Apr 3, 2012, 9:30 AM EST
NEW ORLEANS – This was supposed to be the rebuilding year for the Jayhawks.
With so much talent leaving the program and 75% of Bill Self’s recruiting class getting ruled ineligible before the season started, Kansas was forced to play this season with a lineup that was very un-Kansas-like. Two former walk-ons — Conner Teahan and Justin Wesley — played significant minutes. Other than Tyshawn Taylor, everyone else on the roster this year was forced into bigger, much more important roles.
No one thought Kansas would be able to have a season like they did. The Jayhawks climbed all the way into the top five nation. They won the Big 12 regular season title by two games — the fourth straight season they’ve climbed the outright league title and the eighth straight year they’ve had at least a share of first place. They made an improbable run all the way national title game.
The disappointment in the Kansas locker was palpable. But once that passes, you can only hope the Jayhawks realized that what they accomplished this season was special.
“I think that’s what I’m going to remember the most,” Tyshawn Taylor said, “just how far we went with so many people not believing in us. This team here, we came a long way since the beginning of the summer. Probably no one thought we would be here, but we’re here.”
“That’s a good feeling, but it will probably feel better in a few days than it does now.”
“I loved being a part of my team,” Thomas Robinson said. “I wouldn’t take anything back. I feel proud, but to get here and then not get what you came here for, it’s going to hurt no matter what.”
No one at this level ever likes or wants to lose. While the rest of the country may not have completely bought in, the Jayhawks certainly believed that they were good enough to win the national title on Monday night. This loss is going to hurt, particularly for the players that will never don a Kansas jersey again.
But once that pain subsides, Kansas will be able to look back fondly on the memories they made with this run.
Mar 7, 2014, 9:21 AM EST
Going to be a busy week for all the bubble teams, too.
Mar 7, 2014, 8:50 AM EST
Duke vs. North Carolina highlights a spate of ranked matchups, not to mention teams will start snagging tickets to the Big dance as well.
Mar 7, 2014, 2:54 AM EST
Wildcats stay in contention for a No. 1 seed in NCAA tournament, while a Southland shootout takes game of night honors.
Mar 7, 2014, 1:13 AM EST
Hawkeyes sure didn’t mind conceding open looks on Thursday.
Mar 7, 2014, 1:05 AM EST
There are 11 days left until Selection Sunday. Every morning from now until the bracket comes out, we’ll help you get caught up on the happenings with impact on the bubble from the night before.
Mar 7, 2014, 12:32 AM EST
Loyola-Illinois got the hang of the MVC tournament in a hurry.
Mar 7, 2014, 12:30 AM EST
That 0-10 start to conference play is (almost) a distant memory.
Mar 7, 2014, 12:12 AM EST
Sign of things to come to just a blip for the Spartans?
Mar 6, 2014, 11:48 PM EST
It’s getting dusty in here.
Mar 6, 2014, 10:33 PM EST
Entering Tuesday night’s date with No. 20 Memphis, offensively-challenged No. 15 Cincinnati had scored more than 80 points in a game just five times. Their victims? Campbell, Kennesaw State, USC Upstate and Chicago State all lost to the Bearcats before Christmas. Temple, one of the bottom-feeders in the American, managed to score exactly 80 points…
Mar 6, 2014, 9:49 PM EST
That regular-season title in the AAC is within the Bearcats’ claws.
Mar 6, 2014, 9:46 PM EST
To say things got weird would be an understatement.
Mar 6, 2014, 8:12 PM EST
Kevin Olekaibe and Deville Smith will be ones who benefit from guard’s absence.
Mar 6, 2014, 6:50 PM EST
Sophomore forward averages 6.8 points and 6.5 rebounds in nearly 19 minutes of action per game.
Mar 6, 2014, 4:59 PM EST
School says it’s result of “inappropriate verbal communication as it relates to the well-being of our student-athletes,”
Mar 6, 2014, 4:28 PM EST
Fourth-year coach has won two MAAC titles and is working on his third consecutive NCAA tournament appearance.
Mar 6, 2014, 3:00 PM EST
Bob McKillop’s Wildcats lost just one conference game. Does anyone else have a shot at the automatic NCAA tourney bid?
Mar 6, 2014, 1:51 PM EST
“The lights are brighter, everyone’s out watching you,” he says of March, but he has yet to play in the second weekend. Perhaps this is the year Creighton gets it done.
- Weekend Preview: The regular season comes to a close 0
- For the first time in months, No. 22 Michigan State and Keith Appling look healthy 0
- Senior starters once again carry No. 15 Cincinnati 0
- Doug McDermott’s career still missing most important part: His One Shining Moment 2
- Bryce Cotton, Providence’s marathon man, looking to lead the Friars on a run to the NCAA tournament 2
- Bubble Banter: Colorado, Dayton the day’s biggest winners 2
- After win at No. 18 SMU, No. 11 Louisville is once again peaking in March 0
- Undefeated regular season says all we need to know about No. 2 Wichita State (9)
- No. 7 Syracuse falls to Georgia Tech in a shocking home loss (9)
- Finally at full strength, Michigan State sleepwalks through loss to Illinois (6)
- Kentucky hits rock bottom, loses at South Carolina (6)
- College Basketball Talk’s latest Top 25 (6)