Victory is sweet; here comes Memphis
My beloved Jayhawks played one of the best games I have ever seen them play tonight against the University of North Carolina Tar Heels. Everyone I knew expected KU to roll over and play dead, especially after last week’s mediocre performance against upset-happy Davidson. But KU was amazing in the first half, holding UNC to only 10 points in the first 10 minutes.
The Jayhawks struggled toward the end of the first half and through about half of the second half — they looked incredibly tired after their first-half performance — and the Tar Heels pulled within four points in the second half. But KU found the energy to put them away and won, 84-66.
It was a particularly thrilling victory for me because it was against the Jayhawks former coach, Roy Williams, who left KU after losing to Syracuse in the championship game in 2003. Like many bitter Jayhawks fans, I never really forgave Williams for leaving my alma mater, especially when he won his first championship with UNC in 2005. So this victory meant a lot to me.
It was nice to be reminded of Coach Williams’ classy style though, too. After the game, he gave the customary handshakes to the KU players, but he had some words and a short hug for Jeremy Case, a KU senior and the last of the KU players that Williams recruited. It was nice to see that Coach Williams is still the same good guy, even when his former team stomps his new one.
So now KU faces Memphis, which beat the smugness out of UCLA earlier today, in Monday night’s championship game. Memphis is big, strong, tough and shooting well. KU is going to have to play just as hard as they did tonight if they have any hope of beating the Tigers. I can’t wait to see it.
Rock, chalk, Jayhawk. KU!