Heavily-played overall #1 Seed Kansas hits The Point of No Return — It’s 9th-seed underdog Northern Iowa who will Carry On instead, as will UW’s Dawgs, who rock Los Lobos to strike a Sweet chord for the Pac-10
You’re not IN anymore, Kansas.
For the first time in 6 years, a Number One Seed has been knocked out of the NCAA Tournament in just the Second Round. On Saturday, the #1 Kansas Jayhawks –Obama’s pick to win it all — were ambushed by the 9th-seeded Northern Iowa Panthers 69-67. Northern Iowa would be the first team from the Missouri Valley Conference since Larry Bird’s Indiana State in 1979 to make it to the Final Four (They lost to Magic Johnson’s MSU in the Final). Last year, Obama correctly selected North Carolina to win it all, but this year is just not his year.
And like Obama, sort of, Kansas scored the first 2 points of the game, but never led again. Northern Iowa immediately took the lead, expanded it to double-digits, then barely withstood a frantic comeback attempt that saw the lead dwindle to one.
And the Heroic Play of the Game was also the stupidest decision of the game. In the final minute, after a slew of panicked Turnovers, the melting-down Panthers had a 1-point lead and had the ball in transition. And instead of intelligently slowing it down and milking the clock, a Panther who had won the Round One game with a clutch shot but who had missed his last 6 shots, jacked up a Three-pointer with 30 seconds left on the shot clock. And instead of being the goat for needlessly letting Kansas off the hook, he is the SportsCenter Darling, because the shot went down, and so did Kansas.
Speaking of ESPN, it looks like they’re going to have to talk about the Pac-10 for at least another week, as the #11 Washington Huskies throttled the #3 New Mexico Lobos, 82-64. The Dawgs methodically pulled away, with Quincy Pondexter once again leading the way. The game was so “over,” that CBS stopped showing it halfway through. Of course, they had a pretty good alternative.
The Pac-10 is now 3-0, with Cal set to face Duke on Sunday. If Cal wins, then the reeling Pac-10 becomes instantly relevant once again, with two teams in the Sweet 16, knocking off a #1 and a #3 to get there. If Cal loses (as expected), Washington will have to win two more themselves (#2 WVU and #1 UK probably) for the Conference to still have a little pride going into the offseason.
Speaking of pride, most bracket-fillers have NONE, after watching #2 Villanova join Georgetown, Kansas and New Mexico as early departees. Put it this way: If your bracket’s Final Four is still intact, you are way ahead of the game.
Now here are 4 more photos in dishonor of Kansas crying in shame after their unthinkable loss.