Hoop Time Notebook (aftershock the world edition)

News, notes and leftovers from the off day in Oklahoma City, where things are always OK:

RENT A BAND – Over the course of the season, Bucknell has tried all kinds of things to get members of the school’s pep band to show up for games. They have not tried actually paying them, but they have gone so far as to offer free pizza bribes in an effort to get the band to turn out.

None of the tactics used has been particularly effective. On a good night, a half dozen or so musicians show up, usually long on reeds and woodwinds, woefully short on the brass it takes to make a good pep band.

Not suprisingly, given the spotty participation all year, school officials did not even try to muster a band for the trip to Oklahoma City. Not that they’d likely have had many takers since most students already had plans for spring break.

So who were those kids in the orange t-shirts belting out the ‘Ray Bucknell fight song on TV? That was Bucknell’s rent-a-band from Northern Iowa. After the Panthers lost to Wisconsin, the UNI band carried their instruments to the other end of the floor, swapped their Purple and Gold bowling shirts for the orange Ts that had been hastily procured Friday afternoon by Bison Club head Todd Newcomb. Newcomb also scrambled to come up with sheet music to the Bucknell fight song.

They sounded great, with an arrangement of ‘Ray Bucknell that was by far the best that Bucknell fans have heard in years. And they quickly jumped into the traditional pep band role of spirit leaders, starting impromptu chants of “Let’s go Bison” even before the players were introduced.

They even greeted the team with a serenade of ‘Ray Bucknell when they returned to the hotel after the game.

According to Newcomb, it all started with an encounter in the lobby of the hotel where the Bucknell team and the UNI band and cheerleaders were staying. Someone from the UNI band asked if Bucknell’s band was there. When they found out they had not made the trip, the UNI band quickly offered its services.

“They didn’t ask for any money,” said Newcomb. “They just wanted to stay there and play.”

Bucknell did feed them after the game. Bucknell administrators at the game also huddled after the game and decided to offer to pay the band’s expenses if they could stay for tomorrow’s game against Wisconsin. That did not work out because the band was travelling on a charter with the team.

Bucknell officials are hoping to find another band to play Sunday. They have contacted several local colleges and high schools. Most colleges and high schools in the area are on spring break, though. As of early afternoon, though, they had not yet found a fill-in. The school might also ask the Oklahoma State band if it will stay and play at the second game of tomorrow’s doubleheader. Oklahoma State takes on Southern Illinois.

ONE STEP AT A TIME -- How do you eat an elephant? Easy, one bite at a time.

How do you slay a giant like Kansas? According to Pat Flannery, you take pretty much the same approach.

“We tried to break the game into four minute increments. That was the only way to get to the finish line,” said Flannery. “If we looked at the task in front of us for 40 minutes, it was a little daunting.”

How well did that plan work? Out of 10 four-minute mileposts in the game, Bucknell held the lead when the game reached six of them. Of the four that Bucknell trailed, the biggest deficit was 3 points.

KUDOS FROM KANSAS – Although Kansas players and coach Bill Self opted to not come to the media room for a press conference following the game, their locker room was open to reporters.

Here are a few of the KU comments on the Bison, courtesy of a media pool report.

“They came out and played great,” said senior guard Aaron Miles. “The coaching staff prepared us well, they just simply executed better.”

“We just didn’t execute,” junior forward Christian Moody said. “They hit big shots and just played a perfect game.”

Much was made all week of the health of Kansas forward Keith Langford, who had been hampered for two weeks by a combination of a sprained ankle and severe flu-like symptoms. Langford did not start, but he did play 26 minutes off the bench, going 1-for-7 from the field and not coming close on any of his three three-pointers.

Langford was clearly not 100 percent, but he refused to use that as an excuse for the Jayhawks’ loss. “There won’t be any asterisk next to this game saying the status of Keith Langford,” he said.

Kansas coach Bill Self was also complimentary. “Give them credit. Their guards were terrific. They played well and certainly controlled the game. We never got in a good rhythm on either end,” Self said. “I feel for the players because it has been such a taxing year, but give Bucknell credit, they played terrific.”

NOTABLE: Bucknell’s win was the first by a No. 14 seed since 1999, when Wichita State defeated North Carolina State 76-74 . . . The Bison are the 14th 14 seed to win a game in the tournament . . . It was Bucknell’s first-ever win over a Big 12 team . . . Bettencourt’s five three-pointers give him 77 for the season, a new school record . . . Bettencourt entered the Kansas game having already tied the record of 72 he made last season . . . Bettencourt shared the old mark with J.R. Holden, who did it in the 1996-97 season . . . Bettencourt already had broken the school’s career mark earlier in the season . . . Bucknell’s win snapped a 25-game streak of games that Kansas had won when leading at the half . . . Kansas’ 1-for-11 on three-point shooting was its season low and its 9.1 percent shooting from the arc was the second lowest three-point shooting percentage ever in an NCAA Tournament game.

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