Sunday, March 21, 2010

So much for that

Well... damn. After a season that was almost universally impressive and fun to watch – a season in which the team chewed through the loaded Big 12 and earned the overall top seed in the NCAA tournament – the wheels fell off in the second round for Kansas.

I’ve told this story a million times. When KU lost to Missouri back in, I think, ‘97 at the end of the regular season, I punched a hole in the wall of my dorm’s common room. I’m not like that anymore. Maybe it’s maturity, maybe it’s preoccupation with other things, but these days I don’t get upset about upsets. Disappointed, yes. Quite disappointed. And annoyed that now I’m not really going to be able to enjoy the rest of the NCAA tournament. On the bright side, though, Friend of the Blog Pete told me I have gotten him hooked on college basketball. The first basket is free, as they say.

But back to the game. It’s tempting to sit down and do a post-mortem. And for most fans, that means finding something simple and “obvious” to hang the blame on. A player. A strategy. A lack of effort.

Last night (for me, tipoff was at 1:45 a.m.) was similar to the other two KU losses this season in only one way: everything went wrong. I guess it says something positive that such a devastating collection of circumstances has to congeal to beat a team like that, but it’s a moot point in a one-and-done tournament. Against Northern Iowa, the players who usually scored a lot didn’t score much; players who usually contributed in other ways didn’t contribute; defense was porous for long stretches; the team threw the ball away with frustrating abandon; free throws clanged off the iron; opposing players hit shots they never usually took, let alone made.

And this is where I throw in the press conference canard about giving credit to the other team. They played well. They were poised, they made baskets, they capitalized on every KU mistake. To dig up another canard: That’s how you win basketball games. Bummer that it had to happen against KU.

Anyway. Did I see this coming? No. By any analysis of this season, it was atypical of Kansas. Did I know it was possible? Of course--that’s why games are games; There is a chance of losing. Am I sleep-deprived? You bet.

Does any of that make it any less disappointing? Not really. But next season is only a long, hot summer away.

1 comment:

Xtine said...

that last couple of minutes ku looked like the champ they were supposed to be. too little, too late.

pete from xtine's account.