Final Four 2012: Kansas Building Off 2 Straight Disappointing NCAA Tournaments

The Kansas Jayhawks have made it to the Final Four in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, rebounding from two straight disappointing appearances in the two previous seasons. In 2010 the Jayhawks were knocked out early by ninth-seeded Northern Iowa, and in 2011 they fell victim to 11th-seeded VCU. Both were shocking early defeats by highly-seeded Kansas teams. Those loses brought the team close together though, according to senior guard Jordan Juenemann.

Juenemann told Brian Burnsed of NCAA.com:

"We had fire, and we wanted to be at the Final Four this year so bad. Those losses really did that to us."

Those losses sparked a fire, Juenemann says, which led the Jayhawks to a No. 2 seed and all the way to the Final Four. There are still seven players on the Kansas roster who experienced the consecutive early knock outs in the previous two tournaments.

Junior guard Travis Releford told Burnsed:

"I think we're more together than the teams from the past couple of years. It's a different team now. To be a great team we had to come together and be one."

The sting of that defeat has helped the Jayhawks power through Purdue and N.C. State, and to a blow-out win against North Carolina. Kansas will look to continue to ride that wave against Ohio State on Saturday.

For all news and information regarding the Ohio State Buckeyes, please visit Along The Olentangy. For updates and perspective on the Kansas Jayhawks, head on over to Rock Chalk Talk. For all your 2012 March Madness needs, stay tuned to SB Nation's dedicated NCAA Tournament hub.

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