KJ’s BB Newsletter                       February 22, 2001

Just like Charley Brown who always believes that Lucy is going to actually let him kick the football, I went to Ames again, thinking that this might be the time that KU would finally beat the Cyclones.  But Lucy always pulls the ball away, and ends up flat on his back.  I’ve lived in Iowa over thirty years and have yet to see KU win in Ames.  They’ve done it, of course, but never when I go there in person.  Charley and I just don’t know when to quit, I guess.

Man, it’s hard being a Kansas fan in Iowa these days.  Five straight losses to ISU and 2 to Iowa.  My Hawkeye and Cyclone friends don’t hesitate to let me remind me…and remind me…. and….       Geez, they also won’t forget that Roy has stolen some of their best players.

Not only losing to Iowa State, but to Baylor, for Christ’s sake!   What an embarrassing loss.  The first half was likely the worst half of basketball ever played by a Jayhawk team, causing most of the national Monday night television audience to tune out.  They missed a pretty good second half run by the Hawks who came from 27 down to within four before falling short at the finish.

Well, my bleeding has finally been stemmed  -- helped somewhat by the good KU win over a tough Colorado squad and two great upset wins by those amazing Drake Bulldogs!!  Last Sunday, the Dogs ended their five-year 43 game road-losing streak, knocking off the Illinois State Redbirds, and followed that with another road win, this time over SW Missouri State.  In the process, Drake has nailed down 6th place (or better), with two games remaining.  They’re almost assured of getting a bye in the first round of the MVC tourney.   A great finish for a team most wrote off after they lost four players to academics.  Hats off to coach Kurt Kanaskie, who gets my vote for MVC Coach of the Year.

The 9-4 Jayhawks are now in third place, following Oklahoma at 10-4 and ISU at 11-2.  A higher finish is now doubtful, with three games remaining. The Jayhawks travel to Lincoln on Sunday, to Manhattan the following Wednesday and then finish the regular season in Lawrence against the MU Tigers.  OU has a non-conference game with Maryland on Saturday, and then finish league play with two home games against Colorado and Okie State.  To get a 2-seed at the Big Dance, I’ll bet the Jayhawks will have to win out the conference and take the league tourney.  Otherwise, they’re likely  a 3 or 4 seed. 

Although the Jayhawks are my favorite, I have also historically liked Iowa State (along with the Hawkeyes and Bulldogs).  With that five game streak going against KU, however, the Clones are severely testing my allegiance.  I have to admit though, that they are a great basketball team and fun to watch.  Coach Eustachy is sure to be strongly considered for national Coach of the Year again, duplicating last year’s award.

My nephew Todd, a freshman journalism student at KU this year, has submitted a new Out of the Phog column, posted to my web site www.HoopsZone.net.   Check it out.