Ode to the 2012-2013 Jayhawks

Posted on: April 2nd, 2013 by jayhawktalk 6 Comments

A disappointing end to an otherwise fantastic season.

It’s a tough life being a college basketball fan of a high major program. Every year, only one team goes home satisfied. 68 enter and 1 leaves with the ‘ship. It’s almost mean if you think about it.

Football has all those bowl games. A great season can end in an Orange Bowl victory. Hell, a great season can end in an Insight Bowl victory. Neither one of those is a national championship, but it’s still pretty cool.

But not basketball. Not at Kansas.

Success is unfortunately judged in terms of banners — and not just any banners. Sweet 16 banners aren’t interesting to us. Neither are Elite 8 banners, while we’re at it. Final Four or bust seems to be gauge of a successful season, which, if you think about it, just isn’t very fair.

31-6. Regular Season Conference Title. Conference Tournament Title. Those are absolutely incredible feats, especially when you couple them with the story line of nine straight (the most impressive streak in college basketball).

Yet, here we are. Moping about and telling ourselves it should be Kansas in the Final Four. Playing the sequences over and over again in our heads. Arriving at the same result every time… “How did it happen?” 

I don’t want to talk too much about the game because I’m sure you’ve talked about and read about and heard about it enough. There is plenty of blame to go around for the loss, and Bill Self is certainly not immune to it.

That’s not the point of this piece.

The point is that Kansas had another incredible season. A season that will be remembered for Ben McLemore’s dunks. A season that will be remembered for Kevin Young’s fro. A season that will be remembered for Travis’ defense and Perry’s growth and the Harlem Shake. A season that will be remembered for the “McLemore” dance and Elijah’s heroics in Ames. A season that will be remembered for Tharpe’s emergence as a point guard and Rio’s tweets and Self’s 500th. A season that will be remembered for the Withey Block Party and all the coaches’ sons. A season that will be remembered because we lost to TCU. A season that will be remembered because we beat K-State…thrice. A season that will be remembered for a team that started four seniors in the modern age of college basketball.

And, unfortunately, it will be remembered for the “nut tap” game — the head-scratching collapse in the Sweet 16 against an overmatched Michigan team that woke up and grossly outplayed Kansas the last few minutes. It will be remembered for Elijah’s turnovers and lack of killer instinct at the end of the game. It will also be remembered as another far-too-early-exit from the tournament.

But hopefully we remember those other things too. Because this group of guys deserves that much.

Rock Chalk and a fond farewell, 2012-2013 Jayhawks. You’ll forever be remembered by this Jayhawk fan.



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6 Responses

  1. shamrockhawk says:

    Well said. I have finally learned to enjoy the ride as much as the destination with these wonderful basketball teams. These young men give thier hearts and souls for a school and a sport. I am proud of them and proud to be a jayhawk.

  2. James (@JFerg_KU_BYU) says:

    The big thing I thought of that night:

    “So that’s what that felt like for Memphis.”

    Tough end, but Michigan seems like a team of destiny this tournament.

    We still have 2008.

    Rock Chalk, Jayhawk!!

  3. Matt says:

    Just as last year felt a bit overachieved this year feels like such a huge missed opportunity. To control 38 minutes of a game and then get killed, looking at the remaining schools and knowing the Jayhawks could win it all, is a tough pill to swallow. As always, excited for next year but what could have been this year.

  4. Rita Wade says:

    Very well said.

  5. JS says:

    I felt all along that the Sweet Sixteen was as far as we would get. I hoped for more but just saw that the flaws were too great for them to go all the way unless Self coached them past a couple of tough games.

    The win against Michigan would have been a plus in my book and I think when you look at Ken Pomeroy we were ranked 9th and Michigan was ranked 8th so this was going to be a toss-up game.

    This team played not to lose rather than to win. McLemore disappearing for games or parts of games just didn’t help this team have a killer instinct.

    I love the Jayhawks and we get to every year see our team have a chance to win the National Championship. We are extremely lucky. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

  6. BN says:

    Look at it this way: 1) We stole one from Purdue last year, 2) Avoided collapse against NC State (we forget how we almost gave that one away), 3) Played UNC after Kendall Marshall got hurt, 4) Played a team in the Final Four that we had already scouted and beat. That is a good stretch of good luck (and not even counting the Iowa State game), so it was bound to come back and bite us at some point. Sports can be very cruel sometimes, and thankfully our boys spoil us get to experience heartbreak like this too often.

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