November 26, 2006

No. 12 Kansas : hands number 1 and defending National Champions Florida their first loss of the season.

posted by hawkguy to basketball at 11:53 AM - 6 comments

Up by four with 17 seconds left, stupid mistakes by Kansas and great play by Florisa forced overtime, but Kansas held on to win. (Sorry about the homer link, but it was a hell of a game.)

posted by hawkguy at 11:54 AM on November 26, 2006

The thing about Kansas is that they will actually be a worse team by the end of the year than they are now because Bill Self is an absolutely terrible coach. Don't get me wrong, he's a heck of a recruiter and Kansas has some amazing athletes, but Self has been destroying quality teams his entire career. My favorite moments of this particular game came after Self called a timeout with about 45 seconds left. You would think he would tell his team not to foul or something similar, but no, they fouled EVERY POSSESSION from then until the end of regulation even though they were AHEAD THE WHOLE TIME. That last foul with 10 seconds left on a wide open layup was particularly hilarious. I can't wait for Kansas to earn a 1 seed and then become the first 1 seed ever to lose in the first round. They have the talent to win it all, but Bill Self will drive them into the ground.

posted by fatfryar at 06:37 PM on November 26, 2006

Yeah that was pretty embarrassing how they collapsed in the final seconds of regulation. I just couldn't believe that it was happening. Either Self is a bad coach or the players just lost all of their discipline at the end. Great play by Wright, Authur, and Chalmers though.

posted by bryon at 09:55 AM on November 27, 2006

As a Gator fan, I was glad for that loss. It is a wake-up call for the team (previous games this season had been close early until they turned it up and blew out teams -- you should play full-speed all game long, if only for practice against tougher opponents), it exposed the front-court as not being indestructible, and most importantly as a fan, it showed me that despite playing an awful and ugly game (seriously, the defense was non-existent and the offense consisted of jacking up jumpers), the Gators were still able to keep up with one of the premier teams in the nation (who played quite well, I thought). Get the nasty out of the system early and a few loses mid-season would be perfect before heating up down the stretch as they did last year.

posted by PublicUrinal at 11:01 AM on November 27, 2006

Urinal, i am a bit surprised as you seem to think that even one of the "premier" teams in Division one could barely beat Florida on a bad night. Let me be the first to say that the Gators are definitely one of the best squads in the country talent wise and their depth and experience make them the early favorite to win the title i think, but it seems that maybe you're underestimating Kansas. Maybe their defense had a little bit to do with the offensive discontinuity and Julian wright's orangutang arms combined with his speed had something to do with the non-existent defense. Maybe Ku can hang on a good night (it is important to note that Brandon Rush, one of the team's biggest stars, played poorly and the team's 3 point shooting was lackluster). With their youth (and i have my own misgivings about self; although roy and dean smith were also "bad" coaches until they did breakthrough and win a title) they definitely need to continue to grow. If they mature into a consistent ball club, maybe Florida won't stand above them even if they play well. Finally, yes, i am a KU fan. However, at this point i would still say Florida has the best bet to win it all again, so i think i am not being too biased.

posted by brainofdtrain at 01:41 PM on November 27, 2006

I am most assuredly not underestimating KU. You are absolutely right that KU has a lot of youth and they'll most assuredly play better as a team as the season wears on. While the 3-point shooting by KU wasn't amazing, it wasn't that big of a factor in my opinion because you guys seemed almost able to score at will inside (Florida acted as though it had never seen a back door cut before). I was just pleased to see that on a night where the Gators played morbidly, they were still hanging in there against a very good KU team. As for the KU defense, it was indeed good as you guys would swarm any of the Gator forwards any time they touched the ball (Noah seemed to get triple-teamed all the time) and got back to the perimeter on the out-pass, and also did a good job to cut off the passing lanes inside. But I think early foul trouble was the key as none of the forwards wanted to risk getting an offensive foul. Even on the defensive end, Noah played relatively soft after he picked up the first two fouls rather quickly. And let me assure you, I am no fan of Wright after that game. Not because of anything but the fact that he tore my team apart. Kansas will be a force this year, no doubt. And while the Gators may be the favorites to win it all, when March Madness rolls around, one loss is all it takes. I've just grown a bit more comfortable with us having another bad game.

posted by PublicUrinal at 02:47 PM on November 27, 2006

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