Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Self, KU prep for evenly matched battle with Michigan

Michigan guard Nik Stauskas (11) talks with guards Trey Burke (3) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (10) in the first half of a third-round game of the NCAA college basketball tournament against Virginia Commonwealth Saturday, March 23, 2013, in Auburn Hills, Mich.

Michigan guard Nik Stauskas (11) talks with guards Trey Burke (3) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (10) in the first half of a third-round game of the NCAA college basketball tournament against Virginia Commonwealth Saturday, March 23, 2013, in Auburn Hills, Mich.


Four college basketball experts — Gary Parrish, Jeff Goodman, Matt Norlander and Jeff Borzello — each pick No. 4 seed Michigan to defeat top-seed Kansas University in Friday’s Sweet 16 contest in Dallas.

Doug Gottlieb of CBS Sports Radio also predicts the Wolverines will prevail in the 6:37 p.m., match-up in Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The Jayhawks are 2-point favorites in Vegas, but the negative prognosticating has made some wonder if KU coach Bill Self will use the “no respect” angle in game preparation this week.

“I guess we could use it. I don’t really think there’s that type of motivation we need to use to get our guys ready,” Self said before Tuesday’s practice in Allen Fieldhouse. “I hope everybody talks about Michigan. That’s fine with me. We’re still the 1-seed. We need to play like the 1-seed. We haven’t done that yet, at least consistently.

“They are very capable of being the 1-seed,” he added of the Wolverines of the Big Ten. “Two or three weeks ago they were on the 1-line. There’s not a nickle’s worth of difference between the teams. Whoever plays best on Friday will win.”

The Wolverines (28-7) may boast the country’s top backcourt in sophomore Trey Burke and junior Tim Hardaway, Jr. Also, freshman forward Mitch McGary appears to be coming into his own after scoring 21 points off 10 of 11 shooting and grabbing 14 rebounds in Saturday’s 78-53 third-round rout of VCU.

“I see the same thing every time I watch them play. They stretch you at the 4-spot. They have arguably the best point guard in the country, an unbelievable backcourt. They are extremely well-coached (John Beilein) and well-drilled. They average only nine turnovers a game, which is best in the country,” Self said.

“They don’t beat themselves. When they are playing well, they play as well as anybody in the country. On the flip side, when we play well, we play about as well as anybody. It should be a heck of a game without question.”

Self’s Jayhawks (31-5) trailed at halftime in their first two games — wins over Western Kentucky (64-57) and North Carolina (70-58).

“Part of our strategy this time, we’re going to tell our guys to actually make shots,” Self said with a smile. “Maybe that should be our strategy rather than just throw it up there. The first two games we didn’t get off to good starts, without question. Of course in winning the Big 12 tournament we played very, very well. We’ve got a little momentum. We played terrific the second half against North Carolina.

“The guys got some confidence back. I think there was a little extra pressure. We don’t talk about it, but I guess we can (now). Being a 1-seed playing in your backyard where expectations are you are going to do this, sometimes you play not to lose rather than embrace the moment. Many times, coaches and players (say), ‘Let’s just get through this,’ rather than saying, ‘I’m going to enjoy every second of it.’ That’s the mindset we can improve on moving forward.”

Wesley doubtful: Self said junior forward Justin Wesley (severely sprained right ankle) is doubtful for the game.

“It’s fairly significant,” Self said of the sprain, noting X-rays showed no broken bones. “We hope he’ll be able to go. We don’t think any way he’ll practice in the next two days.”

Self on KU’s women’s team reaching the Sweet 16: “They’ve been unbelievable in the tournament. They played great last year and this year went on the road to Colorado and beat the Buffs on their home floor and had a great win (over South Carolina) last night. I was really happy for her (KU coach Bonnie Henrickson) and her program and they’ve got seniors who have given their heart and soul to this place. It’s really nice for them.

“She (Henrickson) has done a really good job here. I’m so happy for Angel (Goodrich) and those other seniors, for them to get a chance to continue playing.”

Encouraging words: North Carolina coach Roy Williams showed some class in speaking to several Jayhawks in the handshake line following the Jayhawks’ win on Sunday in Sprint Center.

“He said, ‘Good game,’ and to go win it all,” noted KU senior Travis Releford. “I think that’s the message their whole team told us. Of course if we would have lost, we’d probably have done the same thing.

“He’s a fan of Kansas,” Releford added of former KU coach Williams. “He’s said that before. I’m sure he’s always going to be (a fan of KU). It’s cool to have support from another coach.”

One day of rest, reflection: Self elected to give the Jayhawks a day off Monday.

“We decided yesterday to let them get away from us (coaches) and be a normal student for a day,” Self said. “We’ll jump head first into it today (Tuesday) and get heavy into it.”

Coaches get along: KU football coach Charlie Weis texts Self “all the time,” Self said. “He’s been terrific. He’s been a big fan. I’m a big fan of his program and of course he’s been great.”

Travel day today: KU is scheduled to board the bus at Allen Fieldhouse at 2 p.m. today and fly out of Topeka’s Forbes Field at 3 p.m. The Jayhawks will hold an open practice from 2:10 to 3 p.m., Thursday, at Cowboys Stadium.


Bewareofthephog Fifety-Five 1 year ago

My biggest concern is McLemore. For one thing, we very well could need his offense if this turns out to be a high-scoring game, although there are ways around needing him. But then there is his defense, he is fine at stopping one-on-one drives, but he is weak at going through screens, and I worry about his ability to stick with Nik Stauskas, their three-guard who shoots 43% from beyond the arc. Needless to say, Releford will have to guard Hardaway Jr. or possibly Burke.


Jay Dogger 1 year ago

My biggest worry: Withey in foul trouble. But that will be my biggest worry for the next four games (one at a time, of course). He is our most valuable player, as well as our most consistant.


jaybate 1 year ago


One more thing. Last weekend, I would much rather have played VCU. I wanted a piece of VCU. Self rarely loses a rematch. I wanted VCU bad!!!!!

With UM, we've got talent as good as ours to deal with. McGrary and Burke and Hardaway and Glenn are super tough. I would always rather play against lesser talent. Self's system can usually beat another system. Its tough match ups Self worries about. UM presents much tougher match ups.


AsadZ 1 year ago

KU has to be aware about their 1-3-1 zone D. That confused the heck out of KU in the last encounter and we gave up a big lead. I would not be surprised if that is thrown back at us. I hope that we attack the zone really well.


jaybate 1 year ago


Why national media pick UM:

Michigan population: 9.8M

Kansas population: 2.8M

Its about the TV sets, Q ratings, and gambling, stupid.


jaybate 1 year ago

Wissox is right to warn about UM.

If we cannot contain Burke, and they shoot well, and they get an early lead, we could get drubbed. Princetons are tough to play catch up on.

Likewise,if they cannot control Ben and Trav and we shoot well, then we could easily drub them. Princetons are lousy at catch up.

There is also a referee factor. Will referees allow Jeff's contact on blocking, or will the allow hockey checking and chucking? How much time buffer is there between games. More whistle swallowing favors McGrary and UM. Less favors KU, unless KU is particularly adroit at chucking UM out of cuts.

Two really huge edges we have regardless. Our four seniors:

1) played in the Purdue blood sport last season; and

2) played a fabulously better team than UM last season in UK.

So: our guys are never outside their envelope of experience with regards to another team's level of violence, and/or talent.

UM, however, has never played against a Boa Constrictor defense like KU's EVER.

Its not that KU'S defense is unbeatable. Its that they haven't seen it and so have to adjust.


Eric Baker 1 year ago

Hopefully none of our shooters on these team have the same problem with perimeter shooting in a football stadium like Tyshawn did last year in the tournament.

I really wish the NCAA would only hold tournament games in basketball-only venues.


Tony Bandle 1 year ago

Knowing that Tyshawn and TRob were gone, if you had told me on Labor Day, 2012 that Elijah would struggle at the point with bad knees, that Kevin would start every game of the season, that Rio and AWIII were pretty much MIA, that Perry wouldn't show signs of life till Valentine's Day, that Bill's rotation was pretty much the four seniors, BenMac and Naadir, that we'd lose a home game and we would lose to TCU, I would have been stunned.

Then if you told me, by the way, we won our 9th title, we won another Big 12 Tourney, we're ranked 3rd, we got a 1st seed and made the Sweet Sixteen while leading the nation in defensive %, I would have been flabbergasted!!

All I'm saying is that come Friday about 9:00 pm win, lose or draw it's been one hell of a ride.


Mike Riches 1 year ago

Does anyone know what hotel the Jayhawks are staying at in Dallas? We'd love to cheer them on as they get on the bus Friday! Rock Chalk!


jaycard 1 year ago

Can we call you Johnny Fever?


kennethst 1 year ago

Michigan has been crowned the new "sexy" team by the geniuses in sports media. Why? Well of course because their former "sexy" team, beat badly by UM.

You remember VCU, right? So sexy.......with their "hip and cool" coach, Shaka Smart......with his "hip and cool" shaved head. And if that's not hip, cool, and sexy enough......Ultra cool Spike Lee was their #1 fan!!! Spike Lee......such a wonderful and decent human being that has never ever done anything wrong. He's just sooooooo cool!!

How could you not salavate all over them if you're in the media???? And shriek and get wobbly-knees in their presence????


jaybate 1 year ago

Part 5

If If EJ has decent knees, and KU can guard the Princeton the way they have in the past, i.e., with our 4s and 5s actually beating the ball screener to the ball screen, then I think EJ and Travis will hold greater and greater edges as the game wears on, and Jeff will control McGrary offensively, but probably not score much on him. Rebounding would be decisive if either team could command a decisive edge, but I don't think either team can. I think boarding will be very close. So, strange as this may seem: it really comes down to Jamari's ability to put in 15 minutes and play well enough that the lead does not shrink. He will have to show the kind of explosiveness he showed early in the season. I don't know if he can, because his knees have appeared to deteriorate. But this is what we need to win playing our style of game despite the bruising game Michigan's 250 pounders will bring. If either team has a poor shooting game they lose, because the teams are pretty closely matched in terms of weapons. This is why coaches tell their players everyone of you is important to the team. Sooner or later during the season, there will be a key role you will need to perform in order for the team to get through a particular game. This UM game seems like that game for Jamari.


I think both coaches will play it close to the vest the first half to avoid fouls and to turn it into a 20 minute game. Self may show some intermittent pressing to get UM's Princeton to set up deeper than normal to in turn deepen the treys they take. But pressing can sap resources for the second game so it probably won't be frequent, unless KU falls behind.



jaybate 1 year ago

Part 4

5--Jeff v. Mitch--long brawn vs. longer and slender. Jeff needs a step and jump to block and alter other's shots. He can no step and jump on his man. Thus, Jeff will fare okay against McGrary, except when McGrary can hook him and jam it. Where McGrary can really limit Jeff's block and alter against other players by shoving and holding the weaker, lighter Withey. On offense Jeff will want to keep sliding across the lane to keep McGrary's greater mass in motion. Greater mass in motion has greater inertia and so it is harder for him to change directions than for Jeff. Move. Hook. Cut. Move. Hook. Cut. That should be Jeff's mantra. And remember he is three inches taller and a better jumper. And Jeff's jumping advantage will increase sharply the second half. Jeff will need a lot of support this game from Jamari. And Jamari's got to understand this and understand that he is going to have to be explosive, rather than a banger. When Jamari is in on defense, he needs to push Michigan's 250 pounders in the directions they are going, not resist. Push and trip from behind, so they overshoot their spot and mess up their timing. The Princeton is a timing offense. Players have to get places in time, or it doesn't create open looks. Jamari has to be ready to play, because Jeff cannot fight two 250 pounders for 40 minutes. This Michigan game is the biggest game of Jamari's life. He has to be made to understand this and so be ready to leave it all on the floor. Again, he is not going to be an enforcer, but he is going to initiate contact and sustain contact and try to shove his man past his desired destination. Can't emphasize how important Jamari will be. Edge: even.

Beating Michigan will be a tall order. But not too tall. Both teams are going to be wanting a low possession game, preferrably a 20 minute game, in order to have enough gas in the tank to win the second game of the weekend.

The team Michigan is most like, among those KU has played this season, is Michigan State, with better shooting and more depth at the bigs. KU played well against Michigan State, and only failed to close out at the end with EJ barely playing on one leg and depending on Perry when he was not ready.


jaybate 1 year ago

Part 3

3 Travis vs. Nik--the best way for KU to win this game is for Travis to handcuff Nik at the trey stripe, and take him to iron on offense. If they are doubling, dish, if they are not use his superior strength to wear down Nik. Travis needs to be everywhere today. This could be his big moment. Not sure if he can do it two games in a row, but that is what the mission calls for, and this season, Travis has generally carried out the mission. I am a big Travis Releford advocate. We need him to do his usual wait and see the first 5 minutes, but then we need him to try to take the game over for 3 minutes at that point, rather than waiting to the second half. Edge KU.

4--Kevin vs. Glenn--Kevin gives up 15-20 pounds, but has 2 inches on Glenn. Both are active. Kevin lives to fight through screens and harrass and hound. So does Glenn. Both guys like to get loose inside for points. Kevin never shoots the trey. Glen shoots it but only makes 34%. Kevin needs to understand that every where he goes, Glenn is going to be running him by Mitch McGrary and McGrary is going to be looking to knock Kevin's block off. Kevin is probably going down several times early. These screens are going to hurt. McGrary openly plays football. He is drive blocking in the era of no-call moving screens. On offense, Kevin needs to work baseline on these guys again, just as he did against UNC the second half. Jeff 8 to 10 feet out, maybe even 15 out, at times, could make both Kevin and Perry very effective working baseline against Glenn at 2 inches shorter, and the height would grow more advantageous as the game wears on. But Glenn is a very tough and physical match up for Kevin. It is hard to guess how Perry will fair against Glenn. But if Perry has any success at all against Glenn, then Beilein will bring in a 250 pounder and start shoving Perry all over. Perry has a 50/50 chance of being effective, but could look pretty uncomfortable at first. The intensity is really going to be something for him to witness. Kevin saw this degree of warfare last year against Purdue. Edge: Even


jaybate 1 year ago

Part 2

So: lets go position by position.

1--6-4 EJ vs. 6-0 Burke--Everyone loves Burke. To me he is a short man waiting to be muzzled by a long man. If EJ's knee were over the tweak in the UNC game, a 6-4 EJ usually hamstrings even a very quick 6-0 Burke on the trey stripe, and on the drive with Withey as back up, as well, especially as the game wears on. EJ stays tall inside and at the trey stripe. Burke's hops get shorter. If EJ's knee is not over the tweak, this is probably KU's weakest point and would force Naadir into service against what appears a superior athlete and talent, at least at this stage of Naadir's development. It might even trigger an appearance by Anrio Adams, as hard as this might be for KU fans to believe. Burke is a threat that has to be contained for KU to win. Were EJ's defense at its peak, we could simply shut him down, but it isn't. From Burke's point of view, it is best for him to go on the attack early and often to maximize his hops and try to foul up EJ. I think EJ will defend him well, though the screening will really test EJ, and there will have to be a lot of switching, which means Ben and Trav will get their share of time on Burke, too. I know everyone thinks Burke is the man, but I think EJ's length and tournament savvy will get the better of Burke on defense, and on offense, well, EJ makes TOs against everyone, when he is making mostly high risk/high return passes. EJ just has to protect on the dribble, even if that means Travis brings the ball up the court. Edge: KU (though no one else will think so the first 5 minutes when Burke is fresh, but will as the game wears on)

2--Ben vs. Hardaway--This is going to be a really interesting match-up, because Hardaway has an inch on Ben, is much more experienced, and is an extremely hard nosed player. Ben has the edge in athleticism and shooting range, but Hardaway is still very good himself. Both are spot up shooters. Hardaway used to put it on the deck before Burke arrived. This is a very tough matchup to bounce back against and this is why the Madness is so tough on younger players that tend to keep having flaws exposed all season. The next game is usually against an even tougher opponent. No time to work through a problem against lesser players and rebuild confidence. If Ben gets eaten alive by Hardaway, which could happen, I would say Ben needs to think seriously about helping his mom find a job in Lawrence and come back for one more year of seasoning. But if he can light the candle on Hardaway, then he is probably mentally tough enough to go to the hard knocks that await in the L. I really think this match-up is a wash. Ben will bounce back, but the best we can hope for here is Ben and Hardaway to match points (unless, of course, Hardaway were to go ice cold, but that probably wouldn't be Ben's doing--just luck of the draw.) Edge: even.


jaybate 1 year ago

"jaybate Intelligence Estimate: Michigan"


Michigan uses what may as well be called the Spread Princeton. Three trey shooters on the perimeter, two of which can put it on the deck. A not so long 6-6 but athletic 4. And a committee of 250 lb brick outhouse 5s. Its a timing offense using lots of screens. They do this to achieve 55% shooting by bigs and cutters inside, and 39% trey shooting outside.

KU uses a spread High-Low. They use three tree shooters on the perimeter. A long 6-8 but skinny 4. And skinny, shot blocking savant footer at the 5. Its ball movement offense using a minimum of screens. They do this to achieve 55% trey shooting by bigs and drivers inside, and 40% trey shooting outside.

In short, they use sharply different spread offenses, sharply differently weighted 5s (UM's plays horizontal smash mouth, KU's plays vertical block and alter), similar style players at 2, 3 and 4, to achieve the same ends. There is a difference at point guard, too. UM starts a PG with two good knees, and rotates either a long one, or a short one. KU starts a long point guard with 1.5 knees, and rotates a short one with just adequate defense.


UM: Offensively, UM will attack EJ with Burke and try to muscle Jeff out of shot blocking and altering positions and attack inside for high percentage shots, then kick out to trey shooters.

KU: Offensively, we will attack their short point guard Burke and try take him to iron with EJ, attack their 3 with Travis superior strength and athleticism, and try to keep Jeff sliding across the paint to keep their heavy weight post men in motion, while Kevin works baseline to exploit his two inch advantage.


UM: It will defend Ben and Trav at the trey stripe, and lay off EJ to see if he can hit. Jeff will be bludgeoned by McGrary and his backup. Jeff likely will never have seen a physical pounding like the one he is going to take.

KU: EJ will deny Burke the trey stripe with his 4 inch height edge and funnel his drives to Jeff. Kevin will step step in front of McGrary, to deny the dish. Travis will rotate onto Robinson. And so on. Outside, I expect Travis to really make it tough on Nik and Ben to notch his defense up and dog Hardaway.


kennethst 1 year ago

If anyone wants a little inspiration for Friday's old coyote vs roadrunner cartoons. Pretty close to Jayhawk vs Wolverine, isn't it?? I told my 3 year old to pretend Jayhawk is Roadrunner. She thinks it's hilarious.

Let's hope the Jayhawks have a few surprises from "Acme Anvil Company'......or 'Acme Cement Company'.


Scott Smetana 1 year ago

Our only hope of slowing down Burke if he's hot is Tharpe. EJ's knees can't handle it. Releford is too tall and must be on Hardaway. I say bench EJ when he has his first 2 turnovers and./or missed layups. OR Bmac if he disappears. I think Tharpe will play a major role in this game.


Steve Gantz 1 year ago

Self trumps Beiline. That's the wild card we hold in this excellent matchup. You don't often see Beilines name pop up in best coach discussions.

Michigan will shoot quite a few threes.

Glenn Robinson may tell his son how to beat Kansas in the sweet 16. Tim Hardaway may tell his son how to beat kansas in the tournament.

Michigan struggles against really good defenses. That's how they lost to Wisconsin twice this year, and once each to Ohio St. and MSU.

And I'll be at church, no DVR, nothing but being distracted in thought of how the game's going while trying to listen to what's being said.


PVJayhawk 1 year ago

KU basketball players:

There happen to be very rare individuals (like myself) who can actually drive as good or better when intoxicated as opposed to sober. This phenomenon, some believe, is due to a genetic aberration that makes people with those brains immune to neurotoxic molecules that can pass the blood-brain barrier.

But I say it is simpler than that. It is the ability to FOCUS when one really needs to. You exhibited that kind of focus in the second half of the UNC game and look at what happened.

Remember how that felt, because it will be required for both halves in the upcoming 4 games.

Good Luck...RCJH


Sally Presson 1 year ago

Go getum Hawks, you've got the whole package going in, take advantage of all your talent and sock it to them!!!

Rock Chalk!!


Robin Smith 1 year ago

McGary is a fine young player, but to say he "appears to be coming into his own" is a little much. He had 1 good game against a team that only has one real contributor above 6-6. He's had some solid games this year, but nothing spectacular.

Michigan is a great offensive team that makes few turnovers, but plays average defense, rebounds poorly, and has little post presence. It's an interesting match-up as Michigan can play into Kansas's weaknesses by pressuring our guards with their stellar guards, but KU's advantages appear to dwarf any they have over KU. We must hope Kansas simply doesn't have a dreadful shooting night. Short of that, Kansas should win.

Michigan is 26-1 against good-to-subpar defensive teams and 2-6 against great defenses. Kansas will be the best defense they have faced all year.

A comparison of a few salient points:

Effective FG% -- Michigan #11 vs Kansas #26

FG% Defense -- Kansas #1 vs Michigan #127

Rebound Rate -- Kansas #17 vs Michigan #66

A/TO Rate -- Michigan #1 vs Kansas #75

They will want to play at a fast speed, but I don't think they have the edge even if they get their way, because Kansas is capable. Kansas is significantly better than Michigan in the halfcourt.

Lastly, Self >>>> Beilein and he already beat him twice in the last few years, with some of the same players.

I feel optimistic.


Chris Shaw 1 year ago

I don't think Izzo is Self's Kryptonite. They are 5-5 against each other with Izzo winning the last 3.

The games in 2009 Izzo had the better squads and they beat Kansas twice that year 1) beginning of season and 2) Sweet 16 game.

In the Sweet 16 game and the the second game of the season this year Kansas lead both of the game for almost 95 percent of the game and gave it away in the last 2 minutes both games. Got to close it out.

Either way, Izzo and Mich State have had Kansas' number lately so let's not hope the entire State of Michigan has Kansas' number.


Chris Shaw 1 year ago

Bill Self is 2-0 against Beilein while at Kansas. Kansas and Michigan had home/home series in 2010 and 2011.

Interesting stats for both of those games:

2010: Michigan was 5-28 from the 3 point line

2011: Michigan was 4-28 from the 3 point line, Hardaway was a freshman during this game and dropped 19 points.

I don't remember much from the 2010 game, but I remember Kansas struggled a lot with the 1-3-1 half court zone that Beilein implemented in the 2011 game in Ann Arbor. Kansas was up 13 points twice during this game. Once during the final 5 minutes of the first half and held a 7 point half-time lead and the other was in the second half when they were up 13 points with 10 minutes to go.

Michigan fought it's way back and forced the game into OT and Kansas prevailed in OT.


jgkojak 1 year ago

I keep saying this -

Unless we're playing a TCU-type game, if we play like we did in the 2nd half against UNC...

We have a chance to do to Michigan what we did to UNC in the 2008 Final Four- knock 'em out in the 1st half.

Michigan will want to run, doesn't defend... so I see McLemore, Releford, Johnson and Perry going to town against them - we'll get 10 or so extra possessions a half on rebounds, which against Michigan will = 15-20 pts.

If we turn the ball over we're dead meat.


Alex Resnik 1 year ago

I've been living in the Detroit area now for 8 years and I get to hear all the talk about how McGary is going to throw around Withey and how Burke is going to get his 25 pts. I've been watching KU and Michigan all year and Michigan CANNOT defend. McGary is a hustler, a Hansbrough type who will throw up some shots and hope they go in without playing any resemblance of defense. The entire Michigan team is defensively inept. Staskus is a liability, he will be guarding T-Rel, Hardaway takes plays off he will be guarding B-Mac and Burke will be guarding EJ, and EJ has 5 inches on him and about 20-30 lbs. Robinson JR will be guarding KY and I think that we can exploit that matchup, whether it be KY or Ellis. We win this game because we pound the ball inside and let Perry and KY do work (Perry scores and KY should have 6-8 assists)


mikehawk 1 year ago

After watching Michigan destroy VCU playing VCU's game, I think we are better off for a muddy track, ugly, trench warfare type game. This team of ours is so interesting in that they are not going to make it easy on ourselves or on the opponent. We have to find a way to win, but you have to find a way to beat us. I am not saying it will take us all the way, or even past this game, but the senior leadership is a difference maker, especially as the stakes get higher. The B1G is full of themselves, and for good reason this year. But make no mistake about it, when they see Kansas and HCBS, they get real quiet. Anyone who watched Michigan dismantle VCU, has to pick them. It is the smart money. Oh...wait a minute! The smart MONEY is on us by two. Interesting.


Hank Cross 1 year ago

I was listening to a B10 journalist on xm college sports and he was quite concerned about MIs ability to handle KU inside. Let's hope he is right.


GreatJake 1 year ago

Hey, some tall KU alum who is going to the game on Friday...

Wear a Michigan hat and T-Shirt and accidently jab Withey in the cheek before the game. It seems like a winning strategy.

Just kidding.............

Thanks Jayhawks for extending the fun for another week. Lets see some back court bad axx offense/defense this weekend.


Sam Constance 1 year ago

So predictable. National sports analysts are easily distracted and prone to groupthink.

They see Michigan destroying a team that they are built to beat (VCU) combined with "three terrible halves" (in quotes because it's like they have a talking point to refer to KU's tourney performance thus far in this way) from Kansas and they seem to forget that how you did in your previous matchups in this tournament is about as relevant as KU's dominant play in the Big 12 tournament. And they rationalize it by this flawed "how are you playing right now?" reasoning.

How many times have we seen a team play outstanding ball for two games, then lay an egg in the next one?

Michigan certainly has the talent to win this game, but the way they are being penciled in as the winner is obnoxious and lacks any measure of critical thought and analysis. KU is about as good defensively as Michigan is offensively--they are both at the top of the country in those areas. The inverse is true as well--KU is about as good offensively as Michigan is defensively, although the two teams are less outstanding in those areas.

I seem to remember this idea that defense wins championships. I may be biased, but I will pick an elite defense to shut down and ugly up an elite offense every time in the NCAA tournament.


Greg Lux 1 year ago

We will need to shoot and make 3's to win this game. I am all for taking it inside to young and withey but in the past that has lead to more turnovers and less points. This game we need more balance and maybe a little outside - in game, and of course B Mac on his game will be necessary for sure.

Rock Chalk


kennethst 1 year ago

I'm sick of these "experts"........they have never respected Kansas......and they never will. The only reason these losers picked Michigan is that Michigan happenned to have a good game vs now they are all salavating and foaming at the mouth over them. But I can assure that if Michigan had not played well......they would find another team to salavate over(other than Kansas).......Why do human beings have to be so "human"?????

Anyway.....forget ever trying to convince "experts" to respect KU. It will never happen. Never. KU just needs to win......and shut their mouths.


Beau Woolsey 1 year ago

We were down at the half against Chattanooga We came out of that playing the great basketball for two months I'm hoping the UNC game has the same effect


Tony Bandle 1 year ago

The common thinking is that the Michigan/Kansas game will be a war of attrition and that the battered and bruised winner, whichever team it is, will be easy pickings for Florida who should handle Florida-Lite by 30.

In all honesty, I am not sure this Kansas team has enough to get to another championship game much less win it.

Still, I will be rooting with my wife watching upstairs, me downstairs with the sound off, my KANSAS bar sign on full illumination and my KU Flag flying high!!!!!



FearlessJayhawk 1 year ago

Just once I would like to see Ben McLemore play the way he is capable of. If he can somehow get untracked and we play the lock-down defense we are capable of, it will be on to Florida and the final four. Have the same kind of attitude as Florida Gulf Coast; relax, have fun and let her rip.


tim deegan 1 year ago

Its time to show the all the media talking heads that we are a number one seed for a reason.

Lots of respect for Michigan and their coach, including mine, but thought I'd poke a little fun at the team that is going to lose Friday...

Q. What does the average Michigan player get on his/her SAT? A. Drool.

Q. Why doesn't Ohio slide off into the Ohio River? A. Because Michigan SUCKS.

Q. What do you tell the U of M cheerleader to pick her up after she smiles at you? A. Nice tooth, babe.

Q. Why did they change the playing field at "The Big House" to cardboard? A. Because Michigan has always looked better on paper.

Q. What do you say to a Michigan Wolverine in a three piece suit? A. Will the defendant please rise.

A guy in a bar leans over to the guy next to him and says, "Wanna hear a Michigan joke?" The guy next to him replies, "Well before you tell that joke, you should know something. I'm 6' tall, 200 lbs., and I am a Michigan alumnus. The guy sitting next to me is 6'2 tall, weighs 225, and he's a Michigan alumnus. The fella next to him is 6'5 tall, weighs 250, and he's a Michigan alumnus. Now, you still wanna tell that joke?" The first guy says, "Nah, not if I'm gonna have to explain it 3 times."


otaKU 1 year ago

Bill Self owns/owned Big 10 basketball. If the national championship goes through the Big 10 this year (Michigan Indiana, Michigan St. or Ohio State), I think Self will have the guys prepared.


VaJay 1 year ago

Does anyone know how good an outside shot McGary has???

If that guy shoots anything like McAdoo, then Withey can patrol the paint & affect the game in a big way.


KemDooKU 1 year ago

If I had to guess I would say that Missouri would have gone to the final four if not for the fact that they got out scored by Colorado St..... Just sayin


wrwlumpy 1 year ago

It looks like Danny and the Golden Hurricanes are moving to the big East. Now Danny will really be able to recruit.


joeloveshawks 1 year ago

I can't remember a year that so many analysts picked a 1 seed to go down to a 4. I think it is partially due to how great this Michigan team is but also just a huge lack of respect for our Jayhawks. Perhaps the loss to TCU is still in people's minds but Michigan really struggled down the stretch and in their last loss to Wisconsin they looked horrible. Both teams have a ton of talent and it should be a great game. Hopefully we will all enjoy watching everyone at CBS and ESPN eat crow after a KU victory. It would be very similar to how no one picked us to beat OSU in the Final 4 last year.


HAWKTOPIA 1 year ago

Free Throws! If we get to the line and MAKE our free throws, we will win. Most our tounement losses could have been much different games had we converted free throws. Sink the Gimme's and we are Elite Eight.


Ron Franklin 1 year ago

I'm still waiting for somebody to explain how Michigan is a 4 seed. That is the biggest joke of the tournament, Besides Kentucky not making it at all.


Kent Richardson 1 year ago

Are Perry and Jelly gonna be quick enough to handle the 4? Who does MI have that can handle them? Only way MI wins is by a super hot shooting night or our cold one. Both teams play well we win.


nuleafjhawk 1 year ago

The only team that can beat us is


ManCrushOnCaptainKirk 1 year ago

Does anybody feel like we are "due" to win a National Championship when we DON"T have arguably the best team in the nation hands down? Especially in light of the fact that we've lost a several of times (against Arizona comes especially to mind) when we were CLEARLY the best team in the nation. I just feel that one of these days, we're bound to get a few breaks and win a chip with a team that clearly has flaws.

The basketball gods owe it to us....


KULA 1 year ago

All those CBS sportscasters remind me of 08 when nobody picked us against UNC or Memphis. I still say we've got the best first seven guys in the D1. And I'll go with the Vegas oddsmakers over the network talking heads anytime.


phogphan2000 1 year ago

If Michigan manages to win this game so be it. I just want to see the same determination we've become accustomed to from these guys in big games. No fear, just 5 Jayhawks on the court playing smart, hard-nosed basketball for 40 minutes.


nostradavid 1 year ago

  • “Part of our strategy this time, we’re going to tell our guys to actually make shots,” Self said with a smile.

  • ‘I’m going to enjoy every second of it.’ That’s the mindset we can improve on moving forward.”

Zen - how to break through the limits of the rational mind, and begin expanding your awareness and appreciation for the Great Game unfolding all around us. The art of the controlled accident—what happens when you stop taking your life so seriously and start enjoying it with complete sincerity. In order to come to your senses, Alan Watts often said, you sometimes need to go out of your mind.

Are we having fun yet ?

Are we having fun yet ? by nostradavid


William Blake 1 year ago

This should be a heck of a good game. I hope both teams play to their potential... and if that happens we should pull away eventually but not before a big healthy test.


eric poncharello 1 year ago

I believe every so called talking head expert is choosing Michigan. Kansas will come out Friday ready to play smash mouth and I think they thrive on that perception that every so called expert is choosing UM to win. Kansas player's are done having rocky games, it seems every year KU plays that way in the first two games off the NCAA's. EJ, Travis, Young, Withey and even Naa has waited there turn to be the ones to be on the main stage, there not going to let this opportunity slip away with out a fight. Will WIN, I'll Say it again WILL WIN! After KU beats UM, Will be in the championship. Last week I called the Kansas players out on this site, this week I don't need to, there already out there! By the way I got this picture off of the UMhoops site


Steve Zimmerman 1 year ago

I want to see Jeff swatting their 3s and beating the crap out of them under the rim. FG% leader, meet FG%D beast. It's been a match-up I've been waiting for. I like us being the underdog. We have to show them who's the fiercest.

Note to PGs & BMac: please please please make those shots!!!!!!!!!!

Let's go Jayhawk!


okiedave 1 year ago

K.U. matchups starting Friday, are going to be the highlight games for the rest of the tournament.


Priest Fontaine 1 year ago

The matchups to start the game:

1 6-0 190 Trey Burke-- vs 6'4" EJ

2 6-6 205 Tim Hardaway Jr-- vs 6'6" Releford

3 6-6 190 Nik Stauskas-- vs 6'5" B-Mac

4 6-6 210 Glenn Robinson-- vs 6'8" Young

5 6-10 250 Mitch McGrary-- vs 7' Withey

Tharp comes into relieve EJ guarding Burke. If Burke becomes too much for them to handle then Releford switches to Burke in second half with EJ taking Hardaway. I would love to see Traylor come in and just bang on McGrary to wear him down while withey catches a breather. If he fouls, make it memorable. Withey isn't going to get stretched much going against their bigs. This means we can put pressure on the perimeter and know that out insurance policy is in effect. I really hope we are the aggressors and come to play.


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