Showing posts with label KU Big 12 titles basketball. Show all posts
Showing posts with label KU Big 12 titles basketball. Show all posts

Monday, March 28, 2011

VCU Stuns Kansas

Kansas seemed poised to make it back to the Final 4 for the first time since winning the 2008 national championship, crashing the Elite 8 by dominating inferior teams and relying heavily on the offense of Marcus and Markieff Morris. Many people thought KU would walk over 11th seeded Virginia Commonwealth, and later 8th seeded Butler, to another appearance in the national title game.

Unfortunately, the Jayhawks ran into the hottest team in the country, and turned in its worse offensive performance of the season. KU fell to the rams, 71-61, and only has itself to blame. VCU played well, but KU's offensive performance was shocking. The Jayhawks shot 2 for 21 from three point range and 15 of 28 from the free throw line. Unbelievable.

There are two ways to look at this loss - on the positive side, KU was not expected to be much of a factor this season, and the Jayhawks still managed to win its seventh straight Big 12 title and make it to the Elite 8. However, KU may be losing the Morris twins to the NBA, and rumors of Josh Selby jumping to the NBA have lingered all year. If KU returns the twins, it will likely enter the polls next season ranked in the top five yet again and get another title shot in March. Should the twins jump to the NBA, KU will really struggle next year, and will likely be in a full rebuilding mode.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Previewing the Last Weekend of Big 12 Play

The Big 12 regular season comes to a close this weekend, and there is still a lot to be decided. The current Big 12 standings have KU sitting alone in first, and the Jayhawks have already clinched a share of the regular season title. Texas will attempt to snap out of its annual tailspin for a shot at a share of the title as well, although it must go through Baylor in Waco, with the Bears fighting for their tournament lives.

In ESPN's current Bracketology, Joe Lunardi has Baylor and Colorado in his first four out grouping, while Nebraska is in his next four out. All three teams have a chance to boost their tournament stock this weekend. Colorado and Nebraska fittingly will face each other, as the Buffs will try to recover from a disasterous 95-90 loss to last place Iowa State. Colorado appeared in after its comeback win over Texas, however the Buffs tournament hopes are on life support at the moment. CU needs to beat Nebraska (who can only get in with a win today and a deep Big 12 tournament run) and make some noise in the conference tournament for a spot. Baylor's position is pretty simple: beat Texas and win its opening Big 12 tournament game, and the Bears are back in good shape. Anything less, and a talented Baylor team that reached the Elite 8 last year will be watching March Madness from home.

With all the bubble drama, fans can find a nice distraction in what should be another great Border War. Missouri has been unbeatable at home, and equally terrible on the road. The game should be a great opening for what looks like the best regular season weekend of the year.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

KU Wins Seventh Straight Big 12 Title

In the year that KState was supposed to win the Big 12 and many "experts" picked KU to finish as low as fourth, at least a share of the Big 12 title is heading to Lawrence once again. The Jayhawks now have back to back to back to back to back to back to back league titles, a ridiculous streak that no one else in the nation seems to notice.

To win another piece of hardware for its crowded trophy case, KU had to go through a tough, tournament bound Texas A&M team coached by former KU player Mark Turgeon. It wasn't always pretty, but the Jayhawks finally wore down the Aggies 64-51. It was senior night in Lawrence, as KU said goodbye to Tyrel Reed, Brady Morningstar and Mario Little and possibly the Morris twins as well. KU has now won 28 straight senior nights.

Another interesting fact: KU's Bill Self only has seven home losses in his tenure as KU head coach. For at least until next season, Self has seven consecutive league titles and only seven home losses: something no other coach in recent basketball history has come close to duplicating. How has this not gotten more national attention? If Duke or UNC had done anything close to this, we would see a montage hailing Coach K before every Big Monday game for the next two years. Just look at last night - KU wins a seventh straight title and the front page of features an article about the UNC - Florida State game (yawn).

Think if any team in college football won its league more than 3-4 years in a row. It'd be all over the news. KU does it seven straight times with a national title during its streak and hardly anyone raises an eyebrow. One problem is the nature of basketball - the regular season doesn't mean a whole lot when everything is settled with a crazy single-elimination tournament. Bill Self has now captured three league titles when his team wasn't the preseason favorite, and officially owns the Big 12 (usually one of the toughest college basketball conferences). Its time for ESPN and other media outlets to stop its love affair with the east coast teams and give KU the respect it has earned.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Kansas State Beats Texas, KU Now First in Big 12

Kansas State wrapped up a spot in the NCAA Tournament and officially turned around its season with a 75-70 win over the Texas Longhorns. The Wildcats were left for dead after a 1-4 start to conference play, but have salvaged its once heralded season with an impressive five game winning streak. The win moves KState to 9-6 in league play, 21-9 overall and fourth in the Big 12 standings. Now the question isn't whether KState will make the NCAA tournament, but how good of a seed it can secure.

Texas has now lost three of its last four, watching its strangle hold on the Big 12 division evaporate into thin air in two short weeks. The Longhorns have a history of late season collapses under Rick Barnes, and it looks like once again a talented Texas team is struggling at the worst possible time. Also, I think it is now safe to say that KState officially owns Texas. Despite the Longhorns success in both football and basketball, it seems that every year the Wildcats upset them, at home or on the road. Forget Oklahoma and Texas A&M, its time for Texas fans to worry about KState, especially since the two teams will play more often in the new Big 12.

During the chaos that is the Big 12, Kansas has quietly continued to hammer inferior teams, despite various injuries and suspensions. When the smoke from the last two weeks cleared, it was the Jayhawks who once again found themselves on top of the Big 12 standings. KU has a tough remaining schedule, but a win tomorrow night against Texas A&M would give KU at least a share of its seventh consecutive Big 12 title. Seven in a row. How has this not gotten more media attention? If Duke or UNC had accomplished more than three, I guarantee ESPN would have a montage on it running before every college basketball game. Bill Self has his team in position to add to what has already been a rediculous decade for KU basketball, thanks to a little help from its in-state rival.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

KU Falls to KState in Manhattan

In a Sunflower Showdown that was supposed to be a cakewalk for KU, KState played like its season was on the line while the Jayhawks looked like it simply expected to walk all over KState like it did in Allen Fieldhouse. KState was able to salvage its disappointing season and make a strong case for a NCAA tournament berth with a strong win over number one ranked KU.

The final result wasn't pretty: KState beat KU 84-68 in a game that was never in doubt. KU easily played its worst game of the season, while KState turned in a performance that was somewhat shocking given how poorly it had played in Big 12 play. KState got an insane performance from senior Jacob Pullen, who torched the Jayhawks for 38 points.

Before KU fans all jump in the Kansas river, just remember: KU is not healthy and easily played its worst ball of the year. KU is missing Thomas Robinson due to injury, and star freshman Josh Selby barely played due to a stress fracture in his foot. The loss puts KU at 10-2 in the conference, and it will likely see its ridiculous streak of consecutive Big 12 championships end at six. However, this could be a very dangerous team in March, especially when healthy. KU had beaten KState 42 in its last 44 meetings, and it is hard not to avoid a road bump every once in a while. KU will recover, while KState fans can't help but wonder how its team's season would have gone had the Wildcats played every game like Monday night's contest.


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