The sad news is known, the Jayhawks lost to Michigan in heartbreaking fashion in the Sweet 16. Down deep I expected them to lose eventually, but later, hopefully, and not after leading the entire friggin game. But what are you gonna do.
Either way, I’ve still got a pool to run so let’s check in on the top of the leaderboard after weekend #2.
1st place, 151 points: Actually this is me, my upset pick bracket. I only have Syracuse left and have them losing in the next round so can’t score any more points.
2nd place, 139 points: Nate – has Louisville advancing in the next round. If they do he’ll earn 13 points for that, moving into first place.
3rd place, 133 points: Ebs’ bracket – no teams left, he’s done.
4th place, 128 points: Jared – has both Louisville and Syracuse left & meeting in the final, strong position. Could earn 13 + 13 + 21 points to finish with 175.
5th place, 126 points: Lilla – has Louisville winning it all – the next two rounds would earn her 13 + 21 points if they win out, putting her at 160. However, since Jared also has Louisville and is up, she can’t finish higher than second.
6th place, 124 points: My dad – no teams left, done as well.
7th place, 117 points: My real bracket – could earn 13 more moving ahead of my dad, but no further.
8th through 24th place: these guys are all pretty much hopeless. Better luck next year!
The only scenario in which I would win the pool (bittersweet, granted) would be if Wichita State somehow manages to upset Louisville & Michigan (who nobody picked) takes out Syracuse. That’d leave all the scores as they currently stand. Frankly after watching the video of Kevin Ware’s leg breaking tonight, it’s hard for me to pull too hard against Louisville. That was just brutal.
I’m still struggling to find easy access to Jayhawks games on TV. Tonight’s solution: Facetime to my busted-ass phone. Jayhawks lost their third in a row. :(
Time for the annual guess-fest! The NCAA tourney is bracketed and the real games are starting this Thursday. If by chance you’re reading this you’re more than qualified to enter my tournament pool, but do it soon. Like right now!
Of special note this year – the East regional semifinals and finals (so sweet sixteen & elite eight rounds weekend after next) are being held here in Boston. Tickets available for all three games for $165. Unfortunately enough this is the only region without a top-tier Big XII representative (KU is #2 in the Midwest, Mizzou #2 in the West and Baylor #3 in the South), but it does have both a #8 seed Kansas State and the #11 Longhornz (unsure how exactly they snuck in this year), as well as soon-to-be Big XII member, West Virginia. Happily both MU and Baylor are on the far side of the bracket from us so assuming they somehow go deep they’ll have to deal with each other. As far as KU’s draw goes – the path the the elite eight looks reasonable enough but then our #1 seed would be UNC. I find it very difficult to cheer against Roy Williams, but think I’ll be able to make an exception this time (assuming we can get past Detroit…).
Well that sucked. It turns out my former enthusiastic ownership of the world’s best Michigan State sweatshirt was more upsetting to the basketball universe than I had realized – I’m willing to shoulder whatever blame you think is fair. It was a great game sure, the only non-blowout of the night and could have easily swung the other way in the last minute there. I didn’t necessarily think KU would win it all (again) this year but definitely would like to have seen them take out Rick Pitino and Louisville. Thanks to Gonzaga and Memphis also losing I’ve now lost a total of three out of my final four (and given how well Villanova’s been playing I wouldn’t be surprised to go for the shutout), putting me near the bottom of the possible points column in the quasify pool. You can check the standings here if you really want to. Mikey’s tied for first with the all top seeds bracket. Cold-hearted bastard that he is he picked MSU to win.
Mad props to my boy Bolt, but let’s be rigorously comparative about the bowl season postmortem, Humanitarian vs Fiesta.
||Options options options!!
||Depends where your morals lie.
||Answer to life, the universe, everything!
||The BCS is big ball of scam.
The choice is clear. Rock chalk monkey pox!
This feels good. This feels really, really good. It feels (forewarning, heresy) better than the Red Sox winning last year. It feels way better than the Patriots last couple. Twenty years since they last won it under Larry Brown, Mario Chalmers gave us another chance with a game-tying three from nowhere. I started doing the math just (the middle school years are fuzzy) – I moved to Kansas in the fall of 1988, just after the Jayhawks last won. Two decades, two great coaches, too many chances to lose again. Fan-friggin-tastic.
This slightest of margins has brought the Kansas Jayhawks into the final four to make it an all top seed affair. In the ten years since I graduated, this is the third time we’ve reached this point. For the sake of collective recollection, in 2002 we lost in the semifinal to eventual champion Maryland (who humiliated an over-matched Indiana for the championship). In 2003, our last year with Roy Williams as coach, Wayne Simien and pretty much the same team made it back to the championship game where we lost by three to that rat-bastard Carmelo Anthony and Syracuse. The negative feelings that were generated by this single game pretty much ruined the cities of Syracuse and (courtesy of the Nuggets) Denver and the state of Colorado for me ever since. Now, after five years under Bill Self and two horrible first round humiliations (Bucknell, Bradley), we’ve reached this point again. Next Saturday will finally bring the best possible matchup the bracket had to offer, Kansas and Bill Self vs. North Carolina and Roy Williams for a shot at the championship. Rock friggin chalk Boston Jayhawks!
PS. The grace afforded me by winning empowers me to allow JP back into the circle of trust despite her treachery. A moment of silence for our dearly departed Big XII homies.
PPS. The fact that we won also allows me to be a Stephen Curry fan for the rest of his inevitable NBA career. I hope that’s some consolation little dude.
There were two measurable upsides to missing out* on the mindblank that was Jenni’s SXSW. First, AZ wasted her chance at a sunny spring break by coming back to New England (resulting in a day off work & a great day trip to Plymouth). Second, yesterday I spent the day down in in South Boston for my first St. Patrick’s Day Parade. I’m grateful to #1 for having us down and going out with us despite the cold and rain.
*A weekend highlight that would have happened regardless of my corporal presence in Austin was the Jayhawks thumping the Longhorns for their third consecutive Big XII championship.
I found myself without a way to watch the KU game tonight (particularly critical given it was against Texas). Typically I have to hope that a game like this is on one of the networks or suffer the arduous block long walk to The Sports Depot where the Kansas Alumni Association hangs out (with their alarmingly growing supply of babies). Or, best case scenario, head to Newton to see them play BC. Since ABC was showing Dance Wars: Bruno vs Carnie Wilson and the wind chill tonight is stupid cold I had given up on watching it (note, foreshadowing). Instead I had to get too clever by half and let the cruel mistress technology ‘solve’ all my problems. Instead of grading papers I stuttered through 45 minutes of what had to have been the choppiest stream of basketball ever. Thanks Logitech+Dell+ESPN+Skype+Ebay+lack of respect for some law I’m guessing+friends with cable!
PS. The Jayhawks friggin lost at the buzzer with a miss by Mario Chalmers.
PPS. JP was at the game, undoubtably cheering for the wrong team. I can never talk to her again.
PPPS. My personalized Triscuit commercial (a low fat Kraft ‘Food’ ‘Product’!) turned out to be the highlight of the night. You’re welcome Nabisco!!
Judging from fan apparel and a half empty student section the Jayhawk to Eagle ratio at Conte Forum for the Kansas/Boston College game was about 50/50. Tyrese Rice held the game close for about ten minutes before the Jayhawks (particularly an emotional Darnell Jackson) blew it open near the end of the first half. After that we were pretty much cheering for breakaway dunks. In the end the Jayhawks won 85-60, moved to 14-0, and proved they’re not just a football school (mmm, yeah). Next they’ll head on towards the Big 12 conference schedule. All in all a pretty good weekend for the Boston-based Kansas expat community. Here’s a bit of the view from section MM row 16.
Orangey goodness is not just for Juliuses (Julii?) anymore. Congrats to the Kansas Jayhawks, 2008 Orange Bowl champs. Rock Friggin Chalk. NP reminded me that he scored tickets for us to see KU whomp BC this weekend, should be great.
What is this?
They look horrible.
This is bullshit.
Eat it eat it eat it.
First weekend of March Madness, completed.
KU 107, Niagara 67
KU 88, Kentucky 76
Next up to go down, the Salukis of Southern Illinois. Ne’er a stranger looking dog has been seen.
In less swell news, DePaul is now my sworn enemy. First they ruined my one friggin vacation of the year by coming back to give KU one of their 4 losses this year. Then they knocked K-State out of the NIT tonight. I hate those bastards. DePaul Blue Deacons? Blue Dervils? Blu Botnicks? Eat a brick and die.
The longer I’m away from the reality of Kansas, the more I find myself susceptible to the mythology of the farm. I recently met someone who works for The Food Project, a non-profit that runs small gardens/farmlets on urban lots here in Boston. Somehow I’m surprised this exists here. I used to know people like this down in Georgia, crunchy heirloom-seed-hoarding grad school potheads, but it never occurred to me that this kind of work was feasible to do here in the New England tundra.
The author Jon Katz, who incidentally is not the same person as the comedian Jonathan (squigglevision) Katz, is a blantently responsibly party to my urban farm myth-making problem. His recurrent Slate series personifies the animals on his farm – a steer Elvis, donkey Jeannette, and barn cat Mother. He recently continued it with the story of his unusual chicken Henrietta. I’ve never owned non-boneless/skinless chicken, but this piece manipulating me into wanting to go build a fire escape coop. Possibly I could populate it with one of the refuge birds who got tossed onto the floor of the K-State / KU basketball games. They should have never taken away our oranges.
I’m going to Chicago next week to see Mike and to watch KU play DePaul. There’s a chance his friend Logan will be there, with or without retractable adamantium claws.
UPDATE: That didn’t work out so well.