Afternoon Links: Kansas in context
February, 25, 2014
By Eamonn Brennan | ESPN.com
What we’re reading while we think about digging out our old copy of L.A. Noire. Submit links via Twitter.
- Kansas sealed at least a share of its 10th straight Big 12 conference title Monday night. This is an insane fact in a vacuum. Context is unnecessary. But just in case, the following from ESPN Stats and Info should drive home just how mind-bendingly, historically good the Jayhawks have been: "Only two schools in NCAA Men’s Division I history have won more consecutive regular season conference championships: UCLA, which won 13 straight AAWU/Pac-8/Pac-10 titles from 1967-79, and Gonzaga, which won 11 straight West Coast Conference titles from 2001-11. Also, this is the ninth straight season the Jayhawks have won at least 13 Big 12 games. … Under Bill Self, Kansas has twice as many Big 12 regular-season championships as it does conference home losses. Emphasis mine, because holy insane statistic Batman.
- After Iowa guard Zach McCabe airballed a game-tying 3 attempt in the final moments of the Hawkeyes' home loss to Wisconsin on Saturday, he was the target of a barrage of insults and abuse from Iowa fans. Which, classy, guys. You are awesome people. Keep up the great work. McCabe responded to the horde with some profanity-laced directions. Justified though he may have been, violating the prime directive of the Internet -- don't feed the trolls -- is never a good idea, and soon thereafter, McCabe's Twitter account was deleted. On Monday, Iowa coach Fran McCaffery told my hometown newspaper, the Quad City Times, that his entire team would follow suit. "I think it was a healthy discussion, one that I think made sense for everybody,'' McCaffery said. "I think you can get the feeling the entire fan base is attacking you, which is not the case."
- Remember those Duke fans who, after Syracuse's 91-89 win on Feb. 1 over Duke, claimed they were unjustly kicked out of the Carrier Dome by an overzealous security guard? This story still hasn't gone away: Last week, Syracuse offered the two fans face value reimbursement from their tickets. The fans, who'd paid $1,000 for the two seats, scoffed. There was talk of a lawsuit. It took the cool heads at the local sports talk radio station to come up with a solution: An offer of $500 in exhange for a promise to never attend the Carrier Dome again. The Duke fans agreed. The olive branch was accepted. Now, perhaps, central New York can begin to heal.
- "Conversation is minimal as players sit around two large tables, dining on steak, spaghetti, waffles, cold cuts and salad. In some ways the Wildcats resemble a group of 40-somethings on a business trip—not a band of teenagers in town to play basketball. 'That’s just their game face,' a staff member says. 'They’re focused.' As he prepares to go over the Auburn scouting report, assistant coach Jon Robic is annoyed with the vibe. 'You’ve gotta snap out of this haze you’re in,' Robic says. 'You should be excited to play tonight. We have eight regular-season games left and then the SEC and the NCAA tournaments. After that, this team will never be together again.'"
- Can Doug McDermott get to 3,000 points by his final home game at Creighton?