I have irrational feelings about Kansas basketball, and this entry is a simple effort to contextualize and provide foundation for comments I will make as the 2005–6 season unfolds.I grew up in Kansas. My grandfather, great-grandfather, dad, uncle, and aunt all attended the University of Kansas. My family had season tickets for both football and basketball games, and I spent a sizeable chunk of my childhood running around those stadiums. At football games, we sat on the 50-yard line, about 30 rows up from the field. For basketball, we sat courtside — second row, actually — behind the Kansas bench, Jack Nicholson-style.Any fan of college sports will tell you that season tickets to Kansas football have never been in high demand, at least not in my lifetime. The last glory year for Kansas football was 1969, when they were edged 15–14 by Penn State in the Orange Bowl. My dad traveled to Miami for that game, and the story of profound heartbreak still stings, even though I wasn't there. The basketball Jayhawks had hay days in the fifties, again, well before my time, winning a national championship in 1952 and coming up one point short of another in a classic 1957 duel with North Carolina.All of this began to change in 1984, when journeyman genius Larry Brown was hired as head basketball coach. He had not yet attained the status of wizard as he seems to have today, but Brown converted a team that had been run into the ground in the early 80's into a national title winner in the span of five years. The aftermath of his tenure wasn't pretty: he took a job with the LA Clippers after the title game and left KU to deal with the graduation of one a Jayhawk great (Danny Manning), and, umm, some NCAA sanctions that resulted in a year-long suspension from the NCAA tournament. The future looked bleak in 1989, even more so when the athletic department hired a relatively unknown North Carolina assistant named Roy Williams.As it turned out, 1989 was merely the beginning of a 15-year run of basketball excellence. Salad years. Coach Williams proved to be an unquestionable master of the college game (an encyclopedic account of his achievements), patching together the team that remained after Brown's exit and leading them into the Final Four within two years and in the process creating a new style of offense that proudly bears the name, The Kansas Break. Accolades accumulated: Final Fours in 1991 and 1993. A nationally-televised 150–95 drubbing of Kentucky in 1989. One of the all-time great college basketball teams in 1996. More Final Fours in 2002 and 2003.When Coach Williams returned home to North Carolina after the 2003 season, the question on everyone's mind was: Will 2003 be looked at as another 1989, or as another 1969? The beginning of a new era of greatness, or the beginning of a long decline?