Let's get together and do it again

Today was a pretty great day.

I slept in until almost 9 this morning. The day was sunny with temperatures in the 80s.

Kates went to church in the morning to rehearse with the choir for its Palm Sunday cantata tomorrow. Phoebe played in the living room and watched the Food Network.

And I worked in the baby’s room. I did some cleanup of my paint job, washed the hardwood floor, nailed down the new quarter-round and started unpacking some of the baby items we’ve been storing in the closet.

After lunch, Kates took Phoebe to a friend’s birthday party at the bowling alley and did some grocery shopping. I headed outside to spend the afternoon in the yard.

Besides the usual mowing and trimming, my objective for the afternoon was to begin the process of moving a section of the chain-link fence that surrounds our backyard. I’m willing to put my dislike for chain-link fences aside, but a section of the fence that ran along one side of our yard has bugged me since we moved in.

We have a shed in the back corner of our yard. But the shed sat outside of the fence, at a corner of our yard that is opposite of where the fence gate was located. So when I worked in the backyard -- inside the fence -- and needed something in the shed, I had to walk the length of the yard to the gate, exit the fenced portion and then walk to the back corner of the yard to access the shed. To me, it made a whole lot more sense to have the shed inside the fenced portion.

So I got my plan approved with the city officials. Plunked down $10 for a permit. Had the utilities mark off cables and pipes. And today I dismantled the side in question, which was a cinch to do, by the way. As I find time in the next couple weeks, I’ll dig new holes for the posts and reinstall the fence about 10 feet over from its original location. Outside our shed.

* * *

While I was outside this afternoon, I came upon a little friend I scooped up for Phoebe to see.

Phoebe, of course, was enthralled and we had a good time petting the little bunny. He, or she -- we never did figure that part out -- stayed with us in the yard for much of the afternoon.

As much as Phoebe begged for us to keep him -- and as tempting as that was -- we finally did say goodbye. After we had been inside for awhile, I looked out the window just in time to see him hopping away.

* * *

I would’ve worked in the yard until the sun set had it not been for a certain college basketball game tonight.

By the time I did come inside and turn on the TV, the Kentucky-Louisville game was in the second half and Kentucky was widening its lead. … For a little while, Louisville looked capable of pulling off the upset. But Kentucky took back control of the game and advanced to Monday night’s championship.

I hope Kansas sticks it to them Monday night. I’ve never been a Kentucky University fan, and now that John Calipari’s coaching them, I dislike them even more.

But Kansas had better learn to play in the first half, if they have any hopes of winning the national championship. … These tournament games are making my hair turn grayer by the minute.

Tonight, against Ohio State, they looked absolutely awful in the first half. They were out of control, attempting fancy passes that were landing out-of-bounds and tossing -- to quote one of the CBS analysts tonight -- "dipsy-dos" at the basket. To Ohio State’s credit, the Buckeyes were playing tight defense and a slow tempo that had the Jayhawks out of whack. Ohio State also was knocking down its shots, and Kansas was not.

Good thing for Kansas that college basketball is a game of two halves. Especially in this year’s NCAA tournament. My goodness.

I lied emotionless on the couch for the first half, preparing myself for what could have been the end.
Kansas was on the ropes at halftime Saturday against Ohio State. With the Jayhawks' chances of playing for their second national championship in five years hanging in the balance, they turned the screws defensively and sped past the Buckeyes 64-62 and into Monday's final.

Trailing by 13 points late in the first half and nine at intermission, Kansas (32-6) held OSU to eight second-half field goals on 33 attempts. (USA Today)

The energizing second half had me sitting up and paying closer attention. To yet another comeback. … As Kansas closed in on the lead I let out a burst of excited laughter and shouted to Kates, “They’re doing it again!”

Then, when Kansas finally took its first lead, since leading 2-0 to start the game, a weight was lifted. But it was hardly the end. Multiple lead changes as the clock wound down kept me on edge.

During that last minute, all I could think was, Here we go again.

I was sweating and literally sitting on the edge of my seat. Every time there was a shot, turnover or whistle I was springing off the couch, pumping my fists, clapping and pacing to the back of the living room before returning to the couch.

When Withey caught a pass in the paint, turned and tossed a shot into the basket with 27 seconds left, I let out a loud cheer and started jumping around the room, thinking he sealed the game -- only to turn around and realize the referees waved off the shot because he traveled. The basket would have put Kansas ahead by five.

Back on the couch I went to sweat it out some more. Every time Kansas took another step toward sealing the game, they followed it with a careless mistake. With 3 seconds left and Kansas ahead by three points, Tyshawn Taylor stole an Ohio State pass, drove the court and then threw the ball away. Maddening!

It left Ohio State with time to do something as Aaron Craft went to the foul line.

Finally, the Jayhawks got the break they needed when Craft made his first shot and then drew a whistle on his second for racing into the lane in an attempt to rebound the shot, which he missed on purpose.

Before any of the Ohio State players could figure out what happened, Kansas inbounded the ball and the game was over.

Jayhawks fans across the land breathed another sigh of relief and rejoiced.

At one point in the second half, I noticed my TweetDeck was eerliy quiet, which I took to mean that people were paying so much attention to the game.

But when the game ended, Twitter and Facebook blew up. Here’s a sampling of some of my favorite posts …  
YYYEEEESSSSS!! Holy mother of Xanax we WON!!!

Who can watch NEWS after a game like that, Greg Gumbel!? Anyone with a pulse should be rewatching that second half. #Kansas

HOW do they keep DOING that?!

Boom. Kansas.

I think my heart beat is back to normal now.

Not bad for a rebuilding year!

Bill Self really needs to start giving his half time speeches at the beginning of the game...

I love having the opportunity to hit "like" on so many of my friends' status updates! Rock Chalk!

Thanks to Charles Barkley and Bill Walton for continuing to pick against KU, I'm counting on you again monday!

Thinks it's funny that I have so many KU fans from so many different eras of my life. Must be good people.

Oh man. no crappy first half Monday night jayhawks! Let's do this!

… Tonight I’m going to bed a happy man.

Meanwhile, in Manhattan. ... What a saga this Frank Martin thing has turned out to be, after he emphatically denied during one of the tournament games last weekend that the news of him moving to South Carolina was totally untrue. The Star's Sam Mellinger had a good take on it this week.

Good reads ...
a Kansas Tops Ohio State in Tense Stretch Run
a Bill Self's good point about the "easy" job he's had this year
a Davidson loss was a turning point for KU
a Withey’s volleyball background was a building block
a Sullinger, Robinson truly the elite in matchup of Ohio State and Kansas
a The Onion: Exhaustive Investigation By Broadcasters Finds Every Player In NCAA Tournament Just A Great Kid

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