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It’s hard being a fan of a perennial powerhouse of any college sport. Disappointment is almost certain at the end of any season. Just ask any Oklahoma Sooners football fan.
The Sooners start out every season ranked in the top ten, if not in the top five. Most every season they do not finish national champs. It’s the same for my alma mater’s basketball program.
KU spent the season ranked first, second or third in the national polls. This was their year. President Obama had the Jayhawks taking it all in his NCAA bracket.
The Jayhawks stormed through the early rounds in what looked like a roundball version of Sherman’s march to the sea. They had an average margin of victory of 18 points over their foes. KU’s bigs, the Morris twins, were unstoppable. The guard play was consistent with few turnovers and three pointers falling with satisfying regularity.
I had never given Virginia Commonwealth University much thought, until yesterday, when they handed KU’s butt to it on a platter. VCU played with the tenacity of a very good team that had something to prove. And they proved it with shooting lights out from the three point line and with up tempo transition that put KU’s up tempo transition game to shame.
At the final buzzer VCU was the elated victor as one of the Morris twins hid his face under a towel. I felt like crap as did every other Jayhawks fan. Why?
Because we didn’t make it to the final four. If we had made it to the final four, but lost in the semifinals, I’d be equally bummed–maybe more so, but I will not find out.
There are 364 teams playing NCAA D-1 basketball. Only one team gets to win it all. Those are some yucky odds–whether you are a fan of Kansas, Duke (can’t stand them), Kentucky or North Carolina. Out of those four teams, who are considered to be the royalty of college basketball, only Kentucky is still in it.
And when KU fell on its face yesterday, it was the last number one seed left in the tournament.
No problem. The Jayhawks will definitely win it all next year.