Ok, disclaimer: I just heard The Black Keys are playing New Orleans as the free concert as part of the Final Four festivities so that may have something to do with the fact that I'm 'rooting' for the Jayhawks to play well.
I ate an antelope burger last night. Yeah, that's right, the 'game' they had available for their wild game burger at The Dubliner was antelope. I had it with gouda cheese and it was delicious. It was probably made better by the fact that sitting next to me was an old college friend, Mandy, who is now a sports reporter in Raleigh so she's here covering NC State and UNC. Mandy and I got into a discussion about how much we really liked Peyton Manning because he never beat Florida when he was at Tennessee (conversely we dislike Eli because he beat Florida twice when he was at Ole Miss). Low and behold, a guy at the table next to us turns around says says, 'Go Gators!' There is apparently an English teacher's convention in town and the entire table next to us was comprised of Gator professors. Told you it was a small world.
Oh and it only gets smaller. The Ohio University Athletic Director, Jim Schaus, at one time hired a man named Gregg Marshall to coach a little team called the Shockers. Bruce got an interview with him today and it's just funny how things like that happen.
By the way, in case you hadn't noticed, there's a guy by the name of Roy Williams in town. He kept talking about the Jayhawks for some reason, apparently he must have some sort of connection to the school if only I could figure out what that is......kidding of course.
Roy was extremely candid today about his tenure at Kansas. He said that this morning he went for a walk outside the hotel and a fan yelled to him, 'Rock Chalk Jayhawk!' He responded, 'Go KU!' He says he still loves Kansas basketball and he is a KU basketball fan, but he wants the focus, fairly, to be on his team and not his former team. Good luck with that, Roy.
I start my final day in Omaha the way I start most days on the road: wake up, brush teeth, workout, get dressed then go watch some basketball. The one good thing about having the late game is you get to watch a whole lot of basketball before you have to head to the arena.
There are a whole lot of KU fans walking the streets of Omaha which is in no way surprising. Basketball fans in the state of Kansas travel so well and this is such a short drive for most people making it easy to get here.
What won't be easy is KU's matchup with Purdue tonight. We always talk about the Boilermakers' inability to match up with Thomas Robinson, but if you remember VCU didn't match up well with the Morris twins or T-Rob and they easily handled the Hawks in San Antonio.
Robbie Hummel is a really interesting player. When he was walking out of the locker room on Saturday to head to the podium interviews he had huge bags of ice taped to both knees. Remember Hummel tore both his ACL's in different seasons forcing him to miss two years of hoops. He's like the Keiton Page of Purdue; it feels like he's been around forever.
Hummel wasn't terribly effective in Purdue's game against St. Mary's, scoring just 10 points. However, he presents a tough matchup for whomever will be defending him. Coach Self was somewhat vague but Tyshawn kind of gave it away that Jeff Withey will start out on Hummel. He's a big guy who can bang in the paint or drive inside or step out and shoot the three. It will be interesting to see what defense Self goes with to start.