Northern Iowa detonates ticking Kansas timebomb

21 03 2010

The Northern Iowa Panthers upset the Kansas Jayhawks. No doubt about it. They busted brackets like a professional demolition crew. They shocked America. But anyone who paid any attention to Kansas Jayhawks this season saw this coming a mile away.

Kansas escaped the jaws of defeat several times this season. Even Corey Thibodeaux of the University Daily Kansan called it on Friday (March 19). “For whatever reason, Kansas constantly causes a ruckus among its fans and coaches by its revolting play to start games. Putting everyone through a 12-4 deficit against 16-seed Lehigh Thursday was evidence enough.”

The only difference is that every other time they got off to a lackadaisical start, Coach Bill Self found a way to rally the boys and remind them exactly who they were.

The Jayhawks were the epitome of “playing down to the their opponent” because they were obviously so much more talented than their opponents, but they egos got in the way. They were the best team in the country and they knew it. That was the problem. They believed they could coast through games and turn it on with 10 minutes to go in the second half and still put out the win against weaker opponents.

But not Saturday.

As Gregg Doyel of CBS Sports put it, they decided they wanted to win the game about a minute too late. The buzzer had already sounded when they decided that they wanted to take the game, and their opponent, seriously.

This is the NCAA Tournament people!! Upsets and bracket busters are why people watch – why the tournament is one of the most watched sporting events in the world every year. It’s the upsets like Villanova and Kansas the make the world go ’round.

And this is exactly why we do NOT need to increase the field to 96 teams, despite what the NCAA says. As shocking as it is, UNI upsetting Kansas makes sense. UNI is a good team that beat an overconfident Kansas team that didn’t respect its opponent. There is no need to dilute the pool.

And one last shot … anyone who calls them a senior college basketball writer should not be so apologetic when a top seed gets what they deserve for being cocky and apathetic in the NCAA tourney. Did Jeff Goodman even watch a Kansas basketball game before the tournament? And what journalism school did this “senior writer” attend when his whole argument is; “Sure Kansas did this … But ….” and “Sure Kansas did that …. But …” Really?? That’s all you got? And they pay you for that?

I threw my tournament bracket in the trash, and that’s OK. I would rather watch compelling basketball than win my pool any day. Maybe that’s because I never play in paid tournament pools. Here’s to more exciting games!

Mr Pressbox Out!!

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