Monday, March 23, 2009

Monday Miscellany: A Rock-Chalk Triple-Double the Hard Way

This will be a brief look at the defending-champion Kansas Jayhawks' tournament victory yesterday, as a larger foe in Michigan State awaits them, but there are a few nuggets worth loading, you know where.

The Kansas City Star has a brief synopsis of the game here, but if you're not feeling like reading that much, here're a few bullet points:

* The two teams combined for 52 points in the first half, which, for KU, isn't good.

* How the Flyers, who put up some 70+ shots, and scored only 43 points -- you do the math -- managed to eliminate sixth-seed West Virginia in the first round is beyond me.

* KU guard Sherron Collins had a magnificent afternoon with 25 points and an impressive all-around performance.

* The story of the day, however, was Cole Aldrich, who had one assist, 13 points, 20 rebounds, and 10 blocked shots.

* Aldrich's afternoon yielded the first triple-double in Kansas history since the 1986 re-birth of NCAA tournament recordings (the association began noting steals and blocks in '86) of such stats. Former Jayhawk Wilt Chamberlain would've had numerous had the stat been noted back when he played.

* The last tourney triple-double happened in 2003 when Dwayne Wade posted one (points, rebounds, and assists) for Marquette.

* The last tourney triple-double with blocks goes back to 1992 when a guy by the name of Shaquille O'Neal slammed one home for LSU.

* The last time the Jayhawks and the (Michigan State) Spartans squared off was in January, when the Spartans earned the W in East Lansing, 75-62. Kansas, however, won 13 of their next 14 after the game, notching (at least a share of) their fifth consecutive Big XXII title.

Some highlights of yesterday's game:

(video courtesy of Rivals)

The Spartans and Jayhawks will meet Friday night in Indianapolis for the Midwest Regional Semi-Final. The tip will be at 8:37, and the good guys will be wearing the Crimson and Blue.