Post-mortem, Kansas (03/02)

I thought the last eight minutes of the first half were impressive for K-State. And Mike was outstanding, as usual.

But really, what other positives can be gleaned from that loss? Now, I’m not quite the pessimist some are – KU is good, as is Texas, as is Baylor. You see a trend here? The Wildcats’ last three losses have been to very good teams. That doesn’t excuse the outcomes, but the facts are the facts.

Last night was an awful environment for such a young team. The atmosphere was so emotionally charged, there was no way K-State’s freshman-laden crew was going to be able to overcome the Jayhawks, the crowd and the officiating. I’ve never been one to grumble about officiating – and I’m not about to now. But I will say as much as Dick Vitale and everyone else was swept up in the moment, the same happens to officials.

My last point on the environment is this – several of KU’s players, Brandon Rush in particular, said they allowed the crowd at Bramlage Coliseum to take them out of the Jan. 30 game. That’s a veteran Jayhawk team, by the way, guys with deep NCAA Tournament experience on their resumes.

What I’m saying is, this happens. K-State needs to take care of business this week against lesser teams – I believe the Wildcats will – and learn from this. Getting Bill Walker right would be a good place to start. I wrote my story for today about his disappearing act and how KU almost targeted him.

Consider this: in the last three games, Mike is averaging a shade under 38 points. And K-State has lost all three games.

Dude needs some help.

My dad and I are going to watch last night’s game again today at some point. My parents, by the way, loved the experience – the biggest college basketball game they’d witnessed up to this point was Michigan (the Jamal Crawford year) at Boston College – but hated the outcome. Pop was fired up about the officiating and the home-court edge, but he thinks K-State will beat KU if they meet in K.C.

Shameless plug – check out the Eagle’s “State of Basketball” and be sure to vote each day for each matchup.