Kansas University coach Bill Self was asked if he mentioned KU's 18-game winning streak in Bramlage Coliseum, 23-game overall win streak in Manhattan and/or Bob Huggins' guaranteeing a Wildcat victory in his speech to the team before the game.
"I won't tell you what I mentioned to the guys," Self said with a smile. "You know what? I think Bob Huggins is supposed to say that. Joe Namath is supposed to say that. You are supposed to generate interest."
Huggins had guaranteed a KSU win at the Wildcats' Midnight Madness; Namath guaranteed a New York Jets win in Super Bowl III.
¢ Atmosphere: Kansas State's students, who were wrapped in a line around KSU's Wagner Field much of Monday afternoon, entered Bramlage Coliseum at 5:45 p.m. for the 8 p.m. tipoff.
A pep rally of sorts was held prior to the game. KSU assistant coach Frank Martin addressed the student section after radio play-by-play announcer Wyatt Thompson.
"We hope to end one streak and in two weeks end another streak and get more banners in this place," Martin said to wild cheers.
He was referring to KSU ending a 23-game home losing streak to KU on Monday and a 10-year NCAA Tournament drought on Selection Sunday.
Wildcat freshman phenom Bill Walker, who is injured and could not play, shook hands with fans in the student section and didn't even mind when one KSU student swiped his headband as a souvenir.
¢ Torn sign: Three K-State fans ran up to a pair of female KU fans, grabbed their "Allen Fieldhouse West" sign and tore it in half to loud cheers about 45 minutes before the game. One of KU's staff members approached the two women to make sure they were OK.
KSU fans brought some signs of their own, including, "Tim Hardaway hates KU," and, "KU, lack of institutional control."
Also, the KSU student section had sheets of paper with the names of all the KU players' mothers so the fans could jeer the Jayhawks on a personal level during warmups.
The students chanted, "On probation," at the same time the public-address announcer informed any fans throwing objects on the floor would cause automatic ejection from the building.
¢ Bird's the word: Three live chickens were thrown on the court during introduction of KU players.
"My first year here one of them hit me," Self said. "I'm glad we were on the other side of the court this year. It didn't upset me. That's tradition here that's gone on many years, I guess. I only saw one (chicken). Security got them off the court."
Of the atmosphere, Self said: "It was classy, the way a rivalry should be. I thought the crowd was great and our guys responded well again."
¢ Five or six bids?: Self still likes the Big 12's chances of landing multiple NCAA Tournament berths with the March 11 Selection Sunday approaching.
"I think we'll get a minimum of five," he said Monday on the Big 12 coaches teleconference. "I would say Texas A&M, Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Texas Tech and Oklahoma are all right there in serious discussion. I think we'll have a minimum of five, a great chance of six."
¢ Flu-ridden: Huggins coached on a day he wasn't feeling well.
"Yes sir," he said on Monday's Big 12 coach's teleconference when asked if he was sick, his coughing heard in the background. He did not attend the team's shootaround Monday and said he headed home right to bed after Sunday's workout.
¢ Durant the best: Self spoke in glowing terms about Texas freshman power forward Kevin Durant Monday. He said he thought Durant was not only Big 12 freshman of the year, but the top freshman nationally.
"He has everyone's attention," Self said. "We haven't seen him first-hand yet, and I'm not looking forward to it."
KU plays Texas on March 3 at Allen Fieldhouse.