ST. LOUIS -- Indiana forward Calbert Cheaney went back to Bloomington last night with a scrapbook of memories from his storied career as a Hoosier, and with the Most Outstanding Player Award from this year's NCAA Midwest Regional.
But Cheaney probably would trade everything for something he never got in the past four years: a national championship. Cheaney was denied the opportunity when top-ranked, top-seeded Indiana lost to second-seeded Kansas last night, 83-77, at the St. Louis Arena.
"Everybody dreams when you go to a major college of winning it one day," said Cheaney, who finished as the all-time leading scorer in Indiana and Big Ten history. "Unfortunately, we didn't get it. Kansas played tougher than we did. They deserved to win."
One of the big keys to victory for the Jayhawks was shutting down Cheaney. Though the 6-foot-7 forward reached his season's average, finishing with 22 points, he didn't score for the first 10 minutes and the final five minutes.
In between, he hit 10 of 19 shots, but he missed his last four down the stretch, when the Hoosiers were trying to climb back. Kansas used several players on him, primarily junior forwards Richard Scott and Darrin Hancock, while double-teaming him as often as possible.
When Cheaney went inside, Scott had lots of help from centers Eric Pauley and Greg Ostertag. When he went outside, guards Rex Walters, Adonis Jordan and Steve Woodberry put a hand in Cheaney's face or a body on his hip.
"Every time I went around a screen, they had somebody on me," said Cheaney. "Even when we had double screens, they had somebody waiting. We had some open shots as a result, but we just couldn't hit them."
* In the course of his post-game interview, Indiana coach Bob Knight showed both his class and his crass.
"With the exception of a couple of calls, I thought it was a very well-officiated game," Knight said. "You [the media] probably won't write it. If I said the officiating was horse-bleep, it would have been in headlines."
But later, when asked if he thought he had been out-coached, Knight challenged the person asking the question. "Are you going to be out-written today? That's an asinine question. If I read the NCAA handbook right, I don't have to answer asinine questions."