Advertisement

Archive for Friday, March 19, 2010

Game spurs KU fans’ hopes for another championship

Mike Dalke, Dallas, helps his son Ben, 5, line up a pool shot at the Bricktown Brewery during a Kansas Alumni gathering before KU's game Thursday March 18, 2010. Dalke is a 1991 KU graduate. His daugher Madeline, 8, is in the background at center.

Mike Dalke, Dallas, helps his son Ben, 5, line up a pool shot at the Bricktown Brewery during a Kansas Alumni gathering before KU's game Thursday March 18, 2010. Dalke is a 1991 KU graduate. His daugher Madeline, 8, is in the background at center.

March 19, 2010

Advertisement

Reader poll
How is your NCAA bracket doing?

or See the results without voting

Audio Clips
2010 KU-Lehigh
KU basketball tweets
Get all the latest KU basketball reports

Tweet display sponsored by the Kansas City Wizards. Get 20% off home opener tickets using code KUSPORTS at checkout!

KU tops Lehigh after slow start

Kansas forward Marcus Morris had a career-high 24 points in the Jayhawks' victory over Lehigh. Enlarge video

Reader poll
How many good halves do you think KU will play against Northern Iowa?

or See the results without voting

— Now that Lehigh is out of the way, you’d think Kansas fans might be ready to brace for the possible: A tough game with No. 9 seed Northern Iowa, champion of the Missouri Valley Conference, loser of four games all year.

Think again.

“Even though they’re in the toughest bracket, they’ll definitely go to the Final Four,” said Andrew Brown, a lifelong fan who’s listened to, seen or attended every KU game for the past 25 years.

He pegs KU as a 50-50 shot to win it all, but that’s not quite true. The other 50 merely accounts for KU’s chances of not losing.

“This year’s just different,” Brown said, at Ford Center for KU’s 90-74 victory Thursday over the Mountain Hawks. “They can play bad and still win by a large margin. This isn’t a Roy Williams year, when you’re a heavy favorite and you lose a second-round game to UTEP. I still remember that one. Or Rhode Island. Or Arizona.

“These guys, they’re different.”

Ask around Bricktown, or on Sheridan Avenue, or inside Ford Center, and you’re likely to come across fans with plenty of similar certainty in their crimson and blue.

Kari Kovzan and her 9-year-old daughter, Claire, are so sure of success that they’ll enjoy Oklahoma City and take next week off — passing on the regionals in St. Louis — before traveling to Indianapolis for the Final Four.

Tickets in hand and hotel rooms booked, the Kovzans now await the championship from the only team they figure can win it. “KU,” Claire said. “One hundred percent.”

Such pressure is nothing new for the Jayhawks, who started the season No. 1, ended the regular season No. 1, landed the tournament’s top seed and scored a championship prediction from President Obama and more Americans than any other school.

Be careful, advises Stacy Reed, who is father to KU guard Tyrel and team manager Lacie.

“You better think one game at a time in the NCAAs, or you’re in trouble,” he said, watching Northern Iowa’s win alongside a quiet Roger Morningstar, Brady’s father.

Brown, the confident lifelong fan across the way, isn’t worried, even after Thursday’s early struggles. He’s ready for a triumphant repeat of KU’s title from two years ago.

“I cry when KU loses,” he said. “When the season’s over, I need some time alone. I need closure.”

This time, he’s looking forward to wiping away tears of joy.

Comments

grammaddy 4 years, 1 month ago

We can only be defeated by ourselves. ROCK CHALK!!!

0

Bill Lee 4 years, 1 month ago

The second round is where most upsets occur. If the Hawks are going to lose, it will be on Saturday. After that, they'll be OK as long as they play up to their abilities.

0

BruceWayne 4 years, 1 month ago

40 minutes of good ball or we are DONE!

0

ralphralph 4 years, 1 month ago

'Hawks got to the line just 10 times, and missed half of their free throws. Bad omen. Very bad.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.