A year later it still shocks many, but it actually happened. Not just the fact that Kansas lost to TCU, but rather, the manner in which they did it. The Jayhawks managed just 13 points in the first half and following the game, head coach Bill Self would liken the performance to that of the Topeka YMCA.
Kansas fell 62-55 in what was by far the low point of their season. It was also one of the stranger games anyone could remember, including Self.
That was one of the strangest games we've been a part of, because I was reminded today, by one of our coaches, saying, ‘Bill, I don't know if you remember, that's the most ready to play we've been all year," Self said. "Best practices, most intense warm up, everybody focused, all that stuff, and we came out and laid an egg.' I don't know if there's really a correlation sometimes on over time it's how you practice will be how you play, but sometimes it can jump up and shock you, and that was one of those times that shocked us."
A year later, Kansas (14-4, 5-0) is aware of the debacle and seemed poised to not repeat, as they have assumed firm command of the Big 12. Meanwhile, TCU (9-9, 0-6) once again is struggling and will present a different kind of challenge.
"Try to make it where the next game is the biggest game on your schedule, which it is. Last year you win the league outright if you take care of business in Fort Worth," Self said. "Of course we could have won it outright if we took care of business in Waco. There's always something you could have taken care of business and done a better job. I don't think that you can have all these tactics and ploys to get a guy really ready or a team really ready for this one event in basketball because there's so many ‘one' events. It's not like football where you've got to get jacked up three or four times a year if you're really good to win the big games."
Another issue that will face the Jayhawks will be the relatively stale environment inside Daniel Meyer Coliseum, despite many KU faithful in attendance. It's another situation Self looks to use to teach.
"I do think this: I think our guys enjoy playing in front of energy. I don't think there's any doubt about that. We're spoiled here by our fans and what we play in front of every day, and then we go on the road and we play in front of a 90-percent filled building or 95-percent filled building, and we think, ‘Dang, where is everybody?' and the home team is thinking ‘This is the best crowd we've had all year.' We have to be cautious about that. You've got a job to do, go do your job. The building will be full at TCU I would think. Last year it was full," Self said.
"NCAA Tournament games very rarely are they full. Very rarely. Unless you play in Kansas City, which was nice. But, for the most part, these are the type of environments that are the environments you have to play well in to advance."