Apr 3, 2012, 9:30 AM EDT
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.
May 24, 2015, 7:29 PM EDT
Arizona State’s “Curtain of Distraction” made an appearance as well.
May 24, 2015, 4:09 PM EDT
The last two decades were a special time for the Donovan family, who thanked the supporters who helped make it all possible.
Minneapolis EYBL Day 1: Harry Giles continues impressive spring, Dennis Smith and De’Aaron Fox battle
May 24, 2015, 12:45 PM EDT
The final session of the Nike EYBL tipped in Minneapolis on Saturday.
May 24, 2015, 11:30 AM EDT
Pitt added a big man who can play right away next season.
May 24, 2015, 10:15 AM EDT
Two of the best in the 2016 class battle in the Under Armour Association.
May 24, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT
Already thin at the point, the situation becomes even tougher for first-year head coach Chris Mullin if this turns out to be the case.
May 23, 2015, 9:51 PM EDT
A Big 12 and a Big Ten program are among those due who have reached out to the 7-foot-2 Fairfield Prep (Connecticut) product.
May 23, 2015, 7:32 PM EDT
Colorado’s Tad Boyle doesn’t like the proposed shot clock change, and he made a good point about the physical nature of college basketball today.
May 23, 2015, 5:28 PM EDT
Les led the Aggies to a school-record (Division I era) 25 wins and their first Big West regular season title last season.
May 23, 2015, 3:45 PM EDT
Noah Dickerson had previously committed to Georgetown and Florida.
May 23, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT
The former Wolverine could remain in the Big Ten.
May 23, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT
The Wisconsin big man averaged 16.4 points and 7.3 rebounds per game in his last two seasons.
May 23, 2015, 10:30 AM EDT
The sophomore guard missed the final 12 games of the season.
May 23, 2015, 9:18 AM EDT
He is the younger brother of former UCLA Bruin Shabazz Muhammad.
May 22, 2015, 10:30 PM EDT
Nevada landed an impact transfer that could help at guard after next season.
May 22, 2015, 9:15 PM EDT
Arizona will have some intriguing home-and-home games to go along with an in-season tournament.
May 22, 2015, 8:00 PM EDT
Cliff Alexander might have returned for his sophomore season if the NCAA had not been involved.
May 22, 2015, 7:00 PM EDT
Kentucky promoted a familiar face for the open assistant spot.
May 22, 2015, 5:45 PM EDT
Nebraska loses a commitment who could be headed elsewhere soon.
May 22, 2015, 4:27 PM EDT
Fox has led the Bulldogs to two NCAA tournament appearances in his six years as head coach, including last season’s 21-win team.
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- Five-star center Caleb Swanigan has committed to Purdue 8
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- Looking Forward: Catching up on the SEC’s offseason 1
- Sports book lists Maryland as early favorite to win national title (9)
- Five-star center Caleb Swanigan has committed to Purdue (8)
- John Calipari is selling his program when he says national title isn’t a goal (5)
- Frank Kaminsky writes a farewell letter to Wisconsin fans (5)
- Academic issues expected to sideline St. John’s point guard for fall semester, maybe longer (5)