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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Keegan

Opinion: KU’s stunning loss comes down to karma

With only a few second on the clock and down by two points Elijah Johnson passes out to Naadir Tharpe for a last three-point attempt that missed leaving the Jayhawks with a 87-85 loss to the University of Michigan, Friday, March 29, 2013, at Cowboys Stadium, in Arlington, TX.

With only a few second on the clock and down by two points Elijah Johnson passes out to Naadir Tharpe for a last three-point attempt that missed leaving the Jayhawks with a 87-85 loss to the University of Michigan, Friday, March 29, 2013, at Cowboys Stadium, in Arlington, TX.

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KU-Michigan

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self talks after loss to Michigan

Kansas coach Bill Self talks after his team's 87-85 overtime loss to Michigan on March 29, 2013.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Travis Releford, Jeff Withey

Kansas seniors Travis Releford and Jeff Withey talk briefly on the podium following the Jayhawks' 87-85 overtime loss to Michigan on March 29, 2013.

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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Michigan coach John Beilein, Trey Burke, Mitch McGary and Tim Hardaway Jr.

Michigan coach John Beilein and playersTrey Burke, Mitch McGary and Tim Hardaway Jr. talk to reporters following the Wolverines' 87-85 overtime victory over Kansas on March 29, 2013.

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This was the 2008 national-title game all over again, only this time it’s Kansas licking wounds that will re-open every time somebody asks the obvious question: How did it happen?

How did Kansas lose a game it had locked up? How did it not secure a victory that would have had the Jayhawks playing Florida on Sunday with the winner advancing to the Final Four?

How did Kansas, which held a 10-point lead with 2:22 left in regulation when Elijah Johnson drove into a lane with four defenders and 30 seconds left on the shot clock, turned around and threw an errant pass toward the perimeter that was run down at the other end for an uncontested Glenn Robinson dunk, lose to Michigan, 87-85, in overtime?

“We’re right there where we wanted the game, and of course the last three minutes we didn’t do a lot of things right, which will be something we’ll look back on and regret for a long, long time,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “But props to Michigan for making all the plays late.”

Said Travis Releford: “We had a chance to seal the game, but we made some bone-headed plays late.”

It was nice of Releford to say, “we.” That’s the way teammates talk. They don’t point fingers and this was a tight-knit group that did none of that. Releford played well in his final game as a Jayhawk, totaling 16 points, five rebounds and six assists with just one turnover in 42 minutes. So did Perry Ellis, who made the most of 15 minutes and totaled eight points, five boards, three assists and a great hustle play that kept the ball from going out of bounds. Same for Kevin Young (12 points, seven boards, defensive lapses late) and Jeff Withey (12 points, eight boards, five blocks). Ben McLemore caught fire and was largely responsible for giving Kansas a double-digit lead, until he deferred late to the veterans, fell into foul trouble and lost his aggressiveness. He led Kansas with 20 points, but attempted one shot in the game’s final 16 minutes. Even fellow red-shirt freshman Jamari Traylor made the most of his five minutes with an energetic performance that yielded two points, two blocked shots and an assist. Naadir Tharpe steered Kansas to a six-point halftime lead as Johnson was limited to three first-half minutes.

As Self said, Michigan made all the plays late, and it was not unlike the way Kansas made all the plays late against Memphis in storming back from a nine-point deficit to win the national title five years ago. But Kansas helped Michigan more than Memphis helped Kansas.

The anatomy of the KU breakdown:

Robinson’s dunk, courtesy of Johnson, cut the lead to eight points with 2:18 left. Johnson failed to dribble the ball past the mid-court line in the allotted 10 seconds, giving the ball back to Michigan. It was Johnson’s third turnover in four possessions. Burke set up McGary for an easy bucket, trimming the lead to six points with 1:54 left. Releford’s two free throws pumped it back to eight with 1:22 remaining.

Burke — notice how frequently his and Johnson’s names surface in the re-living of a Michigan dream and KU nightmare — buried a three-pointer to cut it to a five with 1:15 left. Tim Hardaway Jr. missed a three with 35 seconds left the basketball squirted loose and was there to be had, the type play Self’s teams usually feast on.

“All we had to do was fall on the ball,” Self said. “The possession arrow was ours. We just didn’t do it. Seasons usually come down, if you’ve got a pretty good team, to one possession, at least it has with us, most every year. This wasn’t one possession. This was about five possessions.”

Robinson picked the ball up and scored. Now the lead was three. Johnson’s two free throws with 21 seconds left pumped the lead back to five. Burke’s layup with 14 seconds made it a three-point game again. Burke fouled Johnson with 12 seconds left and Johnson missed the front end of a one-and-one.

Self generally believes in fouling with a three-point lead once the clock shrinks to six seconds. Nobody was close enough to foul Burke, freed by screens, when he launched a 27-footer as Young ran toward him but was late in doing so. Burke nailed it. Of course he did.

Kansas had 4.3 seconds to get off a good shot and did, but Tharpe’s three-pointer kissed off the front of the rim.

Technically, Michigan won the game in overtime, but in reality, Kansas and Michigan combined to decide it at the end of regulation.

A second overtime loomed as a possibility with the ball in the hands of Johnson, whose extra period was a mixed bag that featured a pass thrown right to Michigan and a clutch three-pointer. He looked to be on his way to a drive that would finish with a shot. Instead he fired to the perimeter, where Tharpe forced a running three-pointer.

“I thought he could get to the rim,” Self said. “ ... He got his shoulders past him. But for whatever reason, he veered behind the backboard and really didn’t give himself a shot.”

Maybe bad karma springing from Johnson’s flagrant foul, more than anything, undermined what looked like a sure ticket to an Elite Eight showdown with Florida.

“I didn’t see it,” Self said, “but obviously the official said he did it, so he did it. The film doesn’t lie. That’s not how we play. And that was not smart at all. And then he gets a bad second foul on a charge, when all he had to do was stop and shoot it. The third foul he plays for 15 seconds and gets that one.”

Johnson said the play was “unintentional” and the referees agreed.

Even with their senior point guard limited to three first-half minutes, Kansas had the game in the bag. So how did they lose it? Karma. Had to be karma.

Comments

Kent Noble 1 year ago

When you sock someone intentionally in the nads bad karma will come back to bite and it did. Bill Self probably learned a lesson as well, don't let the other team have an opportunity to shoot a 3 and tie the game. Should have fouled when Burke crossed the half court line. We would have beaten Florida and been heading to Atlanta.

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Joseph Bullock 1 year ago

I had a really long post, but I just deleted it before I posted it. I am too angry right now. jaybate, I got much respect for you, but you can't put this loss on the refs. The game was ours to lose, and we did. Also, there are a lot of ways to stop guys from illegal screening (as a former player, I know this), that will get that screeners attention, and won't have the refs looking at the monitor. Run through it hard, or other stuff, but not do what E.J. did. That was obvious, and if he doesn't know they can look at it, he really does have issues (but I do think the kid flopped, absolutely, because he seemed to think about it for a few seconds, then kind of fell softly to the floor, like a pansy). This game was lost by a lack of a smart substitution, by a coaching staff, who I believe is the best over all staff in America. Are there no assistants that said, coach, we need to get Tharpe in the game for E.J. But they dropped the ball. By the way, also, did anyone else notice how many times our bigs headed back down court, when we put a shot up, especially late, when we needed an offensive rebound, to steal even "One" possession?

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Sam Constance 1 year ago

(concluded)

I'm not going to debate the EJ/McGary play, because while it sure looked intentional to my eyes on replay, I think people are forgetting how much slow-mo can change the way a play appears to the naked eye. Given that Johnson has showed us 4 years of great, sportsmanlike play, I think it's a bit naive to assume that he has either been hiding his true, dirty-player nature for 4 years or to think that he finally snapped and turned into a dirty player. It's more evidence of how vitriolic and delusional Johnson's haters are than anything else. The first hint of anything they think might validate the disgusting way in which so many fans have talked about EJ is seen as gospel truth. Pathetic.

As embarrassed as I was after seeing the replay of the nut tap, I'm equally embarrassed to hear/read the comments of far too many members of Jayhawk Nation today, even though I'm not surprised in the slightest. We should be better than this, Jayhawks. For me FOE isn't just a pithy phrase to show how much we love KU basketball. It means that these guys are family in that I will support them through tough times because I love how they make me feel in smooth times. It's about giving EJ the benefit of the doubt on the play in the first half. It's about knowing that as much as this loss may hurt for you or me, it hurts WAY worse for every single one of the guys on that team, and then about 10x worse again for the seniors on that team.

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Sam Constance 1 year ago

(continued)

For starters, I don't see how Withey's game deserves any kind of high praise. Yes, he got 5 blocks, but he also only managed 12 points and 8 rebounds in 39 minutes of play, and his man--the freshman McGary that we all expected to come back to Earth when faced with a real defensive post presence--went nuts for 25 points and 14 rebounds. In a game where we lost in overtime, that cannot be overlooked. Withey just finished dominating against UNC, and in this game, he at times looked slow and unable to keep up. Obviously, I'm not blaming Withey for the loss, but I have a hard time using his "amazing" play to point out how EJ was the only reason we lost this game.

Or what about Bill Self's role in this--and no, I don't mean because he played his senior PG for 24 minutes. I mean for failing to ask for an intentional foul on the final possession in regulation when only a three could tie it (HELLO, ISU at AFH anyone?). I mean for failing to help his team out by calling a timeout before the 10 second call. I mean by taking a timeout before the last possession on the many discombobulated offensive possessions and getting us a sure-fire basket that would have put the game just out of reach for Michigan. At least Self is paid to do these things. Johnson is just a kid who gave 4 years of his life to KU basketball, and now he is repayed by some jerkoff writing a "generate clicks" column and half the KU fanbase wishing him good riddance.

Or let's look at McLemore, who's hot shooting helped get us to the large lead, only to disappear for the final 16 minutes. Where the heck does Keegan get off glossing over McLemore's disappearance for almost half of the game, while piling onto EJ for a handful of admittedly problematic plays? Don't you think McLemore taking more than one shot in the final 16 minutes may have helped KU put the game just out of reach?

(to be concluded)

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Sam Constance 1 year ago

It's articles like this, and the sh**storm of a thread that was clearly going to follow, that kept me away from KUsports.com yesterday.

I expect it from a bunch of selfish, what-have-you-done-for-me-lately pseudo-fans. You don't get to this level of success without attracting a bunch of people who's only interest in KU is the fact that they win, and consistently. The thing about those types of "fans" is that they will turn on the very thing they root for at the drop of a hat. We saw it earlier in the year, when everyone was ready to sell this team--and especially EJ--up the river for doing something for the second time in a decade that most programs experience once every year or two (losing three in a row). And I knew as soon as this game was over that the same fickle fans would be foaming at the mouth to turn on EJ.

To pin this loss solely on Johnson and some moron's notion of "karma" is ignorance. And you would think someone who is such a target of ire from his readers would understand a thing or two about ridiculous over-the-top criticism or being the focal point for displeasure, whether deserved or not. Bottom line, this is a gutless, piece of trash column by Keegan. He knew the readers on this site would want blood. He knew that EJ would be the easiest target of their ire. So what does he do? Whips out his sacrificial knife and goes to town, more than happy to dump all over a 21-year old kid. The worst part is how he singles out EJ for criticism, while specifically singing the praises of every other player, in some cases completely ignoring the fact that those other players were integral to KU's collapse as well.

(to be continued)

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okiedave 1 year ago

A team who starts playing not to lose...often loses to a team playing to win. Almost always a coaching error. However, great year - Rock Chalk Jayhawk.

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Kevin Jenkins 1 year ago

Oh come on.He played the position before. He said it was his team and he drives this team. I don't believe in keep commenting on the game. And our team next year will drive us crazy also. I have been a KU basketball fan most of my life. I have always been proud to show it even when we lost to teams that we should have blown away.Now most KU fans are just shell shocked after a loss that seemed sealed. If you check with most of those couch-coach experts they just single out the one who should have been that player running the team. The coach deserves most of the blame. But most don't see that now. But another year will come and we will stand by our team. We will be checking our facts sheets and decide whats best for our team. By watching them in front of the wide screen. I did like the ride they gave us this year. I was wondering what was going to happen when T-Rob and Tyshawn were gone. But we made the tournament and Outright champs in the big 12.

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Ralster Jayhawk 1 year ago

Yeah, ok. Ive seen some hate-comments from "KU fans" online, as well as some on this site just absolutely out of line in regards to Elijah Johnson. Way to be just like IowaState loser fans, eh? I guess there's some of "those" in any bunch, & I suppose anyone can squeeze themselves into a jayhawk t-shirt and start braying their BS online. So the team doesnt allow those "KU fans" to brag another few days longer(I could care less for such fans)...but my thoughts go out to all the seniors: Sorry to see us lose a game in this fashion. But that does not change the years of sweat and effort they all put into Jayhawk Basketball. 63 out of 64 teams will lose, sucks that its ours, move on. People need to wear their "L" like a man. Thick or thin, right? Not-fairweather, right? Jayhawk "Faithful", right? How about man-up and wear your "KU" shirt today. Prove you got skin that is 10% as thick as EJ's skin needs to be, right about now--how sad is that. To quote Bill Self: "(effin') unbelievable!", but in this case he might as well be talking about some KU fans from what I've seen.

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woodscolt 1 year ago

Way to much testosterone on this link. Lots of adults acting like babies. We lost the game. It happens. This is a single elimination tournament. Anybody can get beat on a given night. Thats why the NBA plays best of seven. Even the eventual winner has a bad night or even more.

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skijamin 1 year ago

When this team came out of the media timeout at the 7:30ish mark, they stopped playing to win and started playing not to lose (BMac disappeared again). They lost the "attack" mentality that produced the 14 point lead. Once that happened, we lost the game. While it would be easy to blame EJ, the whole team turned on the cruise control at that point. That being said, the only game where EJ looked like the senior leader was the second Iowa State game. He was never cut out to lead this team, which was our greatest flaw throughout the entire season. I will miss his heart and appreciate his efforts, but I think that the team will be better of with Tharpe at the helm. He has progressed nicely over the year and just needs a more consistant shot. He has also shown the ability to run the point and be the team better than EJ. Good luck to all the seniors and BMac (if he leaves). I look forward to next season with Tharpe and Ellis taking the lead. Both have proven their worth towards the end of this season and will only get better from here on out. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

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Kirkwood 1 year ago

I'm really disappointed for this team. I place full accountability for this loss squarely where it belongs... on Bill Self and his Coaching Staff.

EJ wasn't in his right mind from the start which was quite obvious by the cheap-shot he delivered early in the game. As a team we performed very strong with EJ cheering from the bench in the first half. I totally support injecting him back into the game in the second half to see if he could right himself and contribute to the winning efforts of the rest of the guys.

However, EJ wasn't able to right himself and the Coaching Staff had a responsibility to the team and to EJ to do the right thing by taking him off the court. Why Naa wasn't made to bring the ball up with 9sec left in overtime and then dish to Releford who has been sure money going to the basket for a layup??? I will never know.

EJ gave us his heart, as did the rest of the guys. They looked dysfunctional towards the end of the game, which should have never gone into overtime. I blame this on the Coaches. These players, especially EJ, will have a VERY TOUGH TIME dealing with this loss. Thanks guys for another exciting season. Never forget "Once a Jayhawk, Always a Jayhawk".

Keep this in mind; As a Jayhawk, EJ has won more games for us as a result of his talent and heart than games lost due to mistakes that are part of the game. Rock Chalk Jayhawks, Forever KU!!

If you're still having a hard time putting this GAME into perspective... Read this... http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/tenn-teen-bone-cancer-dies-article-1.1302681

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Ralster Jayhawk 1 year ago

From an analytical standpoint, this game was lost in regulation. Whatever mindset the team went into the last 3 min, basically gave a legit foe opportunity after opportunity to undo what we had spent the whole game doing. Went from a "run our stuff" mentality to a "lets not screw up mentality". Add in that UM was playing for their lives, their defense gained an edge to it. EJ's flaws as a PG showed up, and it totally undid what had been a solid effort by most of the KU team. Think of all those missed shots 2nd half by Tharpe and Withey-jumpers)...if just one hits, it makes it all moot. Yes, I thought EJ missing the front of a 1and1 was basically it: allowed Burke's (tying) trey to matter. I just feel worst for all the seniors. Not the way you want to lose a game. I care little about fan feelings, as we get to ride along each year. The players will carry it around way more poignantly than any of us. Thanks for everything each player could give us, good luck to each in the future--will try to follow each of you. RCJH.

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shotgun 1 year ago

What a bunch of cry babies, MU did not quit.

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kennethst 1 year ago

Is EJ to blame? Sure....for some. But he gave his heart.....I have no doubt of that.

But we must remember he is not a point guard.....but he was asked to be one. So he was always out of place. They tried tyo make it work.....but in the end failed.

Hopefully......we learned something. We certainly saw what a real point guard can do.

PS-I will NEVER consider a lead of less than 20 points to be safe inside of 5 minutes......GEEZ!!!! Amazing that happenned. KU did everything wrong.....Michigan everything right.

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nuleafjhawk 1 year ago

I blame it all on Turner Gill.

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Steve Brown 1 year ago

What week of the season did Sherron come to Lawrence for a visit, was it right before the 3 game stretch, if not, then forgive my thoughts.

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g_rock 1 year ago

What is effing hilarious is that my ex is thinking that KU lost because I broke up with him. I'll take that bump in my Karma because what I've moved onto is a hell of a lot better.

yah. I said that.

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hawkshot 1 year ago

I will not miss #15 at all. He was the reason that I normally just recorded the games and watched them later. Still couldn't watch the games that I already knew the outcome, without him getting on my nerves. Don't know at all about Bill's love affair with him. Would love to have seen some development of the younger kids. Don't know why a younger player is yanked, but 15 can constantly throw the ball away and stay in the game. I hope that they stay, but I would'nt blame Rio and White for leaving.

2

kennethst 1 year ago

Well, that's it. I'm done compalining and being sad. My little 3 year old just ran in here and asked when the easter Bunny would be here. That was enough to bring me back.

It was a sad game.....but then again .....just a game. There are so many other important things in our lives.....and I for one need to be more thankful for them......and I will. KU had a good year.....and will have another next year. Every year!

"The Easter Bunny will be hear before you know it, ange!" I say......as I pick her up and hug her.......and she laughs and laughs..........Yep.....the important things.....for sure.

Thanks to everyone on here. It's great to talk to you guys. See you in a few short months!

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jaybate 1 year ago

basketball karma--what goes around comes around (westernized interpretation in jaybate's Concordance of Eastern Mysticism)

basketball dharma--the Law that upholds, supports or maintains the regulatory order of the universe", as quoted from the ancient iScripture called Wikipedia

Me thinks Master Keegs is not fully up to speed on basketball karma.

What happened in this game has much more to do with the sorry state of basketball dharma as prescribed by television and its broadcast windows and the NCAA and its managers of officials willingness to embrace nonlinear rule enforcement for the sake of controlling game length.

KU's karma has alway been decent, at least as good as most other schools trying to do it the right.

What we have here is a problem with a perversion of the basketball dharma.

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 1 year ago

Words, words words, "karma", what is that??

The other team was simply more focused on the game. Our team of NBA wannabes simply lacked the maturity and desire to win.

Players should agree to play the college careers to graduation, that is the main purpose of a college education.

Those who do not agree to complete their ecucation should be barred from the NBA and removed from the college that has invested time and money in them.

But it will never happen, money is the root af all evil.

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gongs4ku 1 year ago

The people who actually think Self should be fired for losing in the sweet sixteen to a team led by the player of the year greatly amuse me. I can understand being ticked off and disappointed, but let's not suspend our ability to reason entirely. Self is one of the top three coaches in the game.

I would have left EJ in at the end too, fwiw. He was our best at getting to the rim; his having the ball presented our best chance to win.

1

easyfive 1 year ago

Self needs to go!!! Get Danny back here ASAP Get the players better housing, Five star not Jayhawk motel. Cut a deal with UCLA to get Self out... fast...

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prf 1 year ago

Karma? Let's try a more mundane account. Traylor played a total of 5 minutes. With Johnson basically out of the first half, KU was relying on a 6-man rotation. In the second half, Whitey was exhausted, trying to cover the entire key. His timing was off, he didn't have his normal spring, and he missed several close-in shots. When McLemore committed his fourth foul, Traylor continued to sit, Tharpe came in and played at the 2. At the end of the game, it was Johnson's point guard play that wrecked the outcome, but why wasn't Tharpe playing the point, as he had done so well in the first half? We saw no lob plays at the end. With Young out of the game, there was little inside passing. When McLemore came back, he stayed in the woodwork. In short, the KU offense went on the rails, its 3-point defense failed, and Michigan played inspired basketball. These are the very problems that plagued KU throughout the season. Maybe karma is the underlying reason why people do the same thing again and again, only to get the same result.

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JacquesMerde 1 year ago

We need to recruit point guards from the east coast. They have the swag, balls, confidence, arrogance a point guard needs.

I agree with some of LOLeah3's views, but we lost, Michigan didn't win. We gave the game to them. Really Merde.

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Lance Hobson 1 year ago

Johnson had a nightmare stretch, it happens. He also hit the big shots that got us to the title game last year. I woke up with an epiphany: "This is how Memphis must have felt." All equals out over time in this tourney for the great programs. Everyone will be crushed from time to time and once in a while you'll have a joyous run. This one is definitely crushing.

1

gongs4ku 1 year ago

I remember having the exact same thought when I saw the punch--it would be karma for us to lose if we're going to play that dirty. Oh well.

0

LOLeah3 1 year ago

It was a heartbreaker, for sure. I can't say it would've been preferable to get totally blown out or play like dog crap for the entire game instead of the last 10 minutes though. EJ being shouldered with most of the blame does indeed seem a little like a karmic punch to the sack. lol

It still stings a little bit this morning but at the end of the day a 30+ win season, Big 12 season AND tournament championships and a trip to the Sweet 16 (with a loss to a team that's actually GOOD) isn't really anything to cry about.

1

rockchalkchalkin23 1 year ago

This has nothing to do with karma and everything to with mismanaging a game. Even my cousin finally admitted self did something wrong, which had shock value unlike self blowing another coaching job. Last night was the first time without doubt Tharpe should have been in and ej didn't belong or deserve to be on the court.

Hey Zenger, you okay with just conference titles? Danny and the Miracles were far less of a miracle than self's title. Take away Mario's 3 and insert Kendall Marshall last year, and self has one final four and no title. Be honest Zenger, self is more fluky than great. He's just good. Good coach, great system. Other than how he doesn't inspire confidence, exact opposite, his players are always worried about making a mistake, which creates the nervous 'upset aura' self teams ALWAYS have, with the exception on the 2007-2008 Jayhawks. They didn't worry, they just played.

If numbers never lie, then people never lie.

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toe 1 year ago

Win and losses are unimportant. Cash flow and donations. That is the winning ticket. Self has money to burn. Win Win.

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theend 1 year ago

In the end.....all that matters are National Championships. That's all anyone except us remembers. That's it. KU has 3 in 75 years. Awful.

UConn has the same number......and nowhere near the history KU. Explain that one. Duke is even better......Explain that one away. you can't.

Me? I'm that voice in your head that tells the truth. The one you hate. The one you try to ignore. The one that gets under your skin and itches.

Well......think how I feel. I hate it too. It makes me sick that KU has 3 (3!!!!!!!!) national championships in 75 years. 3!!!!!!!!! It should be 10.

1

Grouch Lives 1 year ago

There is a cure. Recruit or train a four or five star point guard. We had four years prior to this year to do so. We can jab, whine and blame, but the fact is that we forced a kid into a position to run a multi-million dollar operation that he was not prepared for. Outside of a handful of games, he struggled all year long.

EJ opened this game with an altercation that seems way out of his normal mode of play. I can't remember (foggy morning) him having shown any thuggery in the last four years that would have suggested the poke could be expected. And we have had other players I did expect that from.

The discussion at our party last night was on the executive staff that makes very young men appear responsible for running the show. Why did they not recruit or train a Trey Burke type the last four years?

1

Ryan Shelton 1 year ago

How about the karma of Glen Robinson beating us in '94?

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Andy Tweedy 1 year ago

For about 10 minutes, I felt about EJ the way I feel about Tom Brady, and that's not good! But I'm moving on. While it's easy today to think about how bad he was last night when it mattered most, I spent a couple minutes remembering how great he was when it mattered most last year. So I'll just try to forget the punch to the cans, the incredibly bad decisions when it mattered most, and that strange Whiskey Tango Foxtrot moment at the end of the game, and remember EJ as a dude who brought it for my beloved alma mater for four years. He's still a Jayhawk and that counts for something in my world! Now, on to football season where at least I won't take a 14 point lead for granted!!!

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hotrodm 1 year ago

EJ's fist was open when contact to McGary was made. Look at the replay. It clearly looked like momentum with EJ''s arm swinging after contact with McGary's arm, and EJ's open hand striking McGary in the groin. Was it flagrant? Only EJ knows for sure.

1

jay381 1 year ago

There is one person and one person alone that is responsible for this debacle. Elijah Johnson. End of conversation. There are a few scattered missed opportunities but overall the rest of the team played to potential.

The thug behavior and stupid play began early in the game by hitting someone in the nuts hard enough the blow brought the player to his knees. Has anyone watched a basketball game observed anything like that being "accidental" in the middle of the court with only two players involved? I got a text late in the game that was right on point. If the ref' had just thrown a flagrant 2 and ejected the fool we might not lose this game. 3 turnovers in 4 possessions, missing the front end of a 1 and 1 that would put us up two possessions, plus the nut case play at the end does not produce a win in sand lot ball.

I do feel bad for the rest of the team that really played hard and deserved to be in the elite 8 rather than at home watching. This d____ fool took that opportunity from them.

3

nuleafjhawk 1 year ago

I'm not on the "Karma" bandwagon, but like I said a few days ago - the only team that can beat us is us.

We kicked our own butts hard last night.

7

AirCapJay 1 year ago

Self is a great coach. He makes over $3.5 million a year because of it. Someone that makes that kind of money should have a plan when he sees his center so tired that he can not jump anymore. Someone that makes that kind of money should have a plan when he sees his best player he has ever coached fail to make a difference in the last 5 minutes. He should have a plan when he sees his defense start to unravel because his guys are running on fumes. He should have a plan when his "point guard" commits 4 turn overs in the span of 2 minutes. He should have a plan when his team is leading by 3 points with less than 10 sec left in the game.

This was an epic fail on the part of coach Self. Self needs to do some introspection and figure out how to handle this in the future. Maybe he should have turned to one of his assistants and asked for help. Maybe his assistants were shell shocked too and could not offer help. Whatever the problem, $3.5 million should not buy this kind of result.

3

Shane Garrett 1 year ago

That loose ball when all KU had to do was" fall on it". That play was one where I turned to the young man in the room and we both agreed that KU just did not want it bad enough. Perhaps because they thought they had alread won.

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gotmylimitofjhawks 1 year ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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kennethst 1 year ago

I could barely s;leep last night. Nightmares to go along with a nightmare game.

Sick today.....feeling even worse. It will go away. But this will sting.

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theend 1 year ago

You guys never want to hear this.......but Kansas is not a program that wins National Championships. Nope. We do a really good job of beating up the Big 12 and winning easy games early in the season. But KU is not a National Championship program. Duke,UNC,Kentucky,UConn, Florida.....absolutely. They are gamers. They know how to win. They are tough.

Kansas? No. They are not. They are very good.......but they will continue to win one every 20 years if lucky. I don't have the answer......I wish I did.

I'm not a troll. I'm trying to be honest. You don't want to hear it....That's fine. Enjoy the next 15 years of waiting. I will too. I'm not going anywhere. I'm a fan.....I wish it was different. But for whatever reason.....this team cannot compete in the tournement.

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Raydude 1 year ago

On EJ hitting the other player. I saw the replay on TV, a few times, but I couldn't convince myself that it was intentional...he ran into a screening player, and moved his arms and body to get thru this body/block.....but the replay did not show his head and face.....where was he looking at? They are trained to give and get a lot of physical contact. I played sports, and can remember a seeming minor bump...at just the right place...can be crippling..like to the Michigan player.

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Richard Heckler 1 year ago

Johnson should have been removed from the game for that shot to the groin.....

Coach Self could have made that call....... on the other hand why didn't the the officials?

That type of behavior might cost EJ a basketball contract. There are plenty of good players to choose from.

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tical523 1 year ago

Hit a guy in the nuts on purpose you deserve to lose. Karma. I hated the way that made our team look, I feel absolutely terrible, even sick, for Travis, Kevin and Jeff. What a terrible ending to their awesome careers.

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kadub6 1 year ago

Sure hope the UCLA AD is reading this thread. Obviously a lot of coaching candidates commenting here!

Or, maybe I should hope he is not because he might just show some of these idiotic observations to Bill to lure the best coach in college BB away due to a lack of appreciation by his own "fans".

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Chris Shaw 1 year ago

Anybody got a timeout in their backpocket that they want to use? Kansas has plenty of timeouts to use. Sure would have been nice if Bill Self would have bailed out his point guard when a 10 second count was getting dangerously close.

I mean, Bill Self talks about every possession being important. Well, people will point to EJ for being "Stupid" for that 10 second call. Well, we've known that since early in this season. As a coach that gets paid 3.5 million dollars plus incentives...why aren't you bailing out your point guard and calling a timeout for him? Unacceptable Bill Self. Instead of the old saying, "Got Milk?" I think Bill Self's new saying should be, "Got Timeouts?".

You would think after coaches keep getting burned by not fouling that they would learn. It only takes "Once". Of all people Bill Self should know about that situation. Hell, Kansas has won twice (Memphis 2008 and Iowa State 2012) on other coaches being stupid and playing the odds and percentages so to speak by not fouling. Baffling! Mindboggling!

Got Timeouts?

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akgjenkintown 1 year ago

Elijah. Didn't you learn anything from playing with Taylor? If you are going to turn the ball over throw it out of bounds!! I can't remember a KU team that gave away so many easy points off of stupid turnovers. The entire team was guilty, but EJ was the ring leader. Karma, I think not. Bad coaching.

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PakaRocks 1 year ago

Tough loss and no doubt... Elijah's turnovers late in the game were critical. His choices with the ball were definitely a big reason, if not "the" reason, we lost the game. You can tell his teammates are definitely frustrated with how he played. However, I still can't look past Elijah's contribution as a Jayhawk. I followed his recruitment while he was at Cheyenne and was glad he picked KU. He's been a tremendous asset to our program. I'm sure that no person is as dejected over this game as Elijah. Thanks for being a Jayhawk Elijah! Best of luck to you!

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Ron Franklin 1 year ago

Don't kid yourselves. That jab to the nuts was intentional.

Unfortunately, It also initiated the reversal of good fortune to bad fortune for the rest of the team.

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fansincewilt 1 year ago

The word used by Keegan is "nightmare." That defines this loss pretty well. How do you sleep after that? I have never seen anything like it. That was the craziest last three minutes. "Nightmare" is a great description.

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dumbarton 1 year ago

Correction: Tim Duncan's record. It's late and too much consumed....

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dumbarton 1 year ago

If Self truly believed EJ's nut job was unintentional then you have to go with that. Self didn't see the tape so he had to go by EJ's word. If Bill had seen the tape, he very well may have ejected him. Impossible to say for sure but I would like to think he would have. One thing, amongst many, that really hurts regarding this loss is Jeff leaves us with two frickin' blocks away from breaking David Robinson's NCAA tourney record. He deserved a chance to break that record against Florida. One question. Why is it at that this team never went for the jugular when we had teams beat? We usually let teams back in and played to their level.

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nostradavid 1 year ago

or to take a non-Hindu view:

" good and evil fortunes fall to the lot of pious and impious alike " - Spinoza

"My karma ran over your dogma"

"My karma ran over your dogma" by nostradavid

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TexiCaliHawk 1 year ago

Other than the @ISU game where E.J. came 'back to life' and indeed played awesome in getting us that win, he just had an incredibly disappointing Senior year -- tonight's game was a microcosm of his year, which turned even further South when he whacked McGary right in the 'nads' (I literally could not believe this was a KU player -- much less a very well-spoken 'class act' like E.J.).

I really do love and admire E.J. for the total body of work he put in for 4 years at KU, but sometimes we all have to face reality and realize that others (e.g., Travis Releford, you waited 5 years and could have played an even bigger role) need to take over the leadership reins when necessary. For a 'Lottery Pick', Ben should have been more aggressive in picking up the slack. All you have to do is look at Trey Burke and see the difference in confidence level as he has NBA-ready skills whereas Ben had 'potential'.

The 'bottom line' is that this group of Seniors (other than E.J.) played very well tonight and deserved to advance to the Elite Eight -- I'm just sad I will not get to see them ever again in a KANSAS uniform and wish them (including E.J.) all the BEST in their future endeavors.

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goliac492 1 year ago

Loss is on Self!! Period! Tough to swallow. Put coach Izzo in this position and you can chalk up a victory baby! Coach Self- "You guys are rocking, now slow up running the offense. To hell with rythmn, I'm the coach".... Waste of a year really!!

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FLJHK 1 year ago

To his credit, a friend e-mailed me immediately after EJ;s flagrant foul and said Self should eject EJ himself, that honor is more important than winning. I had a sour taste in my mouth the rest of the game as I realized he was right.

I don't blame Self. I don't know his actual view of the foul. I don't even completely blame EJ. I refuse to think that this was indicative of who he is as a person. But I do believe in Karma. Bad things were destined after that incident and it was no shock that EJ was directly and negatively involved in each of the game's critical plays.

Had Self benched EJ for the rest of the game and we managed to lose I'm sure Self would be blasted by many. But I like to think I wouldn't feel as rotten as I do right now.

As a person, EJ needs to confront this matter. As a human being he needs to show he is better than this. I pray he will do so.

It is an immense joy to be a Kansas basketball fan. But it is simultaneously as agonizing as anything can be. This one is going to hurt forever.

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Scott Smetana 1 year ago

I'll be honest... Great season, but terrible ending solely on the shoulders of EJ and his coach. Tharpe should have had the ball the last 4 minutes but was on the bench.

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741hawk 1 year ago

Karma? Really? They collapsed, and I know the primary collapser . . . and the coach who not only kept him in the game but continued to rely on him.

Bill had control of this game and gave it away. I think he's a great coach, but, let's be honest, this one is on him.

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Benjamin Piehler 1 year ago

“I thought he could get to the rim,” Self said. “ ... He got his shoulders past him. But for whatever reason, he veered behind the backboard and really didn’t give himself a shot.”

I'll be wondering why he kicked that ball out for a long time...

"Karma" sounds a bit harsh though.

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