Apr 2, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; Kansas Jayhawks forward Kevin Young (40) reacts during the second half in the finals of the 2012 NCAA men's basketball Final Four against the Kentucky Wildcats at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE
The 2012-13 season is off to a bit of a rocky start for rivals Kansas and Kansas State, both of which have suffered losses in exhibition games abroad.
Kansas and Kansas State don't agree on much, but thanks to a pair of overseas exhibition losses, divided households in The Sunflower State will now have some common conversations to share around the dinner table.
The defending national runners-up from KU defeated the Swiss national team by scores of 79-76 and 83-79 before falling to the mysterious AMW Team France, 74-73, on Saturday. The loss snapped Kansas' 41-game exhibition winning streak, which dated back to 1995. "Oh, we're not very good at all," Kansas coach Bill Self said to reporters after the game. "We could improve on everything."
The issues for the Jayhawks were the ones you'd expect to see from a young team in the preseason: turnovers, scoring droughts and an inability to defend opponents off the dribble. Still, Kansas stormed back from a nine-point deficit to take a 73-72 lead on senior Kevin Young's dunk. After the French team retook the lead thanks to a pair of free-throws, sophomore Naadir Tharpe bricked a potential game-winning three-pointer.
The Jayhawks can take solace in the fact that their loss was more respectable than that of their in-state rivals.
Kansas State, playing in its first organized game under new head coach Bruce Weber, squandered a 12-point first half lead and lost 81-67 to Sao Jose dos Campos of Brazil over the weekend. After predicting before the trip that his team might not win a game, Weber sounded decidedly more optimistic following the opening loss.
"We knew today was going to be a difficult task," Weber said in a release. "They were the national runner-up in the National Brazilian Basketball League, even though they were missing a few key players, so we knew it was going to be a tough first outing."
The Wildcats have bounced back to win their next two games in Brazil. They're slated to face Tijuca Club in Rio de Janeiro on Monday afternoon.