Lets not forget when 8 seed nova won, they were viewed the same way as the three remaining. It was thought as crazy to believe it to happen and it did. Ill admit I think we can handle Richmond and will be very upset if we lose against them. But VCU and Florida state are some scary teams. VCU is playing like they should have all year. Putting up 96 on purdue is something not even the great Ohio State did. Florda states defense is one of the best ive seen in years. Florida state however offense is not very good. I think VCU and beat anyone with the way they are playing. Kansas is the bad guys, everyone loves cinderella and we have trippletts.

justinryman 8 years, 5 months ago

New headline idea for Saturday.

"Jayhawks fumigate Spiders, as Kansas wins over Richmond.

justinryman 8 years, 5 months ago

Oh oh oh another one,

"Spidermen get tangled in own web, KU swings past Richmond to Elite 8."

jaybate 8 years, 5 months ago

"Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we depend on shooting threes." --Chris Mooney after KU shuts down Spider trey shooting and wins by 25

jaybate 8 years, 5 months ago

BABBOY,

Do you suppose Mike Anderson could take Fizzouri with him to the SEC in order to escape beat downs by KU?

justinryman 8 years, 5 months ago

I actually believe there is an NCAA bylaw that states and I am paraphrasing, that:
P1-If either school in the border war, The University of Kansas, or The University of Missouri, deems to leave the rivalry or the conference which both are participates, they will be crucified by the others fans, alumni and board of Directors and made fun of my news papers from each state. P2-If one team shall leave and survive all ridicule then they will no longer have any bragging rights over the other and all previous winning records over the staying school will be thrown out. P3-If for any reason both schools decide to split on good terms and go their separate ways, then the NCAA will step in and abolish the University of missouri from existence. Giving the University of Kansas all victories.

As Jaybate would, say, Just fiction, no malice intended

Kye Clark 8 years, 5 months ago

Regarding Anderson going to Arkansas (allegedly), does this make it more likely that we will sign Ben McLemore? Or does it muddy things up even more?

tis4tim 8 years, 5 months ago

Great question. I think the answer is a very definitive "We'll see."

Alohahawk 8 years, 5 months ago

Added this in a reply on another article. If Ben McLemore doesn't sign with KU now, he was never going to sign with the Hawks.

Still hoping the Hawks can sign Archie Goodwin (lives in Arkansas - class of 2012). Missery was high on his list, and might have good rapport with Anderson. However, Arkansas has had two coaching changes over the last 9 or 10 years, which can't help in recruiting.

Steve Kubler 8 years, 5 months ago

All of you that are supporting "the path for KU is easy" need to get one though in your head. We are in 1 and Done time. It does not matter what the seed is if you slip up, even a little, any team that has made it this far will send you home. Fear the underdog what have they to lose?

Every year KU is considered to fail if they do not reach the final 4 AT LEAST! Heck, at the beginning of this year I was figuring that realistically a Sweet 16 berth would be a nice goal for this year. Now you say that if they don't walk into the championship game without having to breath hard they are losers?

Get a grip!

Oh by the way I'm glad I was wrong about how good this team could be! They have the #1 spot in my bracket!!!

GoNkrzy 8 years, 5 months ago

Only have one thing to say...for a team that Dick Vitale picked to finish 5th in the Big 12, we're not having too bad a year...!!! After we take it all, I hope he loves the taste of crow.

rockchalkjaywalk 8 years, 5 months ago

Anybody have any details on what the schedule looks like for the team down in San Antonio.. I would love to catch a autograph session or a shoot around.

Rock Chalk from Boerne Tx!

Jack Wilson 8 years, 5 months ago

I'll go on record and say we will waltz to the final four. We win both games by at least 10 points. None of these teams have a star, none can hang with us, none are in the same league..

We can act like we respect them, but we don't. We roll to Houston.

Hank Cross 8 years, 5 months ago

I never though I'd say this, but - When are we going to let go of the loss to Zona? They weren't UNI, they were a talented team that beat a very good UK team to win the NC. There were high expectation for the '85 Michigan Wolverines with Roy Tarpley and the Tarheels with Kenny Smith and Brad Dougherty. Villanova took them both out, and Nova didn't have the talent of Zona. I doubt, however, that those losses are mourned at either school.

Jaques Vaughn got a ring with the Spurs. Pierce got a ring, a Finals MVP, and a legendary monment in the Finals. Being a Laker fan, I hope he never wins another championship in Boston, but his HOF legacy is secure. All the scores have been settled as well as they will ever be. It's time to move on.

mikehawk 8 years, 5 months ago

Some KU FANatics don't just like to drink the Kool Aide, they will mainline on it given opportunity. The article is right on, and in fact, may be slightly understated. The style of both defense and offensive sets by Richmond is a matchup nightmare for KU. All year long I have been saying on these blogs that KU plays best when they TRULY feel threatened. When they don't, they show up and struggle. It is imperative they believe in the Richmond Spiders as a legitimate and serious threat, or this year's Kool Aide flavor will turn sour in a lot of the KU faithful stomachs.

Kirk 8 years, 5 months ago

This team DOES feel threatened -- esp. by the classic underdogs that have nixed Kansas SO many times. No worries.

Matchup nightmare? Uh, no. KU will feed the twins and Richmond will succumb to a bigger, stronger foe.

Luan Do 8 years, 5 months ago

even wichita state beat vcu. the refs gave vcu the game by calling a phantom foul with 1 second left. i ain't skurred. i've seen them play and they're not all that. after we win friday, vcu should be a piece of cake.

HawkBBall 8 years, 5 months ago

As we all know, matchups mean more than seedings. Sure, a body of work may drive the seeding, but the matchups win/lose games.

Here, the Spiders excell in shooting 3's. Rodriguez drives to make assists. The Spiders want to slow the game down.

For what it is worth, I think Tyshawn with his size and speed will blanket Rodriguez. EJ can provide TT dome relief. Tyrel and Brady will neutralize the line shooters. The Twins will play the high-low to perfection. If the Spiders are below average on rebounding, we should be able to speed up play with quick out passes and fast breaks for layups. I look for the 'Hawks to be agressive, on offense and defense.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.