Thomas Frank’s book entitled “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” was an examination of the state’s political scene.
It could also have been a look at Kansas University’s football team, with its 11-61 record over the last six seasons.
And it could have been a look at the KU’s basketball team, though that seems hard to believe at first glance.
With the NCAA Tournament sort of upon us (do you count these First Four play-in games as part of tournament proper?), it’s fair to take a look at the Jayhawks and how they’ve been an enormous tease.
They’re a No. 1 seed after a 28-4 season, but we’ve seen this show. Comes March and the Jayhawks might as well be 4-28.
This will be coach Bill Self’s 14th tournament with Kansas and you can’t take away a national title and another Final Four appearance. But what about those other years where the exit ramp sneaked up on Self and his team?
Remember, this is a team that has won its conference regular-season title 13 straight times, tying an NCAA record. March is apparently a different season. Five times the Jayhawks have been bounced in the first week of the tournament while a No. 1 or No. 2 seed. That’ll bust your bracket. The Jayhawks are 2-5 in the Elite Eight. They’ve won one national title while being seeded No. 1 seven times, and No. 2 or No. 3 five times (thanks to the Austin American-Statesman for the research.)
And they enter this NCAA Tournament off a first-round loss to TCU in the Big 12 Tournament.
What’s the matter with Kansas? Maybe something, maybe nothing. We’ll see on Friday night in Tulsa when the Jayhawks get a supposed gimme in either North Carolina Central or UC Davis, who are matched on Wednesday night in that First Four play-in at Dayton, Ohio.
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman