All sad links today, guys. Sorry.
- KANSAS SPORTS -
The sun did, in fact, come up in Lawrence on Sunday morning, but its arrival was not the signaling of the beginning of Final Four preparations for the Kansas men’s basketball team.
Lucas and Mason leave Kansas as two of the most appreciated players in recent memory, partly because of their status as seniors in an era that has been dominated by early departures and transfers and partly because of the paths they took to prominence.
Kansas seniors Landen Lucas and Frank Mason spoke not only to the media, but individually to Jayhawk basketball fans after Saturday’s 74-60 NCAA Tournament Midwest Region Elite Eight loss to Oregon at the Sprint Center.
"Took me out of a rhythm, made it even harder for me to get (into) a rhythm when I came back in the game," said Jackson, who was patient and gracious with waves of the same questions after the game. "I was playing a little bit timid. I was worried about picking up a third foul. Couldn’t be as aggressive as I wanted to be."
"They didn’t even shoot the ball. He just threw it," KU coach Bill Self said. "Fortunately for them, it hit the rim."
It was a classic performance from a Bill Self team. For whatever reason, one of the best coaches in basketball is stymied when his team has to play an NCAA tournament game on one-day rest, as KU did on Saturday against Oregon.
If there was an Elite Eight loss that seemed inexcusable in Self's career, that would have been in 2011 to 11th-seeded VCU. But this one? A choke? Nah. That diminishes what the Ducks just pulled off, and that is not fair.
It was hard to picture a clearer path for a superpower in this setting Saturday night. But here’s the thing about all that legacy and history and those hall of famers. Sometimes Kansas forgets there is another team on the court.