The Kansas Jayhawks were bounced early from the NCAA tournament on March 23. However, when the Jayhawks lose earlier than expected in March under coach Bill Self, it is basically an NCAA tournament tradition at this point. Although Kansas has won a national championship and reached a title game with Self, it has a much longer history of March upset losses, which the Stanford Cardinal added to.
The Cardinal took advantage of a Jayhawks team that didn't have Joel Embiid, and also only got four points from Andrew Wiggins. The 60-57 win likely shouldn't have been that close, yet two late three-pointers from Conner Frankamp gave Kansas a chance to tie at the last second. However, Frankamp missed the three-pointer that Self and the Jayhawks really needed at the buzzer, which finally sealed things for the Cardinal.
Cold streaks and a lack of clutch play ended a season in which Kansas suffered 10 losses, but was still considered an NCAA tournament favorite until the end. Even without Emiid, there was hope that his back would heal in time for the second week of the tournament. Yet in a year where the Jayhawks struggled through a killer schedule and Wiggins wasn't always the all-world freshman he was hyped to be, this was one last measure of bad luck.
The Cardinal didn't make a three-point shot all afternoon, but the Jayhawks were still too sloppy from the field. Stanford hadn't made a Sweet 16 since 2008 -- Kansas's national championship season -- yet it will be favored to reach the Elite Eight over the 11'th seeded Dayton Flyers. Meanwhile, the much more heavily hyped Jayhawks and their freshmen stars are gone after the first week yet again.
Self has presided over several upset defeats to small schools and mid-majors, and heartbreaking losses when a national championship seemed within reach. This early exit from the NCAA tournament might not be a total shock, since the Jayhawks weren't favored to get out of the South regional. But without Kansas, the No. 1 Florida Gators now have the easiest route to the Final Four.
The Jayhawks have forfeited almost every easy path they have had under Self, however. The accompanying list details all their NCAA tournament upset losses, and the more surprising near-misses, over the last decade.