Friday, April 04, 2008

No Pressure, Only Opportunity

It's been Final Four week here at the Jones house. My first alma mater is in the semi-finals and no matter what happens tomorrow night, its been fun having a few days to enjoy it. Win or lose its been a great season and as far as Roy Williams goes, I'm over it. I was disappointed when he left town but Bill Self is a great coach and I don't miss Roy. I don't want him back. I don't miss Al Bohl either but he unwittingly started us down this path where we find ourselves, with a top-notch football program, coach, and athletic director, not to mention the basketball excellence I expected.

A lot of eerie reminders of the 1988 championship season appeared this week like the job opening at Oklahoma State. Questions dogged Williams about N.C. in 2003, the last time we made it to the finals, and there were different questions in '88 when Brown nearly bolted for UCLA. The Kansas City Star website posted a photo of Bill Self and Larry Brown walking out to the court with the KU team today. Magic mojo, I hear you calling! Manning is back, as a coach this time, and late this afternoon, Roderick Stewart broke his kneecap in practice - shades of Archie Marshall. (Though Marshall was more important to the lineup than Stewart). Enter the last Williams recruit - Jeremy Case. Karma prediction: if the box score includes 10 points from Case, a long shot, but if it does, then KU wins. That's how these things work. A role player steps up, plays the game of his life. It might as well be Case off the bench. If Kleinman goes for 20 - forget about it babe. Cut down the nets. Its over.

I'll take the Final Four any year and if Self's squad wins tomorrow, I'll take a vacation day on Tuesday. I don't want to jinx anything but I'm so old now, I have to make contingency plans regardless of what happens. If the 'Hawks lose tomorrow, Tuesday is still the Royals home opener. So I'm off work either way. It's a hopeful time, a happy time for KU, and a championship is within their grasp.

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