Seemingly random fits of cheering for KU periodically arose from the fans Sunday at Livestrong Sporting Park as Sporting Kansas City and FC Dallas warmed up for a 6 p.m. kickoff.
The Jayhawks’ Final Four-clinching win was shown live on the stadium’s videoboards until 5:50 p.m., when the traditional in-stadium player introductions began. Sporting KC kept the score up on the board instead.
Shades of 1988
Larry Brown was sitting in the KU section behind the Jayhawks’ bench Sunday as Kansas and North Carolina played to a 47-47 tie at halftime that was eerily reminiscent of the 1988 NCAA championship game.
In 1988, Brown was coaching KU against Oklahoma as the teams put on the most furious first half in NCAA championship history, playing to a 50-50 halftime tie. The Jayhawks won the title 83-79.
KU coach Bill Self said a major point of emphasis was to keep North Carolina off the offensive boards, but KU failed miserably. Not because the Jayhawks weren’t in position.
“Our guys, once again, outsmarted me,” Self said. “If they make every shot, they can’t get an offensive rebound.”
Indeed, the Tar Heels had two offensive rebounds in the first half, primarily because they missed only 12 shots (21 of 33).
Tyshawn Taylor missed five three-pointers, running his consecutive miss streak from behind the arc to 20. He also hasn’t made a three-pointer in five career games in a dome.
“I don’t even care,” Taylor said. “I don’t care one bit. I don’t like domes. Is New Orleans a dome?”
Told it was …
“Oh, man.”Beating No. 1 seeds
Kansas has had trouble in recent years against double-digit seeds, but Self ran his record to 3-0 against No. 1 seeds at KU with Sunday’s victory. The Jayhawks beat top-seeded North Carolina and Memphis in the 2008 Final Four.
KU is 8-7 against No. 1 seeds all time. Ohio State, Saturday’s opponent, is a No. 2 seed, and the Jayhawks are 4-3 against twos.