"Here's to KU"
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I was rootin’ for Kansas all the way, and I was pretty excited because the Jayhawks killed it against Illinois and Richmond. I thought it was smooth sailing to the Final Four -- but look what happened! It’s been a crazy tourney this year, but real exciting to watch.
I give KU props, though. They came a long way and outlasted a bunch of other top squads in the tournament like Louisville and Duke. Kansas is always in it and certainly had a good chance this year. I pick them every year to win it because that there’s my alma mater, and I gotta stay true to my roots. But this year they realistically had a great shot at winning it all. They’re quick and well-coached. I like the way they play. I had them up against North Carolina in my final. Gotta give some love to Roy Williams.
But man, another former coach also just about sunk my whole bracket this year. I mean, Rick Pitino really let me down when Louisville lost in the first round -- just about ruined that whole side of my bracket. I had the Cardinals going to the Elite 8! Come on now Coach P., after all those laps I ran for you? Least you could’ve done is get to the Sweet 16 -- but I can’t hate. L’Ville is a strong squad and they don’t call it March Madness for nothing.
But when I was at KU, things were different. Not many guys went straight to the pros so early. Most of us stayed for three or four years before going on to the big time. That’s a big difference from today. Now, I can’t blame the guys for goin’ to the league when they get the chance, but a couple years in college definitely gives you the added preparation you need and gives your body the time to grow so you can withstand the long NBA season.
March always makes me think about what it was like when I was a Jayhawk, all the great rivalries. I remember playin’ against Tyronn Lue a lot when he was at Nebraska. That was fun, and then we both ended up playin here in Boston - he even came to my Truth Strikes Again at Foxwoods back in December. We’ve stayed close, which is cool, but I’m definitely not rootin’ for his Huskers any time soon. College rivalries are classic. And what’s cool in college is the rivalries are all about the teams and uniforms vs. individual players. Of course there’s Duke-North Carolina, but I remember the KU -- K-State games. Those in-state tilts were always huge, and it was no different in Kansas. We did a lot of prep for those, and us vs. Missouri was another strong one. Hate to say it, but I never did win a game in Missouri in my time at Kansas. Still gets under my skin. Can you tell?
So even though my bracket didn’t pan out, I’m still proud of Kansas for making it as far as they did. Coach and the guys had a great season -- I know what they’re goin’ through, but you move on and put all your focus into next year. It’s tough because in tournaments like this, no matter how far you make it, only one team wins it all.
Lovin' my Jayhawks...always and forever
-Stay Sassy, xo