And in the front row of a stunned Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, an old antagonist of Big Blue was happily shouting a universal truth. "People don't like pressure!" screamed Nolan Richardson. "People don't like pressure!"
UAB making life 'Hell' in NCAAs (ESPN)
In the reality-show craze that has saturated television programming, Fear Factor has enjoyed quite a successful run since its debut season three years ago.
But in the reality show that is the NCAA Tournament, fear has become far less of a factor when it comes to freshmen playing key roles in their teams' successful runs deep into the tournament. Once question marks come postseason time, freshmen more and more have become the "X factors."
Kansas hardly needs a reminder. Last season, the Jayhawks watched Syracuse, led by freshman phenom Carmelo Anthony, deny them their first title since 1988. This season, Kansas has seen its own freshman phenom, J.R. Giddens, step to the forefront as the stage has gotten bigger and the lights have gotten brighter.
Giddens unfazed (Hawk Zone)
Now the 16-16 hammer is back in Jeff Graves' hands. For most of this season, Graves has been getting hit over the head with the 16 points and 16 rebounds he put up in last year's national title game.
As in, "Why don't you do that every night?" Kansas' senior forward said. "To be honest, there were some days I was asking myself the same question. Doesn't matter now, though."
Not with Graves swinging back lately. March has arrived, and so has the man who knows when it's time to forget the snooze bar.