A defeat is a defeat is a defeat. Or is it?
"I think this was a good loss for us," Kansas senior Alonzo Jamison said after Louisville handed the Jayhawks' their first setback of the season with an 85-78 victory on Saturday night.
A good loss?
"We were fat and happy," Jamison explained. "Now we don't have that cloud over us anymore. We don't have that much pressure on us. Now we can concentrate on coming out and playing."
Coach Roy Williams wasn't so sure the Jayhawks needed to lose, however.
"I don't know," he said. "It depends on how they look at it. But we haven't played as well lately as we did earlier."
Saturday's defeat ended the Jayhawks' 24-game homecourt winning streak and was Williams' first loss in Allen Fieldhouse to a non-conference team. KU hadn't lost to a non-league foe at home since falling to Duke late in the NCAA championship season of 1987-1988. Williams' first year here was 1988-89.
Louisville certainly didn't perform like a team that had dropped three of its last four outings.
"I told our team," Williams said, "that the difference between a team struggling and a team on the rise is one game. . .and that's Louisville tonight."
Missouri assistant coach Rich Daly scouted Saturday's game. "I don't know how to take it whether it's better for them to come in after a loss or a win," Daly said. "I think Louisville is a lot better than everyone thinks. They're big and they're strong and they're quick."
All three officials were supplied by the Metro Conference, Louisville's league. They whistled 51 fouls 28 against Kansas and 23 against the Cardinals. Jamison was the only player who fouled out.
Jamison, asked about guarding UL forward Dwayne Morton who made eight of 10 shots, said it. "I was in his face and he was shooting over me. There was nothing I could do about that."
Suspended senior guard Sean Tunstall, still awaiting word on his status, wasn't on the KU bench for the first time in the last five games. "Don't read any extra significance into that," Williams said. A decision has to be made on Tunstall before the spring semester starts next Wednesday.