The entire season comes together at the end, where you find out where your seeding will get you in the tournament and where you end up. The Jayhawks did reasonably well getting a 3rd seed in the Midwest bracket, especially considering that disappointing loss to Baylor in the Big 12 Tournament. Last year the Jayhawks won it all, something I waited twenty years for. As expected, every starter left for the NBA or elsewhere. This year, with such a young team, I'm just happy they made it to the Sweet 16.
I was going to write about this last week before the tournament started, but I've been kept busy with all kinds of things going on at home, and I had to wait out the first-round curse (even though KU didn't end up playing a school starting with "B")
Most people (especially out here on the West Coast) think I'm totally nuts for doggedly following my Jayhawks' journey through the tournament, but that's why I bought a satellite dish. ;) It's not easy, with the time difference and wrangling my schedule around the games, but I still see most of games in a season, even though it's been over a decade since I left.
This is the time of year that I really miss being back in Lawrence, to plug in just for a moment to that electrified atmosphere where KU Basketball means everything. The games are simulcast over every grocery store, every hardware store, every restaurant, every bar and you can practically hear the cheers off in the distance when the game is on. Out here no one really watches basketball because most of the teams are one-and-dones or end up in the Nobody's Interested Tournament (NIT). And don't even get me started about the pro team(s) out here.
There's nothing like that kind of atmosphere here, so I sit in the Hawk-Cave and cheer for my 'Hawks from thousands of miles away. Most people out here think I'm utterly nuts for that. (Among other reasons).
The first two rounds of the Tourney have gone really well so far, although the North Dakota State game was pretty scary-- NDSU's Ben Woodside just could not miss with the three. Dayton was a hard-fought game on Sunday, but lots more fun to watch.
And Sherron Collins and Aldrich have totally carried the entire team through the tournament, getting most of the points for the whole team on their own. 6'11" Aldrich was a monster in the paint on Sunday, getting a triple-double and pretty much preventing Dayton from getting any shots launched.
|Sherron Collins||Cole Aldrich</td>|
Next up is the payback game against Michigan State, a rematch of the the disastrous Jan. 10 game where the Jayhawks got walloped in East Lansing, and I had a triple suck day at home, with bad news with the sewage backup and FC. I'm looking forward to the Jayhawks getting to show how far they've progressed since that game, and hopefully it will be a good game.
So on Friday night at 6:30pm, I'll be firing up the neon sign and watching the game. Who knows, maybe I'll dig up a few of us old alumni and old college drinking buddies, we only get to see each other during Tourney Time.
Oh yes, and in other news, the Kansas Jayhawk has made the Top Ten Mascots of the 2009 NCAA Tournament on petside.com. And one of only six left still in the tournament.
Also, because I had all kinds of things going on getitng ready for FC, I didn't get the chance to congratulate Big Jay, Baby Jay, and the KU Spirit and Cheerleading Squads for finishing in the Top Ten in the big national Collegiate Mascot Competition in Orlando, FL back on January 29!
Embedded video below (let's see if this works).