In their infinite wisdom, the doubters got to thinking that the title was the fluke. That the 2008 championship was great, sure -- beating John Calipari and Derrick Rose, and all that -- but that it was just one exception in a half-dozen years of Bill Self's Jayhawks being the NCAA tournament's most obedient Goliath. Who could forget the loss to 14th-seeded Bucknell in the first round in 2005? And then 13th-seeded Bradley in the first round again in 2006? And ninth-seeded Northern Iowa in the second round in 2010? And 11th-seeded Virginia Commonwealth in the Elite Eight in '11?
NEW ORLEANS. -- Jordan Juenemann remembers the last time Bill Self and John Calipari met with the national title at stake. Now a Kansas senior, Juenemann was just another Jayhawk fan in 2008, proud owner of a basketball signed by the whole team. He was in his Hays, Kan., house with his family, nerve-wracked as Kansas trailed by nine late in the contest, a championship seeming to have slipped away.
The storm system that plowed through the South left scenes of destruction described as "surreal" and "sickening" by those who saw them. Authorities were working to reach those trapped; some states are facing a long and arduous recovery. Here's a look at the latest confirmed death toll as provided by state authorities as well as reports from some of the worst-hit areas.
All of a sudden it seems, America has discovered that our football is a very dangerous game. The talk of concussions and the reports of how the sport permanently damages its gladiators has mostly centered around professionals. But what has happened recently at two high schools suggests, perhaps, that the risks of football will now be more seriously evaluated with regard to ordinary schoolboys.
In this week's Sports Illustrated, I wrote a little something about the Kansas Jayhawks and the challenge of being the tournament favorite. Along the way, I spent quite a bit of time with Bill Self. I find him fascinating. And so, I wrote the following insanely long piece about him, in addition to the magazine story.
I'm still planning on putting Kansas No. 1 in my preseason rankings. The Jayhawks are too experienced, too talented, too deep to be ranked anywhere else. I know what I saw last season, when point guard Sherron Collins emerged as one of the country's best leaders; and in the NCAA tournament, when center Cole Aldrich established himself as a premier defensive stopper. I know what I saw in New York in April, when wing recruit Xavier Henry looked like a future pro in workouts for the Jordan Brand All-Star Classic; and in in Colorado in June, when two-guard Tyshawn Taylor was gearing up to star on USA Basketball's gold-medal-winning Under-19 team.
History has shown not all productive players in the draft come from BCS schools. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (Delaware) and Cardinals cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Tennessee State) are just two small school players who made big impacts last year. So who are the top small school sleepers in this year's draft? Here are a dozen names to remember.
One shot can change everything. Especially in the case of Kansas. By all indications, title-game hero Mario Chalmers is on the verge of officially leaving the Jayhawks behind next week. The junior guard said after a workout with the Phoenix Suns this week, "I've been hearing a lot of good things" -- specifically from teams picking late in the first round of this year's NBA draft -- "so I'll probably stay in."
On the heels of the government's plan to stimulate the economy by sending out special tax rebates, authorities say crooks are posing as officials from the Internal Revenue Service or Social Security Administration.
With all the NBA defections that have proliferated college basketball over the last decade, fans have unfortunately gotten the impression that if a player makes it to his senior year, he is somehow a failure. Everyone seems in such a rush to get to the proverbial next level that it's become a little too easy to forget that college athletes, even famous ones, are really just kids. As kids, they live, they learn, they grow -- and it usually takes a lot of time. Isn't that what college used to be about?
Question 1: You say that bad credit will be forgiven after 7 years. But what happens after 7 years? Are creditors not able to see your past history or will they not use it against you? - Lawrence, Penn.
Former Kansas coach Don Fambrough has been around far too long to worry about being politically correct, especially when the topic is the athletic rivalry between Kansas and Missouri. Coach Fam has been playing, coaching and talking Kansas football since the 1940s. He walks like a coach, talks like a coach, swears like a coach, and he bleeds crimson and blue for his beloved Jayhawks.
Theoretically, you come to the Mailbag each week seeking my "expertise" on college football matters. This week, however, the biggest story in the country involves a subject I feel somewhat unqualified to speak about.
The call comes early in the week of the Missouri game. Some years Kansas coach Mark Mangino invites Don Fambrough to say a few words to the Jayhawks players to help get them in the proper frame of mind to face the Tigers. To stoke their outrage, in other words.
The snake wrangling bit was supposed to be a joke. Kansas' sports information folks had given quarterback Todd Reesing a super-long personal history form and by the end of it, he was kind of tired and kind of unimpressed with the person he'd described. So next to "hobbies," Reesing figured: why not?
Hunter S. Thompson would have found much to fear and loathe in Macau, the former Portuguese colony rebranding itself as a gambling paradise. The good doctor (rest his soul) would have been vexed to discover that Macau, surrounded by water and crowded immigration checkpoints, is best entered by ferry, not gas-guzzling Caddy. No doubt he'd have been dismayed to learn that since Macau's 1999 return to Chinese rule, hallucinogenic substances aren't easily procured. But then again, when you can gaze at the Grand Lisboa casino, the newly built neon orb that throbs and pulses at the edge of the Macau peninsula like the Technicolor egg of some gargantuan radioactive monster, who really needs peyote?
Swarms of tornadoes killed at least 10 people across the Midwest, shut down the University of Kansas and damaged so much of Springfield, Illinois, on Monday that the mayor said "every square inch" of town suffered some effects.
My daughter Julia and her friend Chelsea were eating pancakes at the kitchen counter one recent morning when the doorbell rang. It was the man from Peapod, an online grocery store, with my food for the week.
Last week, four-star Army General Kevin Byrnes, a 36-year veteran on the brink of retirement, was relieved of his command of Fort Monroe. According to press accounts, Byrnes lost his command as punishment for committing adultery. Yet Byrnes contends that the adultery occurred after he was formally separated from his wife, was committed with a civilian, and did not affect his official duties.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean on Thursday began a two-day visit to the GOP stronghold of Kansas, hoping to erase the notion that his party has surrendered so-called "red states" to Republicans.
In June 2003, in Lawrence v. Texas, the United States Supreme Court struck down Texas' ban on same-sex sodomy, holding that such a law is an unconstitutional infringement upon an individual's right to privacy.