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Dream season falls short for gritty Jayhawks

Kansas fans react while watching the closing seconds of the national championship game on the video board at Allen Fieldhouse Monday, April 2, 2012, in Lawrence Kan.  Kentucky beat KAnsas 67-59 to win the NCAA championship.
Kansas fans react while watching the closing seconds of the national championship game on the video board at Allen Fieldhouse Monday, April 2, 2012, in Lawrence Kan. Kentucky beat KAnsas 67-59 to win the NCAA championship.
John Young, Lawrence Journal-World, Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS — Kansas came up empty in the national title game. The season, though, was quite fulfilling.

A team of overachievers that many thought would have a hard time making the NCAA tournament played its way to college basketball's grandest stage. The Jayhawks simply ran into a team stocked with NBA talent that was too talented, too athletic, too good.

Their loss to Kentucky on Monday night was a disappointing end to a terrific season.

Kansas rattled off its eighth consecutive Big 12 title despite the long odds, and then walked a tightrope through the NCAA tournament all the way to the Final Four in New Orleans.

The road finally ended for Kansas, but many folks are already looking ahead to next season, when the expectations will be as high as ever.