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02 December 2006

DePaul shocks Kansas

posted by Matthew
12/02/2006 06:26:00 PM

In a day that will see 10 Big East teams take the court, the biggest victory this Saturday will go to Sammy Mejia and DePaul.

The Blue Demons, despite scoring only 17 first-half points, defeated Kansas (#5 AP/ESPN) this afternoon in Rosemont, Ill.

Kansas, fresh off a win vs. #1 Florida, shot better, and generally showed more athleticism than DePaul. In what is generally characteristic of Bill Self-coached teams, however, Kansas played with little heart and enthusiasm. This ended up being the deciding factor in the game which Kansas lost 64-57 in, quite literally, the final minutes.

With 3:45 remaining in the game, the Jayhawks led by 3. Far from a comfortable lead, but against a DePaul team that has lost to the likes of Bradley, Northwestern and Purdue, it was a lead Kansas should have been able to hold on to.

Instead Sammy Mejia was allowed to go on an offensive onslaught, hitting multiple threes, and DePaul scored nearly as many points in the final 3 minutes as they scored the entire first half.

I think this is evidence of what we can expect to see from Kansas this season. Bill Self has a team laden with NBA talent, as he had for years at Illinois, and as he has in seasons past with Kansas. His teams, however, generally play below their potential and with little consistency. Yes, his teams are young. But the sign of a good coach is getting teams up for every game and avoiding pitfalls such as today.

In any case this is a great win for DePaul and the Big East Conference. The Wildcats will get their first look at DePaul on January 6th in the Pavilion in a contest that will be televised on ESPN Full Court.

[Update by Pete] This win for the Blue Demons against arguably the hottest team in the country brings them a long way from just two weeks ago, when we wrote about how DePaul's slow start was making the Big East look bad.



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