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Monday, March 31, 2008

Final(ly) Four

What a relief: Self gets first bid

Kansas center Cole Aldrich hugs Sherron Collins as Mario Chalmers (15) hoists his fists as the buzzer sounds, signaling the Jayhawks' 59-57 victory over Davidson. Aldrich and Chalmers will face each other tonight in an NBA exhibition game at the Sprint Center.

Kansas center Cole Aldrich hugs Sherron Collins as Mario Chalmers (15) hoists his fists as the buzzer sounds, signaling the Jayhawks' 59-57 victory over Davidson. Aldrich and Chalmers will face each other tonight in an NBA exhibition game at the Sprint Center.

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2008 NCAA Tournament

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Full video coverage of the Kansas Jayhawks in the 2008 NCAA Tournament

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2008 NCAA Tournament

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— Wearing his regional championship hat, jubilant Bill Self searched for, and found, his wife, Cindy, Sunday night on a crowded Ford Field basketball court.

The "best coach never to make the Final Four" planted a big kiss and bear hug on his spouse, as well as his children, Lauren and Tyler, moments after directing No. 1-seeded Kansas University to a 59-57 victory over No. 10 seed Davidson.

It was a huge victory that gave Self his elusive Final Four and his school's first trip to the big show since 2003.

"I can see in their eyes how excited they are," Self, Kansas University's fifth-year coach, said proudly.

"I feel great for the kids, our program, our school and fans : I am a little relieved, though," added Self, who also was embraced by his athletic director, Lew Perkins, who stated over and over, "I'm happy for you, Bill, really happy for you."

Relief was a natural emotion for Self, who had to sweat out a game in which his Jayhawks hit just 44.2 percent of their shots, committed 14 turnovers to Davidson's nine and trailed by four points (51-47) with just 8:55 left.

He couldn't breathe a final sigh until after the final possession - 16.1 seconds of agony, in which Davidson and sophomore phenom Stephen Curry (25 points, 9-of-25 shooting, four of 16 threes) had a chance to throw in a last-second three-point shot that would have kept a Final Four off Self's otherwise impeccable resume.

"We told the guys not to let them shoot a three," Self said, "and if they foul (on a two), make it a good one, don't let them get it up to the basket."

Curry - who had been deemed by many the "face of the NCAA Tournament" - brought the ball up court while being well guarded by Brandon Rush.

Rush slipped 20 feet from the basket with about 10 seconds left, but received immediate help from Mario Chalmers.

A confused Curry dished to Jason Richards, whose 25-footer over Chalmers and Sherron Collins was long enough, but off to the side. The final horn sounded just after the miss.

"Trust me, I was on both knees," Self said of his position in front of the bench when Richards, who misfired on four three-point attempts Sunday, bricked the one that counted the most.

Self didn't say whether he was praying, but did admit, "I think they were on our side tonight," referring jokingly to the basketball gods.

After the miss : "I just wanted to make sure that I hurry up and shake hands and make sure the officials left the court so they wouldn't put more time back on the clock," cracked Self, who could feel a massive monkey hopping off his back. "I thought it was 1,200 pounds - 800 may have been a little light."

He wasn't the only person concerned when Richards (seven points, 3-of-9 shooting with nine assists) released.

"He got the shot off. I thought I was watching a scary movie," senior Darnell Jackson said.

Collins and Chalmers, closest to the shot-launcher, offered their takes:

"I had a feeling in my heart it wasn't going in," Chalmers said, "because the way he shot it. It looked like he was leaning to the left a little bit. The shot kind of faded to the left. When I turned back, I saw it had hit the backboard. I was relieved."

"I was about two feet from him when he shot it. I looked at the clock, and there was no time left. I said, 'Final Four, finally,''' Collins said. "There was a sigh of relief."

And utter joy afterward. The Jayhawks received their title hats and T-shirts, clipped the nets and bolted for the locker room, where Self was last to arrive.

"Coach Self walked in, and I dumped my water bottle on him," senior Darnell Jackson said. "Shady (Darrell Arthur), Chase (Buford) and (Jeremy) Case were in the back and ran up and dumped an ice chest full of water on him.

"Coach was so happy, he teared up like a little baby," Jackson added.

Self didn't mind the shower.

"The guys thought they were at the Orange Bowl," Self quipped. "Coach Mangino (Mark, KU football) didn't get it after we won, so they dumped it on me. It felt good, though."

All the Jayhawks were happy after this one, from Russell Robinson, who didn't score, to Chalmers and Sasha Kaun, who led the way with 13 points apiece on a day points were tough to come by.

Everybody seemed most happy for Self, who finally gets to experience a Final Four. The Jayhawks will meet former KU coach Roy Williams' North Carolina Tar Heels in the second of two games Saturday in San Antonio. KU will play 40 minutes after a 5:07 contest between Memphis and UCLA.

"Coach had been stuck in the Elite Eight for the last few years. This feels good to make that push into the Final Four for him," said Rush, who said he had a "terrible" offensive day with 12 points off 4-of-14 shooting.

"It meant so much to get it for him," noted Kaun, who tried to make sure his teammates were fired up by approaching them one by one on the bus ride to the game and in the locker room.

"I'm really happy for coach, happy for our school."

Self said he was most happy not for himself.

"My family," he said. "My wife lives and dies, that's probably not the best way to put it, not with each game, but each possession. To see the relief on her face, to know how bad she wants it, it means a lot."

And to the fans?

"See you on the Riverwalk!" he beamed after grabbing the microphone and giving a short speech to those crimson-and-blue-clad spectators who remained to cheer during the awards ceremony.

Go figure

25

Points by Davidson standout Stephen Curry

25

Field goals hoisted by Curry (he hit 9 of them)

6

Biggest lead by either team (KU, 43-37, with 12:11 left)

4:56

Time left when KU hit its final field goal

41.7

Davidson's free-throw shooting percentage (5 for 12)

57.1

Kansas' free-throw shooting percentage (8 for 14)

13

Final Four berths for Kansas University

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Previous times all four No. 1 seeds reached the Final Four

Comments

ohmixmaster 6 years ago

"Does anybody else worry about the refs protecting Psycho T? Seems like if you breathe on him he will be going to the foul line."

Yep! I don't want us to get "Duked" in this game.

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100 6 years ago

Is it that hard to figure out that a bunch of other schools' fans are messing with KU fans? (see first 10 posts) this has been going on for ages, and the easiest place to mess with a fan base these days is RIGHT HERE. Of course we're all pumped for the Jayhawks and Coach Self. Knowing that Tar Heel, Memphis or Bruin fans are on this website messin with us by putting lies in our mouths, and degrading our coach and team should just FIRE this KU squad up that much more... After all, we're one win from the national championship game. And we will play to win, with a severe chip on our shoulders. They have reason to resort to such tactics.

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Joe Ross 6 years ago

Some of you are old enough to remember this. In 1988 we were huge dogs to the Duke Blue Devils in the Final Four. Coached by Coach K, their roster included Danny Ferry, Kevin Strickland, Robert Brickey, Quin Snyder, John Smith, Phil Henderson, Billy King, Alaa Abdelnaby, Greg Koubek, Joe Cook, Clay Buckley, and George Burgin. Many of these players had been highly touted since the beginning of the season, and several went on to have successful careers in the NBA and in coaching. Duke was a 2 seed and Kansas was a 6. But we had great coaching and had solid team play. Kansas was victorious in the contest 66-59.Twenty years hence we face long odds according to the pundits, but Danny was there. He remembers. I guarantee the players will hear of this. I guarantee it. No one else on the Kansas bench, with the exception of Michael Lee, reached the Final Four as a player. Manning's speech will be soft-spoken, but confident and insightful. In the end, it will resonate with the players. Coach Self has also reached the Final Four, but never at the helm. He was an assistant under Brown when KU reached the Final Four in 86. Self has been to the Final Four with KANSAS, and he will draw upon that experience.Kansas, like in 1988, has the tools to topple a more heralded team in the Final Four. Believe me, Kansas is better than Louisville. UNC is not as comfortable as everyone thinks, I assure you. The NCAA is still gonna make them play the game. We got this...

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afilmer 6 years ago

HEAD COACH BILL SELF - 1 of 8i have held back judgement on HCBS, feeling that he has not been given proper time in which to be evaluated. now - with his guys (jeremy case withstanding - however - case was almost happier to be playing for HCBS) he has lead us to the promised land. the final four is the ultimate - you play against the greatest of the great and anything can happen. national championships cannot be won without final four appearances. to me, if you get us in the final four - you will not be doubted. GOD BLESS HEAD COACH BILL SELFhe's our guy.

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dek9219 6 years ago

It's great going to the final 4, but, I want to win it all. We can do it. Channel all of this energy to San Antonio and we can't do anything else but win it all. Go Hawks!!! Thanks Bill, and the team for a wonderful year, but don't let up until the National Championship Trophy is the trophy case. Good Luck.

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not_important 6 years ago

No coach has ever coached on both sides of a Final Four matchup until this Saturday.

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esuyat 6 years ago

Thank you, Coach Self and players. We love you no matter what.

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jhwkfan162515 6 years ago

I'm glad we have Bill Self as our coach, but I am thankful for what Roy Williams did for us. He kept us on the map when we very well could have slipped off after being hit with probation following the 1988 title. I am willing to take Roy at his word when he says he will always love KU (albeit second to UNC).

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KUbsee69 6 years ago

RE: SASHA "From Russia with Love" ... I love it.But in case we meet up with UCLA, maybe we can change it to "From Russia against Love"RCJH

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KU 6 years ago

To paraphrase The Almighty Roy: "I don't give a shirt about North Carolina."

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smitty33 6 years ago

Great tip KU, good to see you optimistic unlike earlier.I too agree that our last second 'play' is not good. Is it me or is it about 0-10? BCR - very true about our players not getting caught up with bad calls. It's our job as spectators to raise hell. I was at the game last night. Self about got a T after we got ruled for a shot clock violation when the Davidson player HAD THE BALL and threw it back to Brandon. I keep trying to figure out who is the best team in the final 4, and honestly, I think all 4 are pretty darn equal. I didn't think much of Memphis until they Destroyed MSU and Texas. WHAT A FINAL 4 !!! This has GOT to be the best Final 4 EVER. Look at all the history and future NBA players on the court!! This championship is already one for the ages.

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KU 6 years ago

We're in a great position going into the Final Four. We haven't played particularly well the last game and a half, but we're the underdog now. Nobody expects us to win this thing. We can play the "respect" card and come out with a chip on our shoulder.We're gonna have to play a great game, because Carolina has some great athletes and Hansbrough is tough as nails. I have just one thing to say to our bigs: DON'T JUMP when he pump fakes because you're playing right into his hands. You can pretty much block his shot standing flat-footed and if you let him get to the line he's gonna be a load. Rely on your length and don't get caught in the air.

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Kevin Long 6 years ago

I love it for Self! He has gotten so much better as a coach over the 5 years. I have never met him, but he really seems like a nice guy too, unlike fake Roy.On another note. I have to give some bigtime love to Kaun. I have been running him down all year, but he stepped up BIG yesterday! Sorry Kaun, you proved me wrong.

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MGJayhawk 6 years ago

1) I'm suprised Bill Self or the assistant coaches don't jump all over the refs like all the other coaches do when calls are bad and costing us opportunities. Maybe they do but the TV doesn't portray it accurately. Maybe we're too used to favorable calls in the Big 12?2) I don't know about everyone else, but I felt the same way I felt each time we lost in the Tourney, yesterday. After D Jacks got called for the bs foul, I turned to my wife and said "the season is over". I started accepting it at that point. All the signs were there. Good job on KU's part to weather the storm of poor officiating and sensational play by Davidson.3) Kaun needs to start against Psycho T!!! He does well against Centers like Tyler. Plus, we need to play some zone against them. Roy's teams never do well against zone in the tourney (i.e. Syracuse '03). I think we match up very well against UNC. They are longer in the back court, but we are quicker and play better D. Hopefully, Mario and Brandon get their stroke back. 4) I'm sick of ESPN shows not giving KU any credit. All I hear is UNC, Memphis and UCLA. We're always the after thought. The "coastal" bias is always going to plague us. 5) Dick Vitale has a poster of Hansborough on his bedroom cieling above his bed. I've never seen a bigger man crush in my life. TH is a great player and is everything you want in a big man, but come on. If I hear that name one more time on non-UNC games, I might make myself sick.6) Start Jeremy Case and let him bang a few threes in the opening 4 minutes. He might be a spark we need.We need more support in SA than we did in 8 Mile. I hope the fans can make the journey. I'm trying...

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BCRavenJHawkfan 6 years ago

For all those that were frustrated with the officiating (certain key calls/noncalls) in this last game and UNLV, I too was coming unglued over it all.....Thank goodness every player and coach on this KU team took it on the chin like anything else. In fact if you replay that out of bounds call Rush has a smile on his face.Having been on league or conference championship teams in high school, winning teams have that attitude of not getting upset when things don't go your way. In fact the more you win the more you tolerate.

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jahawkdave 6 years ago

The refs did stink there was one paticular call that was unbelievable, it happened right before a timeout so it didn't get much attention, but a missed free throw went out of bounds off of a Davidson player but was awarded to Davidson... and a couple over the backs as mentioned that went off KU because of a Davidson over the back.

Another question was with the shot clock violation and the ball was saved by Davidson and Rush hit the three, didn't Davidson establish possesion when he saved the ball?

Curry seemed to shuffle his feet when he caught a few of those passes, I thought he clearly traveled at least three times.

Charge call on Rush was terrible the no charge call on Chalmers worse the eye poke against Jackson... usually the calls even out but this game was worse than normal, oh well we survived and advanced, which is all that matters, but that was not an enjoyable game to watch at all not, it really felt at the time we didn't win the game we just didn't lose it.

I am not a self basher at all I think he's great, and in my earlier post was not bashing him, but I don't like our inbounds plays at all!!! and it seems for the past several times in close games when we call a set play out of a time out we end up chucking a desperation 3 instead of a quality shot. I know I've posted those same critiques several times before, so I apologize for beating a dead horse.

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LAJayhawk 6 years ago

actorman, You are exactly right. That's why I called out soobawls specifically. I have no problem with those who discuss legitimate criticisms and concerns they see. That brings up a healthy debate amongst the posters on here which is why most of us contribute to these boards.

I do, however, think there is a difference between that and the unrealistic expectations placed on the program and Coach Self specifically which adds pressure and makes it harder to win. We discuss criticisms because we all want to see those boys perform at their best. But, in my opinion, those expectations are not helpful, and clearly it has affected the coach and our players. Do we all want to win a NC? Of course! But we should appreciate what we have at the same time: a senior class that won the conference every year of their eligibilty with 3 tourny wins in a row, and the winningest coach in KU history.

We are extremely lucky fans.

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lovemyhawks 6 years ago

forgot to mention that the refs and the out of bounds calls, especially, were critical and infuriating yesterday and nearly cost us the game!!!! i agree with that totally and it is SO frustrating. i'm sorry we couldn't hit more of our shots so that the calls they made became even MORE critical. we had several that cost us points but thank goodness we survived!!!!!

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lovemyhawks 6 years ago

i for one am just very thankful that the game is over and won. it nearly KILLED me but now i am thinking it SHOULD help us in the end and i also know the game saturday will be TOTALLY different and more what WE like to play. our defense won that game, definitely, and saved us big time on D's last possession. the offense simply never clicked ...... if it had, we would have won so easily but STILL we found a way to win and that's huge. i'm very proud of the coach and all the team and am thrilled to see them up against roy's boys. we CAN do this and was it JAY this morn on ESPN that said KU WILL beat UNC AND MEMPHIS? good for him!!! i know we CAN, we are very capable ........ now it's time to prove it to the world. ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK all the way!!

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NH_JHawk 6 years ago

actorman - I'm not 100% sure on this either, but I would also bet that Roy is the first coach in history to have coached both teams in the same Final Four matchup (talk about parity!) Yet another strange twist that is the tangled history between KU and UNC.

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smitty33 6 years ago

LTCUSAret - Fantastic Post! I couldn't agree more with your points! I try to be neutral about the refs and realize the difficulty of their jobs, but give us a break!! The 'tripping' play didn't piss me off as much as the ball going out of bounds just before Curry hit the 3 with 30 seconds left. The Davidson player went over Brandon s back and hit his arm hard enough to knock the ball away. The Curry Charge was also terrible. We need to pay the refs more like UCLA and Hansbarough.

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Jim Jackson 6 years ago

Self is the man, I've met him a couple times and he is a cool charachter and a great coach. I am so glad he is the face of the program. Sorry Roy (0 titles in 15 seasons). You are a distant memory.

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actorman 6 years ago

One thing to those of you who are bashing all the Self critics: there's a world of difference between idiots like soobawls who say Self should be fired and people who have legitimate criticisms of and/or questions about certain things Self is doing. There's nothing wrong with expressing an opinion that disagrees with something a coach is doing, and it's really not fair to lump all Self critics into one category. I have no doubt that even those who don't agree with every choice Self makes are thrilled that he made enough good choices to get us (almost) to the promised land.

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actorman 6 years ago

"BTW...can anyone think of another coach that has coached on both sides for the same Final Four matchup?"

That's an excellent question. I would bet this is the first time, but hopefully they'll mention that during all the hype.

"Does anyone know if Rush is personally please he came back for this year, albeit due to the injury?"

I think there was something on the site yesterday about how Rush's mom had said the injury was a blessing and now Rush was agreeing.

Wow, I still can't believe that game is over. One of the most exciting (and terrifying) finishes ever.

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Dan Harris 6 years ago

Congrats to the team and especially to Coach Self, maybe this will shut up all you IDIOT Self bashers(but I doubt it because the next time we lose it will be his fault, right?)I have to agree with some of you who said having a bad game might actually help us. We will know now that one bad stretch won't kill us( but lets hope that we don't test that theory!) Lets bring our A-game to Texas along with the red uniforms

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Lance Hobson 6 years ago

What a great defensive performance. We wore them down and won despite bad free throw shooting and a slightly off shooting night. That's just the kind of game it was, and our guys kept their poise and didn't panic when we got behind.

Considering we've led big in just about every game we've played this year, that was impressive.

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BCRavenJHawkfan 6 years ago

History in the making with all #1 seeds advancing. Too bad J. Wright could not be a part of it, wait, on second thought perhaps his absence is what made the difference this year. Does anyone know if Rush is personally please he came back for this year, albeit due to the injury?

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DueFan 6 years ago

Thank you Kusports.com for posting videos in flash format. They are lighter and faster to download.

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ajs10 6 years ago

To everyone supporting Coach Self: I second you. Lets give him some respect, we found a way to win a tight game on a day when things definately weren't going our way.

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ChicagoJHawk 6 years ago

justanotherfan, that's exactly what me & my friends were just talking about last night. I think last night's game was definitely our "get by" game.

It sounds crazy but it's true; the UNC game will be less pressure than the Davidson game. We just need to go out there & play our game, like we did against Texas in the Big 12 Championship/better!

Congratulations to Bill Self and all the 07-08 Jayhawks!! I love all you guys! 2 more games to go, ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK GO KU!!!!

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CaramelMacchMan 6 years ago

Forget Roy..

He was a born Tar Heel and he will be Tar Heel when he is dead.

Lets start our own Chapter with SELF. Bill Self will earse Roys Legacy is no time..

4 Big 12 Reg. season 3 Big 12 tourny Camp 2 Elite Eight 1 Final four and counting

140-32 since he is been to Kansas

Roy was 132-38 hi First five years at KU.

So lets not SLAP ON Bill Self's face by hating Roy. He is a UNC coach now and he will never be coaching KU again. Period.

Lets get it done on sat.

Again Forget Roy.. we got something good here (Bill Self)

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kataboom 6 years ago

oh yeah & lets release our junkyard dogs on the heels this saturday! its time for the reckoning.

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missKU 6 years ago

WE ARE GOING TO THE FINAL FOUR!!!!!!!!!! Congrats Coach! It's a great time to be a Jayhawk. ROCK CHALK!

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cincyHawk79 6 years ago

Glad to see people with such passion for the game and for KU sports! That's why I like coming here reading the articles and sharing some thoughts.

Too bad some on here can't respect people for just talking sports, making observations and maybe even giving their opinion. Jumping on your high horse just shows what kind of class you have.

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kataboom 6 years ago

from russia with love!

kaun & him being mvp was perfect. he came through in critical times & has been making a habit of it all this tourney.

i just want to tell him thank you! w00t

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goldlighting 6 years ago

LAJayhawk: "If an NCAA division 1 basketball player needs his coach to motivate him for an Elite 8 game, he has some serious concerns as an athlete.

Regardless, we didn't play our best, and we are headed to San Antonio...

Rock Chalk Jayhawk."

I could not have said it better myself, still shaking my head how two of our three best scorers had a bad day with a chance to go to the final four at stake. Jeeezzz, Rush went a span of 19 minutes without a FG, and Jackson, were the heck did he disappear to?

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Eric Dawson 6 years ago

More than a couple of points --

  1. Rush did not "fall" on the last Davidson possession, he was TRIPPED by Sander (#15) who was trying to screen Rush off of Curry. Find a copy of the video starting with the inbounds pass and you'll see it, Rush trips over Sander's stuck out right foot. Thankfully Mario was Johnny-on-the-spot to pick up Curry, forcing him back to a recovered Rush, who went vertical to take away another Curry opportunity. Sherron then moved in to close off Curry's last chance and force Curry to dish to Richards, who missed an off-balance shot from at least 24 feet away.

  2. The h^& with not calling out the refs! They were pro-Davidson, almost as if they had instructions to get Cinderella to the FF. If this game had been competently called, KU would have won by at least 8! Check a tape of the game and just count the out-of-bounds mistakes by the refs, then add the bad calls on Jackson and Rush (Curry was clearly still moving, it was a block, not a charge -- not even CLOSE*!) and you don't need a degree in higher math to figure KU lost a handful of points thanks to the refs.

  3. Sherron has been ill and his knee has been bugging him. Thankfully it did not seem to hinder his defensive performance, only his shooting.

  4. KAUN (it's spelled K-A-U-N, people, one is his name, the other is NOT!) was SUPERB! Great game Sasha!

  5. Finally, when ANY of you presumptious "brains" (read cretins, or, if you prefer, "village idiots") get your own program and have MORE SUCCESS than Bill Self, come on back and spew your crap. If you should ever know enough and be fortunate enough to be able to do so, you will come back with a much greater appreciation of the man with the highest winning % (81.4%) of any coach in KU history -- even better than Roy Williams (80.5%). The ONLY reason his 15 year career 71.7% is "just" a % point behind Phog Allen's 72.7% KU record is that Bill spent his first years at Oral Roberts resurrecting an all but dead program. I do not know if he is right or not, but Duke alum Jay Bilas recently noted that since 1999 only Roy Williams has more wins than Bill Self.

So go stew in your own brew, you cretins! You're so blind that you don't even know when you've got it not just good but GREAT!

As the sole remaining reps for the Big 12 and thus by "marriage" the state of Texas, I encourage all Jayhawks to Remember the Alamodome! And also to remember -- It ain't over til the Fat Lady Sings! And she don't sing with the 'Hawks on the Wing!

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mulsow3 6 years ago

Coach Self has risen above all critism to lead our beloved Jayhawks to the Final Four and I for one would not want anyone else on the planet leading our troops into what is the closest thing to the Cival War as you can get in sports. With Benedict Roy playing the emeny Our boys are going give us the one thing that cry baby williams could not and that is a National Championship Banner hanging from the rafters at the Fildhouse! For those old enough to remember when roy left us you know the pain we felt and the distress it caused all over our Jayhawk Nation, well payback is a Biatch!!!

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justanotherfan 6 years ago

This may sound crazy, but I'm going to say it anyway... I am glad that yesterday's game played out the way it did. Here is why.

Almost every champion has a "get by" game on their title run. The game where pretty much nothing goes your way, you can't hit your normal shots, the bit players for the other team are hitting big shots, the other team is packing it in against you, and yet, somehow, you are staying within your game and "getting by."

March is about getting by when you don't necessarily play your best basketball. That's what we had yesterday. We didn't play as well as we had hoped, but we played well enough to advance. As I said on Saturday, we have yet to play our "best game" in the tournament. With the teams that everyone considered the nation's best all advancing to the Final Four, we need our "best game" now. UNC played its "best game" when they destroyed Arkansas. Memphis played its "best game" to run through Michigan State. UCLA played its "best game" to knock off Xavier. We haven't played ours yet.

In the past we have always peaked at the wrong time. We are finally in a position to peak at the perfect time, the final weekend. GO HAWKS!!!

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smitty33 6 years ago

Just got back from Detroit last night to Colorado.

Consensus with everyone there: Having a tourney at an NFL stadium, especially when they put the court in the center of the field is RIDICULOUS!!! It takes the crowd completely out of the game. They even had mics up in front of the bands so you could hear them. Also, it's depressing to see all of the upper level seats empty for such a great event. Also, there are MAYBE 5,000 good seats near the field, the rest SUCK!!! Don't even think of going to a game there (next year's final 4) unless you have access to awesome seats. Hey Bland and the NCAA... Stop being so darn greedy and use NBA arenas!!

Sasha - Awesome job, you're the MVP this weekend. Mario - Nice shooting to keep us in the game the first half. Davidson fans - your'e awesome, they had the weekend of their lives, even if it was in Detroit.
Wisconsin fans - very polite selling your tickets to us KU fans (11th row for $50/each). We all agreed how bad their team played. Self - You're the man, congrats!! You were right when you said MOST KU fans are great. We'll always have idiots who don't like you. Please don't mind them.
Memphis - Holy S*** !!! You're awesome!

Bottom line - we played TERRIFIED to lose, especially Brandon. Now we can RELAX and play like we have nothing to lose. We'll bring our A game against UNC. I believe we can win if we have a good shooting night.

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Ben Kane 6 years ago

There were definitely a lot of bad/questionable calls in that game most specifically when it came to possessions on out of bounds. It certainly seemed that the refs were doing all they could to keep Davidson in it. A lot of times it was the no calls that killed me.

I'm still trying to catch my breath and I don't think last nights game has completely sunk in yet.

That Said Rock Chalk! and lets go kick Roy's butt. What the hell is a Tarheel anyway!

Congrats Boys! You deserve it.

Is this game the first time we haven't been favored all season? I think it might be.

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Bill Kackley 6 years ago

Just a few comments: Why don't you armchair coaches shutup and quit your bashing of Bill Self. He's only winning 83% of his games, Big 12 champs 7 of 8 in the last 4 years. League and Tourney combined. Forget about Roy going home, that's old news. Yes officiating sucked, during the game I thought it was fixed but at least they ate their whistles during the last 7 minutes. But you know what officiating has been bush in most of the games, maybe these guys need 5 on their team also. 3 can't seem to do it right. Thought Davidson played the best defense against us of anyone all year. Kahn was a beast and although he won't be a lottery pick, he will have the longest NBA career of any of our current players and make millions. I am extremely happy for the young man. Most of you can't remember the 50's 60's and 70's and a lot of the 80's when we would periodically have good teams but since Larry Brown came along and got us started, followed by Roy who really put us on the map, followed by Bill Self keeping us there, it has been a whole new ballgame and many of you are just spoiled brats, who over analyse every thing and over critize players and coaches. Please enjoy the ride. The last 23 years have been great, it wasn't always this way believe me.

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bp_josh 6 years ago

I love that pic of Mario on the frontpage

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cincyHawk79 6 years ago

Bandwagon---Good point but I saw him resting a lot. Just saying that he could have been worn out with 10 minutes to go and would have not made the 30 foot shot on that 4 point play. I think even you would agree on my basic point.

By the way on the play it looked like Rush was going to get the rebound and the Davidson player hacked him on the arm to go out of bounds. Either call the foul or give the ball to KU.

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Jeremy Bolinger 6 years ago

Cincy, his legs were taken away. Did you see his shot attempts and lack of aggressiveness on the final possession? He ADMITTED that he was very fatigued! Shooting i'd hope anyone who shoots 9-25 would score at least 25.

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jhwkfan162515 6 years ago

No, I want to see KU wear RED. Every other team in this Final Four wears some shade of blue. Let's stand out and wear RED.

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jhwkfan162515 6 years ago

I've been gone on a tour with my school's choir, so I haven't been able to chat KU hoops with you guys. But it's good to be back, and it's great to be in the FINAL FOUR!!

Here's hoping we can beat North Carolina. This will hopefully be the ONLY time I root against Roy Williams. But whatever the outcome of KU-UNC, I will root for the winner of that game against the Memphis-UCLA winner.

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wats211 6 years ago

AS DICK VITALE WOULD SAY PASSIONATLEY.....FINAL FOUR BABY...FINAL FOUR.......WOW..IT DOESNT GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS..AND TO WIN THE WAY WE DID IS BETTER THAN WINNING BY TWENTY......IT MAKES IT SWEETER AND IT SHOULD HELP US..WINNING A CLOSE GAME ALWAYS HELPS YOU PSYCHOLOGICALLY....IM STILL SO EXCITED...THIS IS GOING TO BE A LONG WEEK UNTIL SATURDAY...

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wats211 6 years ago

FOR ME AND OF COURSE FOR ALL OF US...WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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cincyHawk79 6 years ago

Wow what a win and glad I made the trip but will not watch a game in Ford Field again even if it is a final 4 next year.

I was really have for the players and the ceremony after the game was awesome. These guys deserved this!

On the Coach Self stuff.

1) Agree that we should have pounded the ball in more but Davidson did a great job clamping down inside. With us missing threes it just made it tougher to go in there.

2) Really dissappointed that Self did not notice that they put Curry on Rush. With Rush just standing in the corner this allowed Curry just to sit back and rest on the defensive side. You have to wear Curry out and make him work at both ends. Take his legs away and he would not score 25.

3) Collins was really struggling with is defense and hope that he gets his legs back for UNC. We need him.

4) Kahn was a beast inside. Making all shots and some tough rebounds and blocks. Really happy for him.

5) Arthur ---Please dunk the ball! Looked like goaltending on his layup but just dunk it and maybe go to the line for a 3rd point.

Go Hawks!

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wats211 6 years ago

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?...I THOUGHT I WAS GOING DIE..I THOUGHT OF DEREK WHITTENBERG AGAINST PHI SLAMA JAMA...BUT NO!!!!!!!...WE MOVE ON TO PLAY ROY BOY....AWESOME...I AM SO HAPPY FOR BILL SELF AND THESE PLAYERS AND FOR ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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beerhawk 6 years ago

Congrats to everyone involved! I was on the edge of my seat, screaming at the tv. I literally couldnt be happier right now. ROCK CHALK!!

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jayhawk02 6 years ago

Does anybody else worry about the refs protecting Psycho T? Seems like if you breathe on him he will be going to the foul line. I can see him stepping to the charity stripe as much or more than our entire team does.

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KUbsee69 6 years ago

"REMEMBER '57" ... our new battle cry.

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jayhwk5288 6 years ago

its time to make traitor roy cry he is going to be so nervous going into this game. He has said it before that he doesnt want to play KU...well...here we come roy!!!

ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK!!!

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84Hawk 6 years ago

I've been hearing all morning about how "lucky" we were that we didn't lose the game. Of course, those are mostly MU people. All of the KU fans I've talked to this morning agree with me that the refs really tried to give that game to Davidson. There were so many bad calls. But, we got into the final four and they didn't. Thanks to Bill Self for all he's done with this great group of guys. I'm truly proud to be a Jayhawk. Good luck in San Antonio and I hope you beat Roy and his boys.

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COJHawk 6 years ago

Let's not forget that Self put the box and one D on in the 2nd half which ultimately changed how Davidson ran their offense. Curry ended up forcing shots and Davidson looked lost. Self didn't commit the turnovers. Self didn't miss the open shots. But putting them into that D, I think, was the decision that won that game.

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thiknthinhawk 6 years ago

LaJayhawk- Couldn't agree more: The critics and naysayers need to 1) Get smarter 2) Go somewhere else. Self's record speaks for itself. Naysayers and critics- the 1,200 lb gorilla is created in large part by people like you. To all the people who like to get on here and play armchair quarterback- questioning coach Self's style and methods-" He's in the final four. You're not smarter than him so stop wasting your time and our time and quit pretending that you are." Coach- congrats and God Bless you, your team and your family!

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Michael Leiker 6 years ago

Please no RED - I want KU BLUE vs. UNC girlie blue on Saturday.

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Dee Shaw 6 years ago

I can't believe I am actually saying this. Thank God for Sasha Kuan. Good job Big Guy. Keep up the hard work.

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Chicago_JHawk 6 years ago

I'm thrilled to see us back in the Final 4...thrilled for Coach Self, but especially thrilled because it took some great coaching for us to do it...that Box and One worked FANTASTICALLY the second half. Great adjustments!

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TtownHawk 6 years ago

Congrats to Bill and all the players. this has been a great year and we get to experience it for one more week. Great win against a tough team.

we didn't play our best, but won the game. Davidson is good, they have the best player in the tournament and held him to 9-25 shooting. our shots weren't falling but the D stepped it up and won it for us. great win to get to the Final Four. Congrats Hawks, lets keep it going!

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jahawkdave 6 years ago

Congrats Self, players and seniors!!! Please get a frickin' out of bounds play(s)! And get a set play for a basket when you absolutely need one! That play with mario curling and looking for rush on the wing has not worked all year. Those are my only two concerns otherwise congrats and let's finish it out with 2 more W's!

Rock Chalk!

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oldalum 6 years ago

Well, lesbrown, the day you are hired to coach one of the top basketball programs in the nation, I'll care if you question Bill Self's decisions.

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1977kufan 6 years ago

Congratulations to Coach Self, the entire coaching staff and to our outstanding Jayhawk players. Each of you deserve a sincere thank you. It is really nice to have this victory and Final Four for Coach Self. A guy who deserves every accolade that he receives. The game--outstanding tight game (I know that we are not supposed to talk or discuss the officiating, so please help me keep the blood pressure down by not bringing this less that optimal subject to the writer's table). FINAL FOUR JAYHAWKS, LET'S BRING HOME THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP AND YES, WE CAN!!!

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Ed Fox 6 years ago

He's in the freakin' Final Four already - that's what all you whiners wanted - now you got it so shut up. Coach Self is the ONLY person who should be coaching this team.

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lesbrown 6 years ago

While I am not a Bill Self fan and question many of his decisions I am proud of each member of the Hawks and their ability to hang tough. I wish them the best as they travel to the Finals.

I believe the best comment was they played as if "not to lose" and can now "play to win".

ROCK CHALK JAYHAWKS - GO KU!!

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Roger Tobias 6 years ago

Use quickness and passes to get Hansbrough in foul trouble. That creates an entirely different demeanor in him. Guards penetrate and score or dish to create the fouls.

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sevenyearhawk 6 years ago

Come see official CBS highlights of the KU/Davidson game courtesy of YouTube at:

http://www.beakem.org

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Roger Tobias 6 years ago

NH_J-

I look at it as how painful it was for Dean. Hope we can inflict the same pain once again.

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mcoan 6 years ago

Double-team Hansborough or else. Consider a tight zone, or the box-in-one that worked for us Sunday. Try a big front line. Give Aldrich more minutes to wear H. down. Call Larry Brown for advice, and ask him to sit on the bench...

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DCSven 6 years ago

To all the Self-doubters, this team's arrival in the Final Four, Self's first full recruiting class, makes his mark on our historic program and secures him and this program for years to come. There are 4-5 NBA players moving on from this program, and a few more right behind them. Consistent conference championships, television and an NBA-bound caliber program, on top of the fact Self is already one of the best recruiters in the country, makes Kansas the "destination" spot in college hoops right now.

I love the fact that both David Padgett and Jeremy Case will play against Roy's pale-blue boys in this tournament, and that "Coach Case" will be part of the team that closes that chapter forever by moving on to the National Championship game.

Davidson was great, scrappy, took us out of our game, but ultimately that game yesterday was nothing but a bruising defensive battle on both sides. The best defense won, and defense wins championships. ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK, WE LOVE COACH SELF AND THE 2008 FINAL FOUR JAYHAWKS!

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jayhawkinATL 6 years ago

BREAK OUT THE RED UNIs, COACH!!!!!

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NH_JHawk 6 years ago

Congratulations to Bill Self and this group of Jayhawks. Coach has a very good chance to trump Roy's legacy and it could happen as early as a week from today if we win it all.

I agree jayhawkinatl, the most pressure is on UNC and Roy. Remember in 91 and 93 when we played UNC in the FF and how painful it was for Roy to go up against Dean and his alma mater? Same thing this time only reversed.

BTW...can anyone think of another coach that has coached on both sides for the same Final Four matchup?

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jayhawkinATL 6 years ago

I like the position we are in...we're UNDERDOGS from here on out.

Most of the pressure will be on the higher-seeded No. 1s. I can't imagine us having the same amount of pressure (and resulting tightness) that we had against Davidson.

Of course, I was going nuts during the game, but in retrospect, I truly believe that nail-biter is going to serve a VERY useful purpose in San Antonio.

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Jeremy Bolinger 6 years ago

Constant double teams prohibited the pounding of the ball inside. If we would have had ANY outside shooting, that game would have been double digits.

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LAJayhawk 6 years ago

hotrodm, I understand where you are coming from, but I think there is an essential flaw to what you observe. Self cannot play the game for his players. It is clear that throughout this year Self wished to work from the inside out. How his players executed that offense in the last couple of minutes cannot just be blamed on poor coaching.

We also had several stupid turnovers as well as poor shooting mixed in throughout the game. And ultimately Sasha was one of only a few players who brought an intensity level equivalent to the KState or Texas game. Now, if you are of the ilk who believe it is in the hands of the coach to "motivate" them to play to that level, well, you are way off (to put it nicely). If an NCAA division 1 basketball player needs his coach to motivate him for an Elite 8 game, he has some serious concerns as an athlete.

Regardless, we didn't play our best, and we are headed to San Antonio...

Rock Chalk Jayhawk.

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bigjay83 6 years ago

Some of you may find this disagreeable. I understand. But you are wrong.

This is the world of competition. That happened. He made his choice. We respect him for it. Now we kick his a**.

Like you said, Roy, we gave you your name. You gave us 15 remarkable years. But now you must face the only coach at Kansas with a HIGHER winning percentage than you. Good luck.

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hotrodm 6 years ago

I think Coach Self is a great man. I do have some problem with his coaching. Why didn't the team feed the ball down low to Arthur, especially after Davidson's big man fouled out? I remember only one possesion that Arthur got the ball down low and made the shot. Arthur should have been able to score or get fouled on almost every late in the game possesion.

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LAJayhawk 6 years ago

I believe I speak for all Jayhawk nation when I say the following: soobawls, f*** off. Literally 3 days ago, he said he wanted Self fired. His posts from here on out will no longer be read, listened to, considered or argued with. You now are now the official doormat of Kansas athletics. Congrats.

Bill, I couldn't be happier for you. You are truly one of the best coaches in college basketball, and you deserve every accolade that comes your way. Enjoy it... then get back to work. Jobs not done yet....

And to all you posters out there who don't think what you say affects this team... "I thought it was 1,200 pounds - 800 may have been a little light." He has the highest winning percentage of any coach in Kansas history, but the pressure is evident. Perhaps we could appreciate our coach from here on out instead of drowning him with unrealistic expectations.

Now on to the final four and that team who hasn't played outside their home state yet....

Rock Chalk Jayhawk.

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