In most years, we’re sitting there getting we’re getting on google maps and trying to figure out the difference in driving distance between omaha and st louis and wondering if k.u got screwed because of uh 20 minute difference this year, it’s just kind of like yep they’re going To be in indianapolis, we don’t even know where they’re going to play, but it kind of does we do farmers coliseum? Does that just not scream march madness who plays there? I have no idea, i mean i don’t even know what it is. I know that’s where it’ll be, and i know i got ta figure out how to get there. Doesn’T farmers coliseum sound like a bit of an oxymoron. I just don’t think those two things like i, i can’t imagine a group of farmers ever deciding to construct a coliseum in the middle of indiana it’d, be like playing at aristocrats, hog, pen, that’s. What you’re saying this is basketball friends, that’s nick schwert, i’m matt, tate march madness is back, we are elated everyone’s elated kansas is elated, who thought that they were going to be a three seed back on january 10th. Anybody anybody i at that point. We thought they were in line for a six or a seven seed right talked about it here, right, like the better move. Might, instead of a four or a five, it might be to kind of tank a little and go get that six well, that was your idea.
I don’t know how many people i don’t know how many people you got on board with that idea by the way, at least one i mean you went what eight of nine down the stretch after going three and five in the month of january. That was a sort of dream scenario. Obviously, a lot different as you embark on the ncaa tournament and ku has a host of off the court questions that are going to be following them. I would think, at least for the next couple of weeks we talked all year about how lucky this team got by not having to encounter any sort of coveted setbacks. They got unlucky at the worst possible time. Now the question becomes matt. Is it a double edged? Sword were you unlucky in that you start to have some covet issues pop up as you enter the ncaa tournament yet lucky that it only affected a handful of players on the team, whereas we’ve seen with other programs throughout the country. One player can quickly turn into two players can quickly turn into the entire program having to shut down for a week or two they’ve got to feel like they’re playing with house money a little bit because they almost had it taken away from them. They did have the big 12 tournament taken away from them and and that had to bring those thoughts and questions and fears into their mind about this same. Damn thing happened last year.
What is happening you know, but now i feel like they’re gon na play really loose and just be so thankful to be playing that it may be a totally different approach to to march basketball than we’ve ever seen here before, because everybody’s seen ku as a very High seed, a one seed, a lot be tight at this time of year right, and i just think this whole thing that’s that’s played out. I think that it really stands to benefit them if they go into it with that attitude, so here’s what we know about where ku is at right now, last tuesday, david mccormick tristan aruna entered covid protocol. It is important to note that we don’t know if either one of them tested positive. If one of them tested positive, we just know they entered the covent protocol on tuesday on friday morning, another player tested positive. There has been speculation online that that player is jalen. Wilson, you can sort of do your own investigations if you want, but ku has not stated and probably will not state publicly who that player is we’ll, probably just find out this weekend, when ku has their first game on saturday against eastern washington and there isn’t a Player out there on the court with them, bill self has been adamant. The entire time that both david mccormick and tristan and aruna will be back and available by ku’s game on saturday. The question i think that everybody has matt is even if those guys are available to play whether they had coveted or whether they were just wiped out due to contact tracing.
How ready are they going to be to play that game on saturday? After not having been around the team for a week and a half probably haven’t practiced, you start to wonder about what kind of shape they’re in how much conditioning have they been doing? How ready are those guys going to be to play an ncaa tournament game on saturday afternoon and how effective are they going to be, and i don’t think anybody bill self included knows the answer to that. This is why these guys come here right to play in march madness to get a chance to win a national championship so, regardless of where their legs are, where their wind is or or how much of a toll any of this has taken, even if it was Just contact tracing and even if we’re, just talking about being away from the team and having a little rust. That way, i think the fact that they get to suit up again and they get to play in march and and start their their quest for a national championship. I think mentally that i think that pulls you through. I think that overpowers everything i do think there’s. Some adrenaline that can can factor into that. So i think mentally as much as anything they’ll be so ready to get back to what they do. And why they’re here that that it’s it’s probably less of a concern than than maybe it would be in in january, or something like that? I think the number one concern for ku fans are the covet issues that we spoke of right behind.
That number one issue we’ll call it 1b, is your first round match up. Do they have any tiny white guys who like to shoot threes – and i am here to report that eastern washington does have a small six foot four, yet 175 pound white guy? His name is jacob davison. He was the leading scorer in the big sky conference last season at 18 points a game. He did have a game earlier this year, where he went nine of 18 from three point range for 31 points. So all of your fears are manifesting right in front of your eyes: jayhawk fans there’s a chance. We could have an archie diacono, faroq monesh, davison, triumvirant of tiny white, guys, i’m sure i’m missing a few who just go bonkers from three against kansas i’m, not saying it’s, going to happen i’m, just saying it is officially on the table. Who, who was that against 9 of 18. i’ll, tell you what it wasn’t anybody who’s in the tournament southern utah, and it was in a losing effort to southern utah back on january 16th? Does that change anything for you yeah? I mean look the guy’s a great shooter right. We can. We can all give him that, but i would imagine that he has not seen the kind of defense that kansas plays and uh. You know. Maybe they’ll do something with their offensive game plan to combat that, but kansas will not let him go 9 of 18.
to your point. He has only started three games since then. He was benched less than a week after that game and he has a combined 12 points in his last three outings, so uh things have changed significantly for eastern washington over the last couple of months. There are some other things about eastern washington that are noteworthy as well. They don’t play much defense. They don’t, they certainly don’t steal the ball or force turnovers at a very high rate. They give up a lot of buckets at the rim or in tight paging. Mr mccormick paging, mr mccormick, please report to the paint they’re gon na have to show up and play. Everybody knows that three seeds are are 119 and 21 in the history of the tournament. This is going to be a game that ku has to play well to win. You know they go play their game and do it at a high level. They should be okay. I mean bill self said on selection sunday, and he said this before that. You know the tournament is three two game tournaments. You look at those three teams that you could potentially play. I guess in the case of wichita state drake playing game. You’Ve got four opponents: eastern washington, those two and usc eastern washington. I mean you could have had arkansas draw where you’re playing 14 1 colgate, who, i think is number nine in the net. Maybe that goes to show how useless the net is.
So i don’t know much about abilene, christian or morehead state or any of these 14 seeds, but just looking at the profile of eastern washington it’s, not a team that jumps out to me and says kansas is going to have their hands full in that one. I know a lot of people look at usc with evan mobley projected to be a top three. Maybe two pick in the nba draft next year and think that kansas cut a tough draw there. Maybe they did but there’s also a reason that usc is a six seed, they’re four and four in their last eight games, they’ve been a pretty average team over the past month or so so you can get into the specifics of well. I wish we had this team’s draw. I wish we had that team’s draw overall, though, for these first two games, this first two game tournament, i really don’t think ku. Has it all that bad they’re, four and four in those games and it’s, not because of him. I mean in his last two or three games. He scored 26 points, so there’s sort of the the proof that that’s, a guy that can get his and they can still lose. You might have a road where ku has to play evan, mobley and then luca garza. You want to talk about the importance of david mccormick that dude better be ready to play some ball, because if he’s not let’s lay that out, because you just kind of mentioned it there, the potential big guy matchups that k.
u could see. Evan mobley luca garza drew timmy hunter dickinson kofi coburn, like okay, you could literally go on a five game stretch and i don’t know how many people are projecting ku to make the national championship spoiler alert filled out a bracket. Last night i don’t have kansas uh cutting down the nets. If you were to project it like that, you could see a road where ku literally plays the five best big guys in the country, all right, it’s time for another edition of name that player matt. I will give you a quote from bill self in which he is talking about either a current or a former kansas basketball player, it’s your job to identify which player he’s talking about it’s tournament edition so win or go home time to put up or shut up. All the march cliches survive in advance. I think that’s all that i have bracket busted one shining moment here it comes here. It comes okay, predicting it hey. I spent some time studying this week too. I thought for seven seconds earlier today. I wonder if nick’s gon na ask me a quote about a tournament player, so i’m, more ready than i’ve ever been we’ll, see about that bud. Here is your quote for today, from a talent, standpoint, he’s, probably not as prepared as josh jackson, but from an intangible standpoint, he’s, probably as prepared as anyone we’ve had name that player. Oh, my god. This should be easy.
I feel like cue, the jeopardy music yeah yeah yeah. This should be easy uh. Oh, my goodness, you’re gon na have to give me a few minutes – i’m, not even i’m, not even conjuring up a guess yet i’m gon na get there. I feel like i’m gon na get it too. I just need to think from an intangible standpoint. Okay, give me uh i’m, just so disappointed in you that you did this. You should be so. My answer is bryce thompson. That is incorrect. The answer we were looking for is one marcus garrett: oh that’s, cool, that’s, that’s crap, on whose behalf i don’t like it. In what regard i don’t think he said it, you don’t think he said it and now i feel like you’re, taking shots at my integrity and that’s, something i just won’t have no, no, no. I know he said it a few years back, our paper was sold that led to some changes and that led to me becoming the full time. Kansas basketball beat writer on the first day that i had that title came home and ready to have some dinner and hang out with my family and the whole bit five minutes after i pulled into the garage this new kid named marcus garrett committed to kansas, and I got him on the phone true to form as we’ve seen throughout these last four years. He didn’t have a whole lot to say pretty quiet.
One word answer and i got off the phone and i thought, oh, my god, that guy hated me it’s a deal there come to find out that’s just him, man and he’s, a no frills kind of guy and and uh he’s had a hell of a career.