Kansas Basketball: Most Painful Tournament Exit Memory?

Stop feeling good about yourself! It’s time for some good old fashion depression, courtesy of Kansas basketball. Recently, a friend of mine and I took a trip down memory lane to examine some of the bittersweet tournament memories for Kansas, i.e. times we were close to a title and came up short. We couldn’t decide which one was the worst, so I’m asking you, the great and majestic people of Rock Chalk Talk, to help me out.

To keep things specific, we are doing Self-coached years only. I will provide a quick blurb on the season, tournament, and how close KU was to winning it all. Refresh your memory on the pain you experienced, and vote at the end. Remember, you are voting for your opinion of the biggest "the title was RIGHT THERE!" moment. Here we go:

2004 NCAA Tournament – Lost in Elite 8 to Georgia Tech

This one gets kind of overlooked by Kansas fans, but it certainly warrants discussion. In Self’s first season, which was largely up-and-down for the Hawks, KU was gift wrapped an easy NCAA field and found itself in the Elite 8 against a strong Georgia Tech team. Kansas took the Jackets into overtime, eventually falling to the eventual tournament runner-up. If Kansas prevails in OT, it makes the Final 4 and who knows what happens, right?

2007 NCAA Tournament – Lost in Elite 8 to UCLA

Nearly this same team won the title the next season, which erased a lot of bad memories from this game. Don’t forget though, that this Jayhawks squad was a one seed, beat Kevin Durant twice, and had already beaten eventual champion Florida earlier in the year. Kansas just couldn’t buy a basket against the Bruins, and UCLA started making ridiculous threes and even a half court shot to boot. Had KU gotten past this road game against the lower seeded UCLA team (still bitter about that), I’d imagine they had as good a shot as Florida or Ohio State of cutting down the nets.

2010 NCAA Tournament – Lost in Second Round to UNI

I know, I know, what am I doing putting a second round loss in here… ok, fine. But LOOK AT THIS TEAM!!! Collins-Taylor-Henry-Morris-Aldrich with Morris-Reed-Morning-Star-Johnson on the bench?! An absolutely loaded Kansas team had only lost two games all year, nearly swept the Big 12, won the Big 12 tournament, and… yeah. Still hard not to think about what happens if Kansas pulls this thing out, gets its tournament scare out of the way early, and makes a run.

2011 NCAA Tournament – Lost in Elite 8 to VCU

My first pick for most painful, likely because it is the most recent. Still, a very good one-seeded KU team was gift-wrapped a road to the title. All that stood between Kansas and Bill Self’s second championship was VCU, Butler, and UConn. Not exactly Davidson, North Carolina, Memphis. The weakest Final 4 in recent history, Kansas is the last top seed and, well, you know what happened next…

So there you have it, Jayhawk fans. Vote for what you believe was our biggest whiff, or just whatever was most painful for you.

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