Michael Bradley's error led to heartbreak in Manaus. Thankfully Ahearn didn't have to relive that in person, but he's in Brazil now having fun and you're not. Derek's trip backward through the upcoming season rolls through Morgantown to check out West Virginia, while Bracket's countdown continues apace: #71 Jeb Drost on Friday, #70 Will Ash on Saturday, and #69 Reed Bergstrom on Sunday.
K-State ranked 29th in Division I for men's basketball attendance, the school's seventh top-35 finish in the last eight years. Considering the top 26 teams all averaged more attendees per game than Bramlage has seats, that's not too shabby. Only Kansas (ninth) had a higher per-game attendance in the Big 12, which placed third among all Division I conferences. Just for kicks, six MIAA teams (plus Drury) placed in the top 30 in Division II, with Fort Hays State placing third; the MIAA led all D-II conferences in per-game attenandance. Think we like basketball out here?
And now we reach the depressing dispatches portion of today's program. We start with the revelation that Baylor center Isaiah Austin's career is over. Pre-draft medical exams uncovered the fact that Austin suffers from Marfan syndrome, a condition which would place his very life in jeopardy if he continued to play basketball due to the enlargement of the aorta. Although medical advances have vastly improved the prognosis for sufferers of Marfan -- just half a century ago the syndrome carried a 33% decrease in life expectancy -- it's still a condition with severe risk to the patient. The Marfan Foundation has more information on the disorder which, because it self-selects since one side-effect of the condition is abnormal height, is present at a higher rate for basketball players than the public at-large. It's truly a shame, and we wish Austin the best.
Speaking of the MIAA, sudden and tragic news struck Washburn as head baseball coach Steve Anson has passed away due to injuries sustained in a tree-trimming accident on his property Sunday afternoon. Anson, a member of K-State's All-Century team, was a four-year starter in Manhattan in the mid-seventies, leading the team in batting average and hits each of his four years, and win the 1974 Big 8 batting title. He still holds the school record for career triples, and was the star of the 1974 team which, until 2013, held the school record for conference wins in a season. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Steve's wife, Dena, and to the Washburn program.
In much less horrible (but still crappy) news, the Washington Nationals have released former Wildcat Justin Bloxom from their Harrisburg Senators farm club.
Kelly McHugh profiles Alyx Treasure, who wrapped a fantastic 2014 season by taking second place in the high jump at the NCAA Championships.
Eric Smith at the Capital-Journal profiles US National Team defender Matt Besler of Overland Park, the first native Kansan to play in the World Cup. Besler's dad and uncle are both former football walkons at K-State, so it's a shame K-State doesn't have a men's soccer program. Matt might have gone to Manhattan instead of Notre Dame, eh?