This time, the miracle didn’t come. The blurry comeback stopped short, so there is no shining moment and no legendary three-pointer. No picture that Kansas basketball fans will hang on their walls for years. Reality stuck around until the end.
Around the country, Kansas’ 67-59 loss to Kentucky in the NCAA championship game will be seen as validation of John Calipari’s one-and-done system. This will be Anthony Davis’ argument as one of the premier forces of recent college basketball history, and Kentucky’s application to join the best teams of the last generation.
Everywhere else, the Jayhawks will be faceless extras in Kentucky’s highlight tape.
But back in Kansas, they will be the guys who turned so many of the biggest moments into so many of their biggest triumphs, the ones who made March fun again, who rode an All-America power forward and fabulously talented point guard all the way to the very end.