423 total votes.
Chalmers looks back
Former Kansas University guard Mario Chalmers of the Miami Heat was asked by the Associated Press on Sunday to reflect on his game-tying three-pointer with 2.1 seconds left that sent the 2008 NCAA title game between KU and Memphis into overtime.
“It seems like a lot longer ago than a year already,” said Chalmers, who has started at point guard every game his rookie season. “The NBA season is so long, you don’t always have time to think about the past. But it’s still a great feeling, knowing you’ll be remembered for that, something I did, something that’ll go down in history for my school and my family.”
Chalmers said there was no doubt when he went up for the biggest shot in KU history.
“I knew,” he told the AP. “I made a name for myself doing something I’m proud of.”
Cheering for Roy
Former KU guard Ryan Robertson, who played for Roy Williams-coached KU teams from 1995 to ’99, said he’ll be rooting for the Tar Heels against Michigan State tonight.
Robertson was in San Antonio last year cheering wildly for his Jayhawks during the NCAA semifinal victory over Carolina and title victory over Memphis.
“I was just thinking about last year and how everybody in the media was asking us (Jayhawks who played for Williams), ‘Who are you rooting for, your alma mater or coach Williams?’ Clearly I was rooting for my alma mater,” Robertson said.
“Now this year, since we are not there, I’m cheering for North Carolina. I think it’s a good illustration of what we tried to tell everybody last year: We want them (Heels) to win every single game unless it’s against Kansas. We want them to win every recruiting battle, unless it’s against Kansas for a player we want.
“I want Kansas to be better than North Carolina,” Robertson added. “But tomorrow, I’m rooting for my ex-coaches and friends (like Jerod Haase and C.B. McGrath) who are there, now.”
Robertson said he didn’t know of any of his former KU teammates who’ll be at the game Monday night.
“That doesn’t have anything to do with coach Williams. It’s more about Detroit,” Robertson said of the Final Four site, which is forecast to be hit by a snowstorm today.
“I called coach Williams before the tournament and said I’d be watching and wished him luck. I remember when I was a player, right before the NCAA Tournament, coach Williams would say (to media), ‘I got calls today from 15 of my former players,’ and he’d name them all. I said, ‘OK, I guess that’s what you do when you are an alum.’
“So I usually call him before the season starts, right before the tournament and the Final Four.”
Robertson is the guy who took the heat from North Carolina fans for pinning a KU sticker on Williams 10 minutes before the national title game. Williams sat in the KU section and rooted for the Jayhawks.
One problem with the story: Robertson didn’t pin the sticker on Williams.
“My friend from Wichita (a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch) said, ‘Here coach, put this on,’’’ Robertson recalled. “There was so much hustle and bustle with the crowd, I waved at coach Williams and left. Next thing I know, I look at the big board, and there he is with the sticker on. I didn’t know if my friend slapped it on him or coach Williams put it on.
“Then coach mentioned he got the sticker from me. All the Web sites and blogs in North Carolina were blaming me. They were all up in arms that I did it. I didn’t do it,” Robertson added with a laugh.
Robertson, who is regional director for marketing for The Hartford in St. Charles, Mo., had some interesting family news to report Sunday night.
His wife, Andrea, recently won the title, “Mrs. Missouri America 2009” held in Branson, Mo., and has qualified for the upcoming Mrs. America pageant.
“I tell all my friends I’m ‘Mr. Missouri’ now,” Robertson said.
Last year revisited
Williams, who tonight tries for his second national title, was asked by media about last year’s 84-66 semifinal loss to Kansas.
“Well, I was there 15 years. That game is going to be with me forever, how we just didn't play as well as I wanted to play,” Williams said. “I still felt like at halftime we were going to win the game. I honest to goodness felt we were going to win the game. But we didn’t.
“And then the criticism that I received two days later for one of my former players handing me a sticker and putting (it) on. It was not the best weekend. It’s not going on vacation, (National) Lampoon or anything. That was a tough time. But I’m a big boy. You’ve got to be able to handle that stuff. It didn’t make me work any harder over the summer. It hurt a great deal. I still hurt a great deal. But at the same time, I have a wonderful group of kids that helped me turn the page.
“I have not looked at that tape, not one time. Until I die, at the Pearly Gates, if I happen to be lucky enough to go there, I’ll ask St. Peter to give me the tape and I’ll watch it at that time.”