“Kansas has just got to get by the first week. Easier said than done.”
Jeff Goodman, in an interview on The Program, 810 AM
GH: Well, that fact was definitely highlighted on Thursday, the first day of the tournament with a full slate of games. Oklahoma turned North Dakota State into everybody’s Cinderella. Dayton enjoyed possibly the greatest day in the history of the university when the Flyers smote their big brother, Aaron Craft’s Ohio State, and gave their fans bragging rights in the state of Ohio for eternity – or at least until the NCAA pairs the two schools again. Upsets are what make this tournament so riveting. Upsets are also what make us not want to get out of bed for a week when they happen to your team. Kansas needs to get through St. Louis to keep the nausea at bay.
“I think I speak for all Kansas fans on this one. What everybody wants is for the ball to get tossed back into Bill Self’s court. And if it goes back into Bill Self’s hands I think we all know what’s going to happen. Joel Embiid is going to play and this team has a shot at a national title.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Maybe my favorite quote from Kietzman in some time. KK is now speaking for Kansas fans? Just when you thought you glimpsed the heights of Kietzman’s arrogance, he mashes the elevator button to carry him up a few more floors.
“They’re all wetting their pants over New Mexico.”
Soren Petro, on Kansas fans concerned about first Eastern Kentucky and then their possible second game rematch against New Mexico, 810 AM
GH: Isn’t this what fans of the favorites do? Only the dumb ones walk around like Cliff Clavin.
“I hope we get Syracuse and Kansas in the Sweet 16. I think that would be a lot of fun for me personally. I hope we get that matchup because I think that would be a lot of fun.”
Soren Petro, on his alma mater facing the Jayhawks, 810 AM
GH: The last time KU and Syracuse met in the NCAA tourney it was definitely fun for Petro and his Orange. Not so much for Coach Roy, though, who said following the loss to Syracuse in the 2003 title game, “I didn’t give a shit about North Carolina right now.”
“One Wichita television station has 12 media people here (in St. Louis).”
Danny Clinkscale, who is in St. Louis to cover Kansas, Kansas State and Wichita State at the NCAA tournament, 810 AM
GH: 12 people? That has to be about everyone from that Wichita TV station except maybe the weatherman. When was the last time a Kansas City TV station sent a dozen people anywhere? Besides home?
“I’ve never been in a more packed media setting for an NCAA tournament. Never.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: Word is that Kansas and K-State were given the smallest locker room at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. That has to make Gregg Marshall feel better, right?
“It’s the little subtle things that Gregg Marshall does. People in the (Missouri Valley) said he would do this and he has. He will call them out by name. He’ll say, ‘I understand why Bill and Bruce won’t place us.’ He makes it personal. I think it gets under their skin.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: Why the heck would Bill and Bruce think whoever is coaching Wichita State should shut up about wanting to play the two Big 12 schools in his state? The fact that the best excuse KU has come up with is that they might lose and it would diminish their aura in the Sunflower State is embarrassingly weak. It’s a basketball game, folks, not Russian roulette.
“Everybody thinks I need to change. I am who I am. … That is not right what I did but those moments are few and far between.”
Frank Martin, head coach at South Carolina, in an interview this week on The Border Patrol, 810 AM
GH: Martin sounded to me like an alcoholic in denial. He doesn’t see anything wrong with how he conducts himself with his team and players – except for the rare, rare occasion when he’s caught on camera making as ass of himself and his school. This kind of denial usually turns out to be fatal for a head coach’s career in the end.
“It’s like he’s gone … but uh … he’s still living through me. Ya’ll would never understand ‘cause ya’ll stuck on that Sandusky bullshit.”
Tamba Hali, in a new rap song on his own record label, referring to his former college coach at Penn State, Joe Paterno, TMZ.com
GH: Bullshit? We are the ones who will never understand? Sad.
“Gary Pinkel said he had multiple NFL scouts tell him at today’s pro day the transformation at #Mizzou over the years was amazing. They all say it’s very organized and one of the most well-run pro days they attend.”
Gabe DeArmond, @GabeDeArmond, Twitter
GH: Mizzou has completed their transformation from Big 12 school to SEC school now that their NFL pro day draws more interest from fans than their basketball team’s postseason game. MU plays Southern Mississippi in the second round of the NIT on Sunday at 4:00 PM at Mizzou Arena. They could probably play this one in the parking lot and there would be room for the fans to watch the game from their cars.
“(Columbia) Hickman boys basketball team will play in the state championship for the first time since 1968.”
GH: How about those Kewpies! 1968? Those were some tumultuous times in the big cities back then. MLK’s and Bobby Kennedy’s assassinations resulting in race riots, John Carlos’ and Tommie Smith’s black power protest at the Mexico City Olympics are two vivid memories of mine. I was entering eighth grade the summer of 1968. I will be sixty this year. I will be rooting for Columbia Hickman at state this weekend.
“Today in 1968, the expansion team in Kansas City announced the name ‘Royals,’ in part to honor the Negro League team Kansas City Monarchs.”
GH: The Royals season opener in Detroit is now ten days away. Damn, that is good news.
“The ballpark was silent, save for the haunting wail of an ambulance.”
Andy McCullough, Royals beat writer for the Kansas City Star
GH: This was McCullough’s lede for his game story on the Royals/Reds spring training game where Reds pitcher, Aroldis Chapman, was hit in the face by a liner off the bat of Salvador Perez. McCullough can write. I think Kansas City might have got one over on New York in this free-agent signing from the Mets’ beat. Read his game story here.
“I think the people who hate Billy Butler frankly don’t understand a lot about baseball.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: I don’t know a lot of Royals fans who “hate” Butler but he can be a very frustrating, expensive and one-dimensional player. The fans who question Butler’s overall worth on the Royals’ 25-man roster might be the most baseball savvy. His inability to play in the field removes the possibility for the Royals to use their DH slot as a rotating rest day for regulars like Hosmer, Gordon and Moustakas. Butler is merely an expensive pinch hitter in NL parks. His refusal to trim down and improve his glacial speed on the base paths puts every rally at risk of another BB DP. Can Butler hit? Hell, yeah. But he needs to hit a ton if he is going to be worth the weight he places on this team’s ability to be flexible.
“I truly cannot believe that (the Royals) are going to go out and win 90 games this year.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman is not the most optimistic guy when it comes to the team whose radio rights are carried by his competition. After the Royals started 0-2 last season KK declared the season all but over. Read on.
“I don’t like always being right. … Will the Royals be over .500 at any point this year? … To avoid a disastrous start, this team has got to find a way to win two of the next four. They have to! They’ve GOT to go 2-2 in their next four. They’ve got to! … I’m on a lonely island. I still think Alex Gordon has been a disappointment. … I’m really, really concerned that Eric Hosmer is a project right now.”
Kevin Kietzman, after the Royals opened the season 0-2 in 2013, 810 AM
GH: These comments were all made last season after the Royals had played two games. I’m going to give the Boys in Blue a bit more rope this spring. Maybe KK will have learned his lesson as well.
and Twitter @greghall24