Hopefully KU Learned Friday Night Lessons

After a rocky start, Kansas managed to put their game faces back on in the second half vs. Nebraska on Friday night. Phog.net's Jim Williamson tries to figure out just what lessons might have been delivered by the half of Madness experienced by KU on Friday.

Two important things happened for the Kansas Jayhawks at the Big 12 Tournament Friday night in Kansas City.

First, they stunk out loud offensively for a half against a Nebraska team intent on playing the game in quicksand.

Second, the Texas A&M Aggies jumped up and closed the Micheal Beasley Show after one night, defeating Kansas State, 63-60.

This isn't about KU winning despite not playing well, and it's not about Kansas State losing.

Well, maybe a little piece of it can be about KSU losing. Sure, why not? Let the giggling begin.

No, this is about a Friday night wake-up call that should lead to a Saturday afternoon beatdown.

KU came into the Big 12 tourney as the hottest team team in the country and a very sexy pick to win the NCAA tournament.

The hottest team in the country hit the Sprint Center floor to play a Nebraska team they'd already drilled twice by an average of 28 points. They proceeded to turn the ball over 12 times in the first half off of which the Huskers scored 15 points. The Jayhawks scored 22 whole points in the first half.

Kansas allowed Nebraska to dictate the pace. The souvenirs stands started selling blankets and pillows. NU coach Doc Sadler had one chance against the Jayhawks: slow the game to a glacier-like pace. The Jayhawks let him for the first 20 minutes and looked bad doing it.

Worst of all, Kansas looked like they left their energy and intensity back in Lawrence.

First round jitters? Maybe. But whatever it was, it wasn't pretty. Nevertheless, at the end of the night, Kansas walked out of the Sprint Center having played a much better second half and with a 64-54 win over the Bugeaters.

Then, in the late game, Texas A&M took the floor and beat the favored Kansas State Wildcats, 63-60, despite having seen more ups and downs this season than Elliott Spitzer's escort.

Coming off a lackluster performance after which they probably started to get their heads right for another battle with KSU, the Jayhawks had to take notice of the A&M win.

The same Texas A&M team that Kansas slapped around by 17 in College Station just a week ago beat a good Kansas State team with headliner Michael Beasley, and back on January 30, Beasley and KSU team beat... oh, never mind.

The A.C. Law-less Ags showed the kind of resiliency and toughness we saw last season. They put the  Wildcats in a hole that they just never climbed all the way out of. A&M played a gutty, tough, A&M-type game, and they always had an answer for whatever KSU threw at them. Texas A&M served notice: they're not done yet.

So to paraphrase Jerry Springer, what did we learn Friday?

Well, we learned that the so-called hottest team in the country has to bring their “A” game every game. Without energy, a sense of urgency and most of all execution, the sexy pick runs the risk of being down at halftime (or worse) to an A&M team that's much better than Doc Sadler's up-and-coming Cornhusker group.

We also learned that Texas A&M is still a team to be reckoned with. Come to think of it, Thursday and Friday showed us that every team in the Big 12 needs to be reckoned with – even Colorado.

We'll find out this afternoon if the Jayhawks learned anything Friday. They'll need a much better effort from start to finish Saturday afternoon to exorcise Friday night's ugliness and defeat a tough Aggie squad that might be taken lightly.

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