Heather's Blog: From Withey face to sad faces, it wasn't supposed to end like this


2:19 AM EDT, March 30, 2013



Did that' just happen? No seriously, did that just happen. It really hasn't hit me yet. KU lost to Michigan. The Jayhawks were up 12 with three and a half minutes to play and then a 20-8 run later, the game is headed to overtime.

“Games on this stage are won by one possession," said senior Kevin Young. "One or two possessions and we gave up too many.”

The crazy thing is, they still had a chance to win. KU was down two with the ball and nearly 10 seconds in the overtime.

"(It was designed for) Elijah (Johnson) to get a shot," said sophomore Nadir Tharpe who got two looks at the basket at the end of the game but didn't connect on either. "But I guess he didn't feel like he had a shot so he threw it out to me."

Senior Travis Relford said the original plan was not Tharpe to take the shot.

"The original plan was to go for a two, but it was take what the defense give us," said Relford.  And we didn't get a good look at the end."

Asking those players to relive, what will be the toughest three to eight minutes of their basketball careers for a while was tough. And it was also such a stark contrast to how the day started, a a pep rally for KU where I was getting kids to show me their best Withey face (which was a reference to the faces Withey makes when he makes a big play.)

Then, just some seven hours earlier, Jayhawk fans had dreams of national titles in their heads. Instead they, like the players are probably just replaying those final minutes of regulation and those final seconds of overtime.

"This team went 31-6 and this was a rebuilding year," said head coach Bill Self. "We thought we were good.  And we were good. So to lose a game this way, I know our guys are just crushed right now, and this will be a tough one to get over for a long time."