Reality Bites

  • After a couple of days I think we are over the sting of the loss and we have refocused and are looking for answers.

    Was it Bill Self and his hi / low / I won’t shoot 3’s offense?

    Was it Perry and his knee? Was it Selden and his inability to put up 1 point in an elimination game?

    I think the answer is you just never know what is going to happen in the NCAA tournament and even the tip top programs have trouble achieving their goals and often. It is just reality. Just think of the other “elite” programs and what they have done over the last few years. I say this as the last few years (post 2012 title game run) is what most of the fans on this site are so up in arms about.

    Duke. They look pretty great this year. Which is good for their fans as they lost in the 1st round 2 of the last 3 years and have not been to a Final 4 since 2010.

    UNC. They have honestly overachieved even getting where they are this year and they are more than likely done as Wisconsin will probably thrash them. Since they won it all in 2009 they have lost twice in the 2nd round and have lost twice to KU. No returns to the Final 4.

    Syracuse. Do I even have to elaborate on the trouble that Cuse is in? They are on rough streak and the NCAA just made it more difficult.

    UCONN. Won it all last year which is great. Did not even make the tourney this year.

    Florida. Great streak of going to the Elite 8 broken last year when they went to the Final 4. They were the best team in the country. Couldn’t beat one man team UCONN and this year they don’t get close to making the tournament.

    MSU. Have not been to the Final 4 since 2010. Since then they have been to a number of Elite 8’s. Lost in the first round in 2011. As a 7 seed they were lucky to get hot late in the season. We will see what they can do the remainder of this year.

    Louisville. They have had great results in the last few years. National Title. Final Four. It helps as they had numerous first round exits in a row. Pretty average year this year. Pretty favorable draw in the tourney. We shall see.

    Wisconsin. Went to the Final 4 last year for the first time in over a decade. They live to underachieve in the tournament.

    Kentucky. They are certainly the exception. Sure they went to the NIT a couple of years ago but the OAD circus in Lexington seems to work for them over in Lexington. Sad as it is.

    My point is (which I am sure many will disagree with) that KU puts itself in position every year to do something in the NCAA. It may not work out how we all want it to but I think the 2008 run and the 2012 run will happen again. And soon. If we just keep getting 1 and 2 seeds it puts us in a better spot to achieve our goals. It is just a reality as a top tier program that we are going to come up short of our goals MOST years. See the list above. The harshest reality is that somehow UK is the exception to this rule.

  • @joeloveshawks said:

    It is just a reality as a top tier program that we are going to come up short of our goals MOST years.

    This is true. Every year that we don’t win it we come up short of MY expectations.

    BUT - when we lose in the round of 32, or even the Sweet Sixteen, when we’re supposed to be (somebody check the numbers) the 2nd winningest team of all time. We can’t even lose to good teams in those games - we’re the game that puts a lot of programs on the map. Every frickin game, someone has a career night against us. A guy that averages 3 will score 28. A guy that has NEVER hit a 3 pointer will hit 6. We’re not KANSAS any more.

    We’re just KU.

  • @joeloveshawks Dude, I fully expect that KU will have another great tourney run while Bill Self is in Lawrence. The guy is 53ish? My opinion is that his best basketball coaching days are ahead of him. He has not reached his peak yet. That said, we need a couple of huge recruiting years to get there and some guys that will hang around 4 years to learn his system. Both the 08 and the 12 teams were stacked with talent and experience.

  • @joeloveshawks

    My goal was just to reach the Sweet 16. That would have meant we beat the Shocks (winning in-state bragging rights) and at least we got to a level that probably equals our level with this team.

    I think we just slightly underachieved… but it wasn’t fair that WSU was a 7-seed in our bracket. How can they be a 7-seed with a 17 RPI? Friggin’ impossible!

    It hurt WSU a bit to be underrated but it hurt us worse because they took us out! I think we would have beat a real 7-seed.

    But hey… in my books we did win another National Championship this year… 2003!!!

  • @nuleafjhawk And, it’s not just yours or my expectations. In 8 of the past 9 years, we’ve been a 1 or 2 seed - 5 #1s. So, the expectation of the selection committee is that we would have had 5 FFs and 3 E8s in that during that period. Sure, #1 seeds get knocked out all the time ('08 being the exception), but the fact is that we’ve underperformed our seeding during that period. The only time we’ve really out-performed is the '12 runner-up team, which was a #2 seed. Most schools would kill to have 2 FFs (with a title and runner-up), plus 2 E8s during that time frame - but it still hasn’t matched expectations. That is especially true the past 3 years. But high expectations are a high class problem to have.

  • Several things to consider about our team.

    We are performing at about our historical average right now. That is about 1.5 FF’s per decade. I’d like to think we’ll be back again this decade.

    Self seems to rise to the occasion in election years. 2000, 2004 in the elite 8, once with Tulsa. 2008 and 2012 played the last game of the season! The next election year is next year.

    And finally, you wrote “Wisconsin. Went to the Final 4 last year for the first time in over a decade. They live to underachieve in the tournament.” Let me set everyone straight. While UW’s final four resume is lacking, they have not underachieved. They have played to their seed almost every year in the tourney during the Bo Ryan years. You can look it up. In fact their 2000 FF was as a 8 seed!

  • @wissoxfan83 Sorry about that. I wasn’t trying to talk trash on another school (even though this is a KU board). I was more pointing out the fact that they have had numerous Final 4 caliber teams that have not made it that far. Similar to KU, Cuse, UNC, Nova, etc. No harm intended. I am pulling for them to win it all now that KU is out.

  • @joeloveshawks

    No need to apologize. I should apologize! I like the Badgers and whenever someone mentions them I feel like I need to respond which I really don’t need to however! Thanks for supporting the Badgers though!

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