Final Four loss is the end for a Kansas team that was both overachieving and exasperating

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Sports

April 1, 2018 - 11:00 PM

Kansas center Udoka Azubuike (35) lunges to defend against a shot from Villanova guard Phil Booth (5) during the first half, Saturday, at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. LAWRENCE JOURNAL WORLD/NICK KRUG

SAN ANTONIO — Kansas associate athletic director Jim Marchiony has attended all but one Final Four since 1982, and for five years with the NCAA, he was media coordinator of the NCAA Tournament as it was morphing from an event into a spectacle.

Even so, amid the buzz and lights and music and moving parts and sheer pageantry crackling in a crowd of 68,257, he smiled and shook his head in amazement just before Kansas and Villanova tipped off in the national semifinals on Saturday night at the Alamodome.

A few feet away, with alternately radiant and serene looks on her face, sat the mother of KU sophomore Udoka Azubuike, Florence. And just how in the world was she supposed to process this?

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