Friday, March 5, 2010

Don’t bet against Kansas

The Kansas Jayhawks dance with their sixth-consecutive Big 12 Conference title trophy after their 81-68 win over Oklahoma, Monday, Feb. 22, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse. From left are Travis Releford, Sherron Collins, Cole Aldrich and Jeff Withey.

The Kansas Jayhawks dance with their sixth-consecutive Big 12 Conference title trophy after their 81-68 win over Oklahoma, Monday, Feb. 22, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse. From left are Travis Releford, Sherron Collins, Cole Aldrich and Jeff Withey.


Talk about assets — this Kansas basketball team is loaded with them as it begins a realistic quest for another NCAA title.

The Jayhawks don’t have to beat Missouri Saturday ... they don’t have to win even one game in the Big 12 tournament ... they, at least for a while, don’t need Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich performing as the All-Americans they should be ... there’s an imposing list of benefits in KU’s favor.

KU stamped itself as the clear pick of the league litter with Wednesday’s 82-65 victory over high-class Kansas State, which also could make big noise down the line. I had nightmares over the prospects of KSU guards Jacob Pullen and Denis Clemente orchestrating a Wildcat win along the lines of KU’s 80-75 tournament defeat by Rhode Island in 1998. Remember how Cuttino Mobley (27 points) and Tyson Wheeler (20) ripped out KU’s heart in that Midwest Sub-Regional second-round game in Oklahoma City?

But even though there were times you wondered if Collins and Aldrich were going to show up against KSU, KU’s satellite performers kept things on an even keel until there could be a breakthrough after that frightening 45-all tie. K-State is a national top 10 entity, but it succumbed to KU’s overall strength the same way opponents from now on may do.

K-State’s zone defense tactics and KU’s uncertainty in how to deal with them could have been a preview of what will happen if Kansas and zone-icon Syracuse meet. But that might not happen until a national title game. Even though the ‘Cuse’s zone may be the best you’ll ever see, Collins and Aldrich may have regrouped by then, and KU will shoot free throws a lot better than that disgusting 12-of-30 showing in the 2003 title loss to the Orange. In reach!

Quick rehash. Suppose Kansas had entered the 1952 NCAA Tournament with all-everything Clyde Lovellette in the kind of funk that has pestered Aldrich. Clyde’s 144-point tourney showed that to be no problem, yet KU could not have won with Clyde in semi-drydock.

Fast-forward to the 1988 miracle, and suppose the incomparable Danny Manning, Milt Newton and Kevin Pritchard had been limping along the way Collins and Aldrich have been. KU probably wouldn’t have got past the regional.

Four 2008 stars averaged double-figure scoring. KU still would have been derailed if any two of the Rush-Chalmers-Arthur-Jackson combo had been in late-season limbo.

Yet here are two 2010 All-Americans sometimes grasping at straws and Kansas STILL deserves to be rated the title favorite, regardless of what it does at Missouri or in the league tourney.

Man, that means Bill Self has a pretty good team at his disposal! Freshman whiz Xavier Henry again is showing that he might truly be one-and-done NBA material. Marcus and Markieff Morris have been mammoth surprises from what was anticipated a year ago. Tyshawn Taylor with all his athleticism indicates he might have reached the stage where he can have a two-good to one-bad play ratio at both ends of the court. Lofty Jeff Withey might help, Brady Morningstar and Tyrel Reed will continue to add stability and we haven’t begun to see all that Thomas Robinson and Elijah Johnson can provide.

Now, if Collins can moderate his occasional ball-hogging and poor-shot choices and Aldrich can relocate the basket and finish with more efficiency and gusto, they have the supporting cast to lead the way to the national throne room.

Mercy sakes, we may just be looking at KU’s second NCAA title in the last three seasons. Don’t bet against these still-emerging Jayhawks.


100 12 years, 9 months ago

Q: Why does the "Show Me State" welcome so many visitors?

A: Because Missouri Loves Company

waywardJay 12 years, 9 months ago

I've said it time over. I take Sherron's Ballhogging any day of the week and three times on Sunday... If that guy wants to take a shot... Let him.... he's earned it.

Self said it best. Sherron's bigheaded and cocky but he's damn glad to have him.... and Liekwise.

Otherwise, great article

RockCaCO3 12 years, 9 months ago

Yes Bill, we DO have to beat Missouri. Always. Forever.

RCJH beat Misery.

Steve Brown 12 years, 9 months ago

Since we have nothing riding on this game, let's play plenty of reserves, have fun, relax and rip their hearts out. turn off your cell phones 2 nite and unhook your land lines if you have them, plus don't drink the water in the visitors locker. remember it's enemy territory. be careful be safe. don't ask how they got your mother's maiden name and your kindergarten teacher tied up - they are smart yet have flaws- show them why you are number one. do your business and leave town.

KU 99 MU 59

yates33333 12 years, 9 months ago

Another stemwinder by Mayer.

On another topic. Aldrich is playing like he is very tired. I wonder if his breathing is normal. He looks like he is panting at the beginning of a game. I would like to see the professional scouts' notes on him. I am sure they have noticed this.

KCinNC 12 years, 9 months ago

Who does this guy think he is calling Sherron a "ball hog"? What an idiot. Maybe Mayer can get a job on the sideline if he knows so much. This will be the last article I read from this jackass.

KCinNC 12 years, 9 months ago

Who does this guy think he is calling Sherron a "ball hog"? What an idiot. Maybe Mayer can get a job on the sideline if he knows so much. This will be the last article I read from this jackass.

docileboy 12 years, 9 months ago

Aldrich seems to have a lot more energy when they involve him in the offense. No one wnats to just run up and down the floor with no touches.

I hope beating Mizzery is important to them.

Trace Stark 12 years, 9 months ago

"Pick of the league litter" ...well said Bill!!!

Otownhawker 12 years, 9 months ago

KCinNC I agree. Mayer is a prick. Im through with it. He sucks and so do the other ones for the most part

TenaciousD 12 years, 9 months ago

One thing this article is missing is any mention as to why Bill Self's teams CAN withstand a slump from one or two of the teams best players. It's because Coach Self is the absolute best at getting complete team buy-in. This team is just like most of his others where nearly any player can be the leading scorer. It's not such a concern that Sherron or Cole are not shooting lights out.

Regarding facing zone defenses, the Morris twins looked very good at the free throw line penetrating and passing out of the zone. Not quite as good as Julian Wright at passing, but better shooters by far.

tis4tim 12 years, 9 months ago


Nailed it.


What we've learned today:

  1. Giving tickets to a porn star is somehow pertinent enough to merit more than one article.

  2. We don't have to beat Missouri.

I think the water in the visitors locker room was mis-shipped to the LJW break room. We should be fine tomorrow.

KUbsee69 12 years, 9 months ago

During a recent game, Cole was shown on TV using an inhaler while on the bench. There must be lingering effects from his earlier "upper respiratory distress".

namder 12 years, 9 months ago

If Sherron was not out of control drawing the defense to him when he flipped the ball back to Mario in 2008, Mario would not had the chance to make the game tying shot heard around the jayhawk nation.

frompekka2sasha 12 years, 9 months ago

Easy now, TtownHawk!

Not a bad article but please call Sherron-ron-ron a "ballHawk". Damn glad to have had him the last 4 years and hope he doesn't change a thing.

Steve Brown 12 years, 9 months ago

MISSOURI: Let's see an article on the wonderful MU years they made the final four. Talk about their play in E Eight games that they won and where they were, nice pump them up stuff about our competition.

How many points scored in Final Four by stipo & sunvold and the games of derreck cheavious and kareeeem rush and how quinton synder coached and played in the final four...

excuse me....wha'ts that... really..... okay then.... never mind....

Redlandsjhawk 12 years, 9 months ago

A big reason we can survive off nights from our stars is the fact that we are even better on defense than offense. The way they are able to clamp down and totally shut a team down for long stretches (see K-state twice, Texas and of course Alcorn State et al) is truly a thing of beauty and will serve them well in the tourney. On another note does anyone think it is possible to have a let down going into Columbia? At the beginning of the season I would have laughed at that suggestion,... but now???

Joshua Hann 12 years, 9 months ago

I had this terrible nightmare last night that Kansas was playing Wyoming in the tourney and were beaten!!!!!!!!!! Oh, it was just terrible....good thing it was only a dream!

ChicagoJHawk 12 years, 9 months ago

Bill Mayer, you're killing me man! I was just about to say how you wrote a good article, for once, but you had to end it with "Now, if Collins can moderate his occasional ball-hogging and poor-shot choices". Maybe you should actually watch some Kansas basketball games, like us real fans do, and not just jump on the bandwagon now that we're 28-2. I know some of you like Mayer & are going to get upset with what I just said but go back & look at all of his articles, they're all either something negative about KU or something irrelevant & pointless. That & he switches from one topic to another. Time to retire!

Why do you think Sherron "hogs the ball" as you say? Because Bill Self tells him to! Self has given him the green light to shoot, whenever he wants.

Steve Gantz 12 years, 9 months ago

The last time 2 times I thought we had a sure thing was in 97, and 02. We know how those ended. 08 was not a sure thing, although I figured we had an even shot with Carolina. This years team feels like it should be a sure thing, but that is tempered by a handful of lackluster performances that leads me to doubt this years team. I still believe this is the best team in the land but wouldn't be surprised to see an upset loss in the later rounds.

WilburNether 12 years, 9 months ago

Do you really, seriously believe that Collins and Aldrich have played well enough over the course of the season to justify ranking them among the top five college basketball players in the country?

Sure, they're our guys, and we love them, but if one comes out of blind, rabid fandom for a moment and looks at the matter objectively, I don't think these guys have earned a spot as first-team All Americans.

The rabid idiots will be frothing at the mouth at such sacrilege, but among those who are knowledgeable and objective basketball fans, it's a legitimate question.

BMonstaC 12 years, 9 months ago

Knowledgeable and objective fans understand that nothing really matters until March---and well, it's March! March isn't about who you've been all season, or about who thought who would be great in preseason, it's about who you steps up and says the spotlight is mine. So let's settle in and enjoy March----the next 30 days will determine whether two Jayhawks are legitimate All-Americans or not. I think our men will shine and everything else will become very evident. It's time for our Jayhawks to go OFF and light it up. RCJH go KU!

Helen Gross 12 years, 9 months ago

If we lose another game we could in up in cuse for our E 8, not St. Louis. Kensucky would get it. We HAVE to beat the kitties, and beat them bad, or it's a lose lose situation. RCJH

hawk_of_ages 12 years, 9 months ago

I think "occasional ball-hogging" is a fair characterization. Sherron has definitely earned the right to shoot, but I do think fewer attempts would be advisable. He gets so many more attempts than Cole it's absurd sometimes.

Self is right not to put a leash on the kid, but still, it would be in Sherron's best interests (certainly from an NBA draft perspective) to be more judicious with his shots and get those shooting %s up.

justanotherfan 12 years, 9 months ago

If we lose and UK ends up in St. Louis, we would go to Houston, not Syracuse. UK and KU are battling for the right to play in the midwest. Loser goes to the south. Syracuse is going to have to play in Salt Lake, and whomever the fourth #1 seed is will play in Syracuse, since that fourth #1 will likely be Villanova, Michigan St. or another team from the Great Lakes or northeastern seaboard. Houston is a lot further than STL, but not too bad a trip.

100 12 years, 9 months ago

I had this dream last night that we won our last 10 games of the season & Cole announced he's coming back to go for 3 NC's in 4 years to take Wilt's starting Center spot on the all time KU team.

100 12 years, 9 months ago

By the way...

38-2 would be the most wins in the history of college basketball.

Turk 12 years, 9 months ago

To jhwkfan162515: I grew up in MO. It seems that people who end up in Columbia get "touched in the head" I've had people throw rocks at us after a KU-MO spoRting event. This KS. team scares me too, very shakey at times. I agree there is something not right with Aldrich. It is obvious his breathing under stress and excercise is not good. I hope I'm wrong but Sycarcuse and ky COULD BEAT US. wISSOXFAN83 IS RIGHT ON OF HIS ANALYSIS OF THIS TEAM

Marcia Parsons 12 years, 9 months ago

It has been really hard to get the ball in to Cole because other teams are keying on him so much. He's either covered up, or all the passing angles are covered up. Usually forcing it in means a turnover. And sometimes I think he sacrifices his offensive chances to stay in good defensive rebound position. Defense seems to be more important to him than scoring, but we need him to do both. Got to admit, though, that his defense is really something.

jhokfan 12 years, 9 months ago

I believe KU is the best team in the country but this is college and as we frequently see the best team does not always win. If college had an NBA type playoff I'd bet money on KU. Realistically speaking, the chances of losing one game in the tournament is more likely than winning all 6.

James122 12 years, 9 months ago

A couple of things stick out in my mind from the last time we played MO. We had 23 to's and shot 9-19 from the 3's. X had 8 points and Collins had 6 points. They shoot real well from the ft. line, last game, 21-24 87%.

The trap press hurt us in the to's area, but we controled the paint. I am thinking this will be a tighter game,since last time was 84-65, so I think the score will be:

Ku 72---MO-68

Go Hawks!!

Scott Smetana 12 years, 9 months ago

Absolutely Jhokfan, We can always run into a red hot (OSU) team in the tourney. I think good seeding and a little luck goes a long ways in the tourney.
That's why it's important to smell the roses along the journey... it's pretty rare to win it all. Luckily, we'll be stacked again next year.

Ron Prichard 12 years, 9 months ago

On a side note, I was at the KU/KSU game Wed night. Awesome! I hate hearing how the fieldhouse isn't as loud as several other places. Well...for one night, at least, the 'ol barn was rocking! It's been several years since I graduated, and I remember some really loud games as a student. I'm not sure I have ever heard it louder than it was just before tip-off. When they posted the decibel meter, the highest I saw was 106.8. By comparison:

Level at which sustained exposure may result in hearing loss: 90 - 95dB Pain begins: 125dB Even short term exposure can cause permanent damage - Loudest recommended exposure WITH hearing protection: 140dB

My point? It was freaking loud! Way to go KU fans, and especially, way to go KU students! I was not in my normal seats, and the section I was in was mainly older alums and was pretty lame after the game started. There were times I was disappointed our sections wasn't standing more and yelling, but all in all, the crowd was great. The students definitely brought it in a big way.

Man, I'm glad I'm a Jayhawk!

timecronk 12 years, 9 months ago

"KU still would have been derailed if any two of the Rush-Chalmers-Arthur-Jackson combo had been in late-season limbo".

I disagree--the '08 team also had ample back-up to rely on outside of these 4. Sherron made the difference in plenty of games, and Sasha Kaun carried the team against Davidson almost single-handedly. I think we're a lot shakier than that team right now. We have a great chance this year, but partly because the 1s and 2s in this year's tournament are nowhere close to what they were in '08.

Kye Clark 12 years, 9 months ago

I wouldn't go so far as calling Sherron a ball-hog, but it's close. Last year that was acceptable with a young team without so much depth. He needed to put the team on his shoulders. This year he hasn't needed to do that as often, yet he could still stand to dial it down a notch. He's taken over 50 more shots than anyone else on the team yet among the 8 regulars he is tied for the lowest FG% on the team (along with Brady, the only players on the team period with lower FG%s are Connor Teahan and Chase Buford). To put it in perspective, fans would run Tyshawn Taylor out of town if he shot the ball that much at that low of a percentage. The arguement I always hear to that is that Sherron has earned it. I disagree. No one is bigger than the program, and if he is ice cold and is hurting us by continually shooting it's not good and might cost us in the tourney. I'd like to see him facilitate a bit more. Drive and dish. I love Sherron. He's one of my top 5 favorites and I will always appreciate what he has done and meant to the program. I just think he gets stuck in last-year mode once in a while and tries to do way to much, and CS refuses to sit him down when this is happening.

To soobawls point about the defense being horrible, it seems that way at times, but the statistics don't really bear that out. We are first in the Big 12 in scoring defense (2nd in conference games only, behind Texas A&M), and we rank 62nd nationally in scoring defense. Before you think "wow! we're only 62nd?!?", keep in mind that this is for all division 1 schools. Only 5 or 6 schools expected to make the NCAA tournament from BCS conferences rank ahead of us, add another 3 in Temple, Butler, and Cornell (schools from non-BCS conferences that are considered locks even if they don't win their conference title), and we're sitting at about 10th among bonafied tournament teams. And that's points per game. As far as FG% defense, we rank 3rd nationally, behind Florida St. and St. Peters. Sure we've had better defensive teams, and there have been some eye-openers with a couple times teams shooting over 50% against us, but for the most part this team clamps down when they need to (the second half against K-State being a good example). To further put this in perspective, we give up less ppg (63.8) than Syracuse (65.7) or Kentucky (65.6) and hold our oppents to a lower FG% (37.7%) than Syracuse (39.1%) or Kentucky (38.2%). We also score more points and turn the ball over less than these two teams as well. The only statistical category that either of these teams has over KU is that Kentucky rebounds the ball much better than us (and we rebound it much better than Syracuse). So we stack up pretty well at both ends of the floor against the other two elite teams in the country.

Jack Wilson 12 years, 9 months ago

Two comments above hit the nail on the head .. 1) Having Cole hedge high. This simply puts him in danger of getting a cheap foul. For that matter, do that with Marcus is equally questionable. 2) Sherron not looking to drive and dish. He is truly the one of the only point guards I have seen that almost exclusively looks to score when he drives. Coach Knight, on one of the broadcasts, pointed this out. Sherron's game would get better, I believe, if he would look to set up his teammates first, as opposed to scoring.

The KSU game was amazing to me. TT, Kieff, and X outplayed Sherron, Cole, and Marcus. I am just looking for that game when our big three all play well, the whole game. It seems we are getting farther away from that point, rather than closer. Looking at the glass half full, if TT/Kieff/X play near to the level they played Wednesday, this team is the real deal.

As I said before the KSU game .. we take care of both KSU and MU, we are on the right track. We lose one, we haven't answered any of the questions. We are clearly better than MU. Talent-wise, not even a question. But the same could be said for OSU. Tomorrow will tell us a lot.

Kye Clark 12 years, 9 months ago

HighEliteMajor - Who aren't we better than talent-wise? Just like I'm sure Syracuse has more talent than Louisville & Pitt and Kentucky has more talent than Tennessee & South Carolina; talent doesn't always win out. You know what they say about rivalry games...throw the records out the window cause anything can happen. Also, it will be their senior night. The game obviously means more to Missouri, in terms of tournament seeding and again being senior night. It also has the chance to be a let down game, coming off the high of Sherron's senior night & wrapping up the Big 12 title. I don't see us losing tomorrow, but if we should happen to lose I don't think it sends up any red-flags in and of itself. Something could happen specifically that might be cause for concern, but sometimes a loss isn't as bad as it seems and a win isn't as good as it seems. Upsets happen, not necessarily because of a lack of execution or effort. Just sometimes that's the way the ball bounces. Assuming we aren't exposed as having some huge flaw tomorrow, even if we lose I won't be hitting the panic button (although as is always the case following a rare loss to Misery, I'm sure I'll hit something!)

Jack Wilson 12 years, 9 months ago

icthawkfan316: Not sure the point of the question. Talent-wise, I think we're the best team in the country along with Kentucky (talent-wise).

On your other comments, I completely disagree, and completely agree. Agree - chance for letdown, Missouri having more to play for, etc. Disagree - This season has been marked by wild inconsistency and games where, frankly, we got lucky and won (see 1st KSU game, Colorado, and perhaps even Cornell, Texas A&M). More importantly, poor effort/execution. A loss doesn't expose a huge flaw .. that's already exposed. We do not exhibit the consistent offensive effort and execution to take care of teams that are inferior to us. What I'm looking at more is our approach .. the effort part. I saw that vs. KSU Wednesday. If we don't carry that over, my concern is that the inconsistency we have seen all season is simply etched in stone for this team. And it is that inconsistency that will spell doom in the NCAA tournament.

What I mean is that if we go into Columbia and win, it demonstrates a potential positive change in the character of this team. Meaning, a two game stretch I don't think we've seen yet. We took a big step by thrashing KSU convincingly Wednesday. Many did not expect that. This is the classic situation where we might get beat. Perhaps the most likely loss of any game this season.

If we lose, though, we know nothing more about this team than we already know. That's my point. And in my mind, what we know of this team does not equal an NCAA champion. If we lose, I think all of the questions from this season remain the same. If we win, I think the two game stretch this week provides momentum and confidence that could propel us to the title.

If vote the win: KU 77 MU 69. Marcus goes for 20.

Vroo 12 years, 9 months ago

This reminds me of the title run with Hinrich and Collison. I remember one game where Hinrich had a bad game and Collison had a terrific game and the rest of the team picked up the slack. The next game, Collison was off and Hinrich played great and they won again. I really like what I'm seeing this year in terms of teamwork and team play. I know that there's a lot of focus on individual stats in the media. I wish they had stats for unselfish play. That's what's going to take us all the way this year. Rock chalk!

Scott MacWilliams 12 years, 9 months ago

I'm still not convinced that this team will be able to win another title, but it's certainly possible. There's still a maddening amount of inconsistent play... But it's certainly within reach, if they all keep focused and play for every possession. SO RCJHKU!!

On an unrelated note, I came across this on the ESPN site. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Paying homage to historic venues - By Pat Forde The Cathedrals The very best places to experience basketball, in reverse order:

Gallagher-Iba Arena (6). Who plays there: Oklahoma State. Opened: 1938, as the 4H Club and Student Activity Building. Capacity: 13,611. It was called "The Madison Square Garden of the Plains" back in the day -- but, clearly, you cannot have a great arena named after the 4H Club. The school was wise to make the switch to Gallagher Hall and then more recently add the Iba moniker in honor of OSU's greatest coach. The one thing that has stayed the same is the original white maple floor, after all these decades.

Allen Fieldhouse (8). Who plays there: Kansas. Opened: 1955. Capacity: 16,300. Looks cool outside. Looks better inside. Another place redolent with history and great tradition. Even a Missouri alum can enjoy visiting the Phog.

Cameron Indoor Stadium (9). Who plays there: Duke. Opened: 1940. Capacity: 9,314. Not just special because of the students who make it jump. The Gothic exterior and old-school interior are classic. First time The Minutes walked into the gym, there was a pigeon sitting on a banister. It's a very uncomfortable place to cover a game, but nobody cares -- which says a lot, considering the media's ability to whine about working conditions.

The Palestra (10). Who plays there: Penn (and the rest of the Philadelphia Big 5). Opened: 1927. Capacity: 8,722. Shamefully, The Minutes has never been there. So let's turn over the description to's Philadelphia bureau and Dana O'Neil:

(And then later:)

Blandest buildings

Bramlage Coliseum (34). Who plays there: Kansas State. Opened: 1988. Capacity: 13,344. Aside from the octagonal shape and (at least currently) loud student section, this is a clunky building bereft of charm. Especially when compared with a couple of nice arenas built around the same time (see: Cincinnati and Michigan State).

Kye Clark 12 years, 9 months ago

HighEliteMajor - The point of the question was more rhetorical and a response to your statement "We are clearly better than MU. Talent-wise, not even a question." I guess just pointing out that it was a kind of "state the obvious" statement.

To your other points. I don't know that you could say that we were "lucky" to win the games you mentioned. In the first KSU game, I'd say we were unlucky to have Sherron get hurt, yet found a way to win. There's an old saying that "luck is the residue of design", and even if it is luck that won us all or some of those games, it's because this team is good enough to put themselves in a position to be lucky. I forget exactly what the Bill Self quote was to his team, but it was something like 50% of the games you're going to play as expected, 25% of the games you will play better than expected, and in 25% of games you will play below expectations, and great teams find a way to win those games where you do not perform particularly well. Overall this team has done that.

I would agree that our play has been a bit inconsistent, but not as bad as us fans might think. Offensively we rank 3rd nationally in scoring offense at 82.4 ppg, and in conference games only we still rank 1st in the big 12 with 79.7 ppg. Now to draw comparisons to the other teams that are in the conversation for favorites to win the NCAA tournament, Syracuse averages 81.8 ppg and 77.7 ppg in conference. Kentucky averages 79.9 ppg and 77.1 ppg in conference. I add the in-conference stats to take away from some of the cupcake non-conference stat-padding games. So offensively while we might not be performing as much as the fans would like, and while there have been slumps by multiple players (Cole, X, Tyshawn, Sherron, & Brady), it's really not that bad. Defensively it's not that bad either (see my post refuting Soobawls points). The one area where this team needs to improve the most is perimeter defense. Again comparing the three schools, Kansas, while it gives up less ppg and holds opponents to an overall lower FG%, is not as good at defending the 3 (34.1%) as Syracuse (31%) or Kentucky (32%).

I guess what I'm most curious about is the statement "what we know of this team does not equal an NCAA champion". I'm not saying we're a lock or head-and-shoulders better than every team in the country. But if not us, who? What team right now does equal an NCAA champion? Between this post and the one responding to Soobawls I've illustrated that both in terms of offense and defense we are superior to Syracuse & Kentucky. We are number 1 in the RPI and have a better strength of schedule (which will hold up atleast through the regular season, as Missouri has a higher RPI than Louisville or Florida). And maybe I've "statistic-ed" this whole thing to death, but at the end of the day I think we look as much if not more like an NCAA champion than any other team out there.

rkatzfey 12 years, 9 months ago

Bill. I love the way you write! Don't ever retire from this!

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