It seemed like Kansas had vanquished its history of NCAA tournament collapses by winning the national title two years ago, but the Jayhawks' tortured past came flooding back with Saturday's shocking second-round loss to Northern Iowa.
Kansas has now lost three times as a No. 1 seed in the second round, more than any other program.
Here's a look at Kansas' five most disappointing upset losses in NCAA tournament play. It says a lot about the Jayhawks that their first-round loss to 13th-seeded Bradley in 2006 can't even crack the list.
1. Arizona 85, Kansas 82, 1997 Sweet 16
Thanks to a core of Jacque Vaughn, Raef LaFrentz, Paul Pierce and Scot Pollard, the Jayhawks arrived at the Birmingham Regional as such overwhelming favorites to win the national title that an Alabama newspaper ran the headline "Kansas and the other guys." A fourth-seeded Arizona team that finished fifth in a loaded Pac-10 that season denied Kansas its place among history's best, holding off a late Jayhawks rally to pull the upset that introduced the world to Mike Bibby and Miles Simon.
2. Northern Iowa 69, Kansas 67, 2010 second round
A bold, perhaps ill-advised late 3-pointer from Ali Farokhmanesh made an instant celebrity out of the Northern Iowa guard and banished the Jayhawks earlier than anyone thought possible. Kansas had been the national title favorite since the previous spring when Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich opted to return to school and star recruit Xavier Henry spurned Memphis in favor of the Jayhawks once Tigers coach John Calipari left for Kentucky.
3. Rhode Island 80, Kansas 75, 1998 second round
Determined to redeem themselves after the stunner against Arizona the previous year, Paul Pierce and Raef LaFrentz led Kansas to a No. 2 ranking and another No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Eighth-seeded Rhode Island's Cuttino Mobley and Tyson Wheeler wrecked the Jayhawks' quest to win Roy Williams his first championship, carving up the Kansas defense off the dribble en route to a huge upset.
4. UTEP 66, Kansas 60, 1992 second round
Eighth-seeded UTEP conjured memories of the Texas-Western team that shocked Kentucky in the national title game in 1966, spreading the floor, burning up clock looking for a good shot and springing the upset. Top-seeded Kansas lacked the talent it would have later in the decade, but the Jayhawks were good enough to go 27-5 that season a year after losing in the national title game.
5. Bucknell 64, Kansas 63, 2005 first round
As crushing as this loss was for a Kansas team that thought it deserved better than a No. 3 seed after finishing the season No. 1 in the RPI, it was even more astonishing because of the opponent who beat the Jayhawks. Bucknell became the first Patriot League team to ever win an NCAA tournament game and won the NCAA tourney game in the 110-year history of the school's basketball program.
- the Jayhawks
- Northern Iowa