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AUDIO: Kansas Jayhawks' First Full Day In San Antonio

AUDIO: Kansas Jayhawks' First Full Day In San Antonio”

Outside of an ugly, 34-point loss to Boise State in late November, the Ramblers didn't have many down moments in a solid year that's become a dream season.

If you're Michigan, Kansas and Villanova, the other Final Four teams this year, you're not only used to what surrounds the Final Four, you expect to experience it. The victor plays Loyola or MI on Monday in the championship.

"Our kids operated under duress this year", Coach Bill Self said per ESPN, "and most years because of the streak". In the First Round they won 87-61, in the second they won 81-58 and in the third they triumphed 90-78.

Connecticut (Albany Region) is in its Division I-record 11th straight Final Four (19th total) and will be trying for its 12th national title, while Notre Dame (Spokane Region) is looking for its second national title and fifth appearance in the championship game since 2011. The 2011 Final Four game between VCU and Butler drew a 8.3 rating and 14.2 million viewers on CBS, 2.5 million fewer viewers than the Connecticut-Kentucky game that followed it. George Mason's run to the Final Four in 2006 did not provide much in the way of a ratings bump, either: It drew a 9.1 rating and 14.5 million viewers, down from the comparable game in 2005 between IL and Louisville.

Loyola is catching a team that is about as hot as they are in MI. Not so great numbers compared to what he'd been putting up all season. All they did was play in one of the most exciting national title games of all time, and they brought home some hardware. It is a amusing game. Both teams play pretty well and yet there were some things each team did that they don't normally do and still stayed in the game. But in this game, KU and Coach Self seemed to have all their bases covered and countered whatever Duke did offensively or defensively.

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Perhaps that is why Self, as fiery as you'll find during a game but relatively composed everywhere else, was so emotional after the Jayhawks beat Duke in overtime to secure their spot in San Antonio. And previous year they romped through their region before losing to OR in Kansas City, their home away from home, a defeat that ended the college careers of Mason and Jackson and left a bitter taste. "The guys popularity on campus has increased in a big big way and somebody asked me yesterday, they'll be remembered forever for going to a Final Four?" So I chose to do weaknesses on the team and best palyers. On the same side of the bracket, KU and Villanova square off Saturday.

I also thought the Basketball Gods smiled on KU on Grayson Allen's shot at the end of regulation. And I'm not saying Loyola didn't have a lot of luck (to wit, Custer's last-second shot hitting the rim against Tennessee and falling the right way and just before that, Grant Williams touching a ball going out of bounds, that otherwise would've gone to Tennessee, thus preventing a last-second shot by Custer; Donte Ingram's 3-point shot at the buzzer against Miami; and Marques Townes' same shot against Nevada with a few second left.). He has been lethal from the perimeter in that stretch, with 28 made 3-pointers on 54.9 percent shooting over seven games.

"This is very tough because I am a die-hard Chicago fan and my heart is always with everything Chicago", says Jordan Brandt who is from Chicago and went to Kansas University and works at the school.

Loyola's unpredictable and winding road to the Final Four continues. All the games are on TBS. The victor of the Kansas-Villanova game advances to play the victor of the matchup between Loyola-Chicago and MI for the national title on Monday.

The Midwest Region champion Jayhawks will take on the top seed out of the East Region, Villanova, at 7:49 p.m. on Saturday.



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