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Kansas fan Don Shoulberg’s wake being planned around game against Michigan

Kansas-Jayhawks-MascotA lifelong Kansas Jayhawks fan named Don Shoulberg passed away on Tuesday at the age of 76. Shoulberg studied at Kansas and earned his PhD at the university in Speech Communication and Human Relations. Why do we feel confident that he was such an avid Jayhawks fan? Because if not, I highly doubt his family would be planning his memorial service around the tipoff of an NCAA Tournament game. The following is from Shoulberg’s obituary:

A Prayer Service will be at 5 p.m. Friday, March 29, 2013 at the mortuary followed by a visitation until tipoff time for the K.U. basketball game (approx. 6:30 p.m.).”

Yes, this is very much real life. Those of us you who don’t understand clearly can’t comprehend the type of connection some people in Kansas feel with their college basketball team. As The Dagger pointed out, a friend who signed Shoulberg’s guestbook online helped shed a bit more light onto the subject.

Most of our interaction occurred on the office elevator and our conversations almost always focused on KU basketball. I understand why the visitation will end before our tip off against Michigan. Don’s steading hand will be a significant factor in our attempt to knock off Michigan in continuing our quest.”

Suddenly, I find myself rooting for Bill Self and company. They will face a tough test against Michigan’s loaded backcourt, but on paper the Jayhawks have the edge. If Kansas comes out on top, my bracket takes another hit. But I wouldn’t mind seeing them win one for Shoulberg.

And hey, at least the deceased is remembering his favorite team in a positive light. Remember what this Chiefs fan’s obituary said? Or how about the dude that wanted out because the Broncos signed a player he hated? In loving his team so much that he didn’t want people to miss them play, Shoulberg showed that he is on the opposite end of the spectrum.

Big 12 admits officiating mistakes at end of Kansas-Iowa State game

Kansas-Iowa-State-no-callKansas came away with an exciting 108-96 overtime win over Iowa State on Monday night, but the victory did not come without questions. The Big 12 reviewed the officiating from the game and admitted mistakes were made.

Here’s the statement issued by the conference on Tuesday:

“The Big 12 Conference acknowledges that officiating errors were made at the end of regulation during last night’s Kansas at Iowa State men’s basketball game,” the statement says. “The plays have been reviewed and appropriate measures will be taken by the Coordinator of Men’s Basketball Officials to adjust the number of future assignments for the two officials involved in conjunction with Conference policies.”

The play that is believed to be in question came with five seconds remaining in regulation when Kansas was trailing 90-88. Jayhawks guard Elijah Johnson drove to the lane and barreled through Iowa State forward Georges Niang. No charging foul was called. Instead, Niang was called for a hold when Johnson missed the shot and the ball was loose on the floor.

Naturally, Johnson went on to hit both free throws and send the game to overtime, where Kansas won it.

Kansas Fans Use Billy Cundiff Taunt During Opponent’s Free Throws (Picture)

Poor Billy Cundiff.  The guy already feels bad enough — especially for Ray Lewis — that he blew the Ravens’ shot at going to Super Bowl 46.  Now, he has to hear it from fans in other arenas in an entirely separate sport.  As we all know, college basketball fans are some of the most clever in the country when it comes to taunting.  At times they take it too far like these Michigan State fans did over the weekend, but typically students come up with extremely clever bits like this one.  That’s unfortunate for Cundiff.

As you can see, Kansas Jayhawks fans were taunting Texas A&M during free throws on Monday night using enormous letters that spelled out “C-U-N-D-I-F-F.”  I guess they were hoping the shooter would miss wide left.  Although I feel badly for Cundiff that fans in Kansas are taunting him during a basketball game, I have to give the student section points for creativity.

H/T The Dagger

Kansas Fans, Tommy Lasorda Would Like to Know What ‘Rock Chalk Jayhawk’ Means

If Kansas beats Texas A&M to remain undefeated in Big 12 play, I hope they’ll continue to bring Tommy back to keep up the winning streak. He clearly would be a good luck charm at that point.

Now to answer the 83-year-old former Dodger manager’s question, here’s what KU’s website says about the tradition:

“KU’s world famous Rock Chalk Chant evolved from a cheer that a chemistry professor, E.H.S. Bailey, created for the KU science club in 1886.

Bailey’s version was “Rah, Rah, Jayhawk, KU” repeated three times. The rahs were later replaced by “Rock Chalk,” a transposition of chalk rock, the name for the limestone outcropping found on Mount Oread, site of the Lawrence campus.”

Bill Self Wants the Kansas Student Section to Sing the National Anthem Properly

All student sections have their own quirky little traditions.  At the University of Connecticut, they have the U-C-O-N-N chant after a timeout is taken whenever the Huskies go on a run.  That may not sound all that clever, but when you mix in the fact that the chant has been led by the same fat, red-headed guy named Big Red for the past decade it’s pretty cool to be a part of.  Most similar traditions are well-received by coaches and players, but there is one particular act that the Kansas students perform that head coach Bill Self could live without.

Before Kansas City Chiefs home games at Arrowhead Stadium, Chiefs fans sing “and the home of the Chiefs” at the end of the National Anthem in place of “and the home of the brave.”  For whatever reason, Jayhawks fans have adopted the tradition. Self is not amused.

“I don’t think it’s anything we should be proud about as students to carry that on, because I don’t see the place for it when you are honoring your country,” Self told the Lawrence Journal-World. “That’s one tradition that in my opinion certainly we could do without. I think it’d be more respectful toward the anthem and what that stands for to go ahead and use the actual words to it than putting in their own. I think they should stick to Francis Scott Key’s words. I think that would be more appropriate.”

The Kansas coach has a point.  There are plenty of other ways to showcase school spirit.  Not only that, but singing “the home of the Chiefs” doesn’t even make sense for the Kansas basketball team.  If you want to personalize the National Anthem, at least come up with something original.

H/T The Dagger

Kris Humphries Rejected by Kansas for Being ‘Absolute Jerk,’ Ex-Jayhawk Says

One of pop culture’s biggest mysteries is how a fairly nondescript basketball player like Kris Humphries ended up with a Hollywood bombshell like Kim Kardashian. Based on this story, we may finally have our answer.

In an upcoming book about Kansas basketball called Beyond the Phog, former Jayhawks guard Keith Langford explains why Kris Humphries, who was a top high school recruit, was turned down by Kansas.

[Read more...]

Kansas Has Elite 8 Gift-Wrapped, Will Need to Keep Focus Early On

After just one day of games — sorry, I refuse to count the play-ins — the 2011 NCAA Tournament has already featured a ton of excitement.  The coverage has been brilliant, there have been games decided on last-second lay-ups, another decided a last-second three-pointer, and upsets that were nearly impossible to forecast.  Despite having not played a game, the Kansas Jayhawks should be drooling.

The most surprising upsets on Thursday were No. 13 Morehead State defeating No. 4 Louisville and No. 12 Richmond knocking off No. 5 Vanderbilt.  Upsets happen and should be expected, so what was so special about these two games?  Both came via the Southwest region.  In fact, both will directly impact Kansas, assuming they get past their first game cupcake on Friday and either No. 9 Illinois or No. 8 UNLV.

When most of you filled out your brackets, you probably had Louisville and Vanderbilt advancing to the round of 32.  Others may have anticipated one upset, but chances are there are few people out there who predicted a Morehead State-Richmond match-up in the second round.  Although anything can happen in the NCAA Tournament, common sense has to come into play.  With that in mind, the Jayhawks had to be thinking Lousiville or Vanderbilt in the Sweet 16 (yes, teams look that far ahead regardless of what they say).  Now they will play neither.

The real task for Kansas now will be taking things one day at a time and not focusing their attention down the road.  Morehead State and Richmond both won their games for a reason — both are obviously quality teams.  However, they were both low seeds for a reason.  The Jawhawks were already a heavy Final Four favorite entering the tournament.  Their path became that much easier on Thursday.