Vulnerability in the time of Bill and Roy

UT is a good team, but as Mark pointed out, they are a vulnerable team. This strikes me as an important point and one that I should have considered more. Last year, we were a good team, but we were an extremely vulnerable team, particularly once JR started going cold. Indeed, a lot of Roy's teams were vulnerable - to athleticism, to cold shooting, to slobberknocking fisticuffs. I hadn't considered it before, but Self seems to want to build teams that don't have these vulnerabilities.

Using one primary ballhandler leaves you up a creek if he gets injured or foul prone. Self's solution: have two to three guys who can handle and dish the rock. Not only does this work as a sort of insurance policy, but it also makes it harder for opposing coaches to prepare for you.

Having guards that can penetrate and create offense leaves you much less reliant on warm shooting. Heck, on Monday we shot 1/7 from behind the arc and still won by 15 on the road in Stillwater to a team that owned UT (and by the way, OSU may have played better on offense against UT, but I think you have to give credit to KU's defense for that).

And in slobberknocking fisticuffs we've shown ourselves more than capable of knocking more slobber and cuffing more fists. Want to slow up the game and keep it ugly? Fine. You'll be tired at about the 8 minute mark and we'll run you silly from then on out.

I've been a big Self supporter, but I think that was more a result of my dovish personality towards KU hoops than any keen understanding of exactly what he was doing. But now his vision for the program is coming into focus for me, and I really like what I'm seeing. This Self team is tough, athletic and enthusiastic, and I love it.

And this team is not very vulnerable, at least not in the Williamsian sense. Our key vulnerabilities are probabably intense ball pressure at the guard spots and really hot three point shooting (but for whom is this not true?). I would add cold free throw shooting as well, but we've really excelled at that over the last 8 weeks, so I don't think I can.

I just love where this team is going. I got to watch a lot of college basketball this weekend and I must echo the comments from Jayhawk fans everywhere - when national media folks ignore or denigrate Kansas, they shine a harsh light on their overpaid ignorance. The Seth Davis OU thing was perfect. We'll probably beat OU in the league by 2-3 games and a tiebreaker, and they're the threat?

That's rich. This is the same guy who ELEVEN DAYS AGO called KSU - with UT, CU, OU, TT and KU still left on their schedule - a possible NCAA tournament team.

Seth, bubby! Tell me you don't believe the things you say on TV!

KU is up to 18 in the ESPN/USA Today poll as well.

2006 NCAA Basketball Tournament Locations

If you're looking for the schedule of the Big Dance, this link is a good place to start. If KU were to make it to Dallas, the closest place they could be, they'd play on Friday/Sunday. Tickets aren't sold out at this point, so you might want to gobble them up if you're into that sort of speculation. Does KU have a chance to win it all?

It's better than you think. If you're looking for a sleeper pick, go with KU to go deep and upset some people. Vegas hasn't caught on yet.



Opening Round Tuesday, March 14, 2006 University of Dayton Arena Dayton, Ohio Host: University of Dayton Tickets: $10 Phone: 937/229-4433 Web site: E-mail:

First/Second Rounds Thursday and Saturday, March 16 and 18, 2006 Greensboro Coliseum Greensboro, NC Host: Atlantic Coast Conference Ticket Info: $165 Phone: 336/412-6222 Web site: E-mail:

Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena Jacksonville, Fla. Host: Jacksonville University Ticket Info: SOLD OUT Phone: 904/630-3900 Web site: E-mail:

Jon M. Huntsman Center Salt Lake City, Utah Host: University of Utah Ticket Info: $135 Phone: 801/581-8849 Web site: E-mail:

Cox Arena San Diego, Calif. Host: San Diego State University Ticket Info: SOLD OUT Phone: 619/283-7378 Web site: E-mail:

Friday and Sunday, March 17 and 19, 2006 University of Dayton Arena Dayton, Ohio Host: University of Dayton Ticket Info: SOLD OUT Phone: 937/229-4433 Web site: E-mail:

Wachovia Center Philadelphia, Penn. Host: Atlantic 10 Conference Ticket Info: SOLD OUT Phone: 215/336-3600 Web site:

American Airlines Center Dallas, Texas Host: Big 12 Conference Ticket Info: $150 Phone: 214/665-4797 Web site:

Palace of Auburn Hills Auburn Hills, Mich. Host: Oakland University Ticket Info: $180 Phone: 248/377-0100 Web site: E-mail:

Regionals Thursday and Saturday, March 23 and 25, 2006 Georgia Dome Atlanta, Georgia Host: Georgia Institute of Technology Ticket Info: $130 Phone: 404/222-6222 Web site: E-mail:

Oakland Arena Oakland, Calif. Host: University of San Francisco Ticket Info: SOLD OUT Phone: 415/422-6666 Web site: E-mail:

Friday and Sunday, March 24 and 26, 2006 MCI Center Washington, D.C. Host: Georgetown University Ticket Info: SOLD OUT Phone: 202/784-6222 Web site: E-mail:

Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome Minneapolis, Minnesota Host: University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Ticket Info; $130 Phone: 800/846-7437 Web site: E-mail:

Final Four Saturday and Monday, April 1 and 3, 2006 RCA Dome Indianapolis, Ind. Hosts: Butler University and Horizon League