Kansas’ NCAA Tournament second-round exit finishes brutal season for college basketball blue bloods

Kansas bowed out of the NCAA Tournament on Monday in an embarrassing 34-point loss to Southern California. It was a disappointing ending for the No. 3-seeded Jayhawks, but the game looked more like a formality than an upset against an underrated No. 6 seed from the Pac-12.

Kansas had never lost an NCAA Tournament game by more than 16 points. Coach Bill Self told reporters after the game: "They were obviously more prepared, played better, coached better, and we shot it miserably. … That's about as poor as we can play."

KU's early exit solidifies the 2020-21 season as the worst ever for college basketball's blue-blood programs. Duke and Kentucky missed the NCAA Tournament in the same season for the first time since 1976. The Blue Devils (13-11) had their season end in abrupt fashion when a positive COVID-19 test forced them to withdraw from the ACC Tournament where an an automatic or at-large bid was on the line. The Wildcats (9-16) were nowhere in contention for the postseason, and it was the worst season in Lexington for a John Calipari-coached team.

North Carolina, a No. 8 seed that played its way off the NCAA bubble, was ousted in the first round by 23 points against No. 9 seed Wisconsin, prompting UNC coach Roy Williams to say: "I started the season when I was 70 years old and I feel like I'm 103."

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