|Written by Jerry Santiago|
|Saturday, 28 February 2009 00:26|
March Madness is known for major upsets and KU’s 63-64 first round loss to Bucknell in 2005 was a legendary NCAA March Madness event. March Madness shockers continued for the Jayhawks in 2006 as they again suffered a first round humiliation, this time to Bradley 73-77 as 7-point chalks.
By now Self was developing a bad NCAA March Madness reputation for not having what it took to advance. There was even some talk of KU fans wanting Self out if he didn’t improve the Jayhawks March Madness performance.
From a handicapping perspective, Kansas, like Duke, was getting the March Madness reputation of being “all hat and no cattle”.
With Kansas’ history and reputation as an elite program on par with Duke, North Carolina, UCLA, and Kentucky, their value was often poor as the casual bettor would take KU simply based on their “name brand” reputation. Finally, in 2007, the Jayhawks March Madness reputation would take a turn for the better.
With their March Madness results haunting both them and the gamblers that got burned, the Jayhawks actually became a better value on the board as they now had a NCAA March Madness reputation for being “chokers”. Kansas won and covered over Niagara and Kentucky to enter “Sweet Sixteen” action.
There, they beat Southern Illinois but failed to cover before losing in “Elite Eight” action to UCLA 55-68 as 2-point chalks. All in all it was a successful March Madness for Kansas and a portent of things to come.
2008 March Madness started off strong for the Jayhawks as they won and covered over Portland State, UNLV, and Villanova to enter “Elite Eight” action with momentum.
As Kansas attracted more March Madness gambling attention and dollars against Davidson they became a poor value and failed to cover their close 59-57 win that put them into the Final Four. Kansas was an underdog against North Carolina and proved that the wrong team was favored in an 84-66 win.
They then handed Memphis their first loss of the season in an unforgettable 75-68 overtime win to finish March Madness 5-1 against the spread and with a new reputation as national champions!
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