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Self Madness 2020: Title Game, complete with Bill Self’s thoughts on the fictional matchup

Self Madness 2020

Self Madness 2020 by Matt Tait

Watching the top seed in our Self Madness bracket breeze into the title game was far from a surprise.

Everyone knew when this thing began that the 2007-08 team would be pretty much impossible to take down. And the voting has certainly proven that.

In three rounds of voting, with more than 10,000 votes cast, the national champs from 12 years ago have had just 32 votes go against them. That included a shutout in the quarterfinals and just 22 votes against them in the semifinals against Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor’s Final Four team.

Again, that part of the bracket was hardly a surprise.

The bottom half of the bracket was a little more interesting in terms of how the matchups laid out, but the 2019-20 team also cruised into the title game in convincing fashion, winning its semifinal matchup against the 2017-18 team with 75% of the vote.

Call it a recency bias — although the 2018 Final Four is not that long ago — or maybe it was a vote based on emotion since this year’s team did not even get the chance to make its run in the NCAA Tournament.

Either way, we’ve got the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in our final game and the voting ends tonight, which, not so coincidentally, also would have been the night of the 2020 national championship game in Atlanta.

Before we get to the specific resume of each team, let’s take a quick look at what KU coach Bill Self thought about the fictional matchup, which he shared during an episode of The Jayhawker Podcast with Brian Hanni.

“First of all, college basketball is not as good now as it was then,” Self said, comparing 2020 to 2008. “You know, let’s be real because there’s less good players playing in college now than there was then. You go back and look at that Final Four, I don’t know that this year’s Final Four, no matter who is playing in it, would have that many of those same type of guys in it.”

Seven of them were future NBA players on the KU roster, of course, but Memphis, North Carolina and UCLA all were full of stars, as well.

“I do think, in relative terms, this year’s team may have been better than that year’s team was (compared to college basketball as a whole) that same year,” Self noted. “That year’s team was the fourth No. 1 seed. We were supposedly the fourth-best team in the country when we won it. This year we’re going in as the (likely) No. 1 (overall) seed.”

“I still don’t know that anybody will be better than that ’08 team,” Self added. “You’ve got seven NBA players on that ’08 team and this year, on our team total, there were eight players. So you don’t know how those things will play out, and certainly I hope we have guys that can play at the next level for a long time, but the reason why this team was (so good) was because they were tough. That team in ’08 was tough, but this team was just as tough.”

Here’s one last look at the matchups — not that you need them — along with the final round of voting below.

Thanks for your participation in this bracket and, if you haven’t by now, be sure you’re registered to win the $500 prize from Truity Credit Union.

  1. 2007-08 • 37-3

The deepest and most balanced team Self has had at KU not only won six straight games in the 2008 NCAA Tournament to give Self his first title, but it also was the last team standing at the only Final Four to date that featured all four No. 1 seeds. Led by four players in double figures in scoring — Brandon Rush (13.3), Mario Chalmers (12.8), Darrell Arthur (12.8), Darnell Jackson (11.2) — and a fifth who was right there in sophomore Sherron Collins (9.3), the 2007-08 Jayhawks had terrific talent, ideal chemistry and the players who filled their roles to perfection. After rolling to 20 wins to open the season, the Jayhawks won the Big 12 regular season crown, the Big 12 tournament title and reached the Final Four by rolling past Portland State and UNLV in Omaha, Neb., and Villanova and a Steph-Curry-led Davidson team in Detroit. From there, Kansas clobbered Roy Williams and North Carolina and knocked off John Calipari’s Memphis Tigers, 75-68 in overtime, after Chalmers’ miracle shot saved KU in regulation.

vs.

No. 2 • 2019-20 • 28-3

There’s no telling if this year’s team would have brought a banner back to Allen Fieldhouse or not, but Self, along with dozens of national college basketball analysts, have said they thought this group had as good a shot as anybody to win it all. This group featured a trio of difference makers — on both ends of the floor — and was backed by a solid supporting cast that knew its role and knew how and when to play it. Big 12 Player of the Year and double-double machine Udoka Azubuike (13.7 points, 10.5 rebounds) was the biggest problem. Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Garrett was the glue that held everything together on both ends of the court. And prolific point guard Devon Dotson led the Big 12 in scoring (18.1 ppg) and earned all-Big 12 and All-American honors from several outlets. A year after watching the Big 12 title streak come to an end, the Jayhawks climbed back on top of the conference with the best record in the history of the Big 12 (17-1) and ended the season on a 16-game winning streak.

NO. 1 vs. NO. 2 MATCHUP

Starting Five

2007-08

Russell Robinson, Sr.

Mario Chalmers, Jr.

Brandon Rush, Jr.

Darrell Arthur, Soph.

Darnell Jackson, Sr.

2019-20

Devon Dotson, Soph.

Isaiah Moss, Sr.

Ochai Agbaji, Soph.

Marcus Garrett, Jr.

Udoka Azubuike, Sr.

Top Reserves

2007-08

Sherron Collins, Soph.

Sasha Kaun, Sr.

Cole Aldrich, Fr.

2019-20

David McCormack, Soph.

Christian Braun, Fr.

Tristan Enaruna, Fr.

KenPom.com Comparison

2007-08

Final Ranking: No. 1

Offensive Efficiency: 2nd

Defensive Efficiency: 1st

Strength of Schedule: 14th

2019-20

Final Ranking: No. 1

Offensive Efficiency: 8th

Defensive Efficiency: 2nd

Strength of Schedule: 2nd

Statistical Comparison

2007-08

Points Per Game: 80.5 (13th)

Points Allowed Per Game: 61.5 (21st)

FG Percentage: 50.8 (2nd)

3-point Percentage: 39.7 (15th)

Rebounding Margin: +7.9

2019-20

Points Per Game: 74.6 (88th)

Points Allowed Per Game: 60.7 (10th)

FG Percentage: 48.4 (9th)

3-point Percentage: 34.4 (117th)

Rebounding Margin: +6.6

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KU great Paul Pierce interested in H-O-R-S-E idea for ESPN

Paul Pierce soaks up the crowd's applause after hitting a three-point shot as the shot clock expires to give the blue team a 111-108 lead at the Legends of the Phog game Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Paul Pierce soaks up the crowd's applause after hitting a three-point shot as the shot clock expires to give the blue team a 111-108 lead at the Legends of the Phog game Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Mike Yoder

With games on hold because of COVID-19 and live sports reduced to replays of games gone by, the NBA is working on plans to create a H-O-R-S-E competition, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Wojnarowski’s report indicates that the shot-making competitions would be televised by ESPN, would include “several high-profile players” and would play out in isolation, with the competitors going head-to-head in their home gyms and other settings that preserve social distancing practices. According to Wojnarowski, current NBA isolation protocols make it impossible for players to compete in the same location.

Details, including the schedule and commitment from the players, are still being finalized. At least one player with Kansas ties appears to be interested in joining the fun.

“I’m in,” tweeted KU great Paul Pierce in response to Wojnarowski’s Saturday tweet about the event.

Pierce, who played three seasons at Kansas and ranks 10th on the Jayhawks’ all-time scoring list with 1,768 points, was drafted by the Boston Celtics with the No. 10 overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft.

He went on to become a 10-time all-star, won a world championship in 2008 and was named the MVP of the 2008 NBA Finals.

Pierce retired from basketball in July 2017 and has his jersey hanging in the rafters at both Allen Fieldhouse and Boston’s TD Garden.

One day before his No. 34 jersey became the 23rd number retired by the Celtics, former Boston great Robert Parish called Pierce “the greatest offensive Celtic ever,” in an interview with ESPN.com.

The NBA has been shut down since March 12 and there is no telling when, or if, the league might resume play this season.

There also has been no indication of whether Pierce will be included in the H-O-R-S-E competition.

KU the pick of college coaches

Had the NCAA Tournament been able to play on, Monday night would have marked the 2020 men’s national championship game in Atlanta.

And there are plenty of coaches out there who feel that Kansas would have been one of the two teams still playing.

Evan Daniels of 247Sports recently asked 115 college coaches which team would have won it all this season. And while 15 different teams received a vote, no program was named more than Kansas, which received 49 votes.

The next closest program in Daniels’ informal poll was Gonzaga, which received 17 votes. Dayton ranked third at 15 votes. All three programs were projected to be No. 1 seeds in this year’s Big Dance.

Florida State (9), Michigan State (7), Baylor (6) and Duke (3) rounded out the group receiving three or more votes.

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In new collaborative video, KU men’s basketball team shows its appreciation for front-line workers in the fight against COVID-19

The Jayhawks huddle up during the second half, Wednesday, March 5, 2020 at Allen Fieldhouse.

The Jayhawks huddle up during the second half, Wednesday, March 5, 2020 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Using the tagline, “We’re all in this together,” the Kansas men’s basketball program recently put together a five-minute video encouraging fans and people around the world to stay safe and positive during the pandemic.

One by one, the Jayhawks appeared on the screen, most of them from their hometowns, sharing their gratitude for those in the health care industry and other essential workers who have helped fight the COVID-19 crisis.

"I just want to give a quick shout out to those who go to work every day and risk their lives,” senior center Udoka Azubuike said during his portion of the video. “Stay positive and we’ll get through this together.”

Sophomore point guard Devon Dotson led things off from his front porch in Charlotte, N.C., noting that he “can’t wait to see you all soon and get back on the court.”

The rest of the team then followed, putting their own spins on the same general message of appreciation and hope for the fight against the coronavirus that has impacted people from all over the world.

“We’re all one team,” sophomore guard Ochai Agbaji said. “Stay close, stay healthy, stay inside, but also get your work in.”

That theme of anything relating to basketball was common throughout the video as several current Jayhawks, like Dotson, noted that they could not wait to get back to the game they love.

At the same time, however, they all made it clear that they understood that this battle was bigger and more important than anything that takes place on the hardwood at Allen Fieldhouse and other gyms around the country.

“I really miss being out there with my brothers, playing in front of you guys,” freshman wing Tristan Enaruna said in the video. “But we’ve got to realize that some things are bigger than basketball. Even though it’s hard, we’ve got to stay positive and think into the future in a bright way because better days are coming.”

Missing the Madness

Kansas coach Bill Self has replaced preparing for and competing in new games by watching film and breaking down old ones this month.

And the thing he misses most about life without the NCAA Tournament is “the element of competition.”

Self explained that, and more, during a recent appearance on "The Doug Gottlieb Show."

“It’s the whole thing about competing for a championship,” Self said. “Everybody has the same chance when the tournament starts, the whole thing about testing your own ability, your traits, against others that are the very best at their business, the quick turnaround and how to make adjustments in a 48-hour period. There’s so many things that go into it that really magnify what we do.”

He continued by listing a few more areas of emphasis during any tournament run.

“The ability to control a team when there are so many distractions,” he said. “The ability to get them to believe it’s their idea when it’s all yours and to buy in. … It’s challenging. It’s fun. But it’s more difficult than what many people can understand. “Everybody’s experienced good and bad in the tournament,” Self added. “I mean, there’s no doubt about that. And we’ve lost in the first round twice. I can tell you exactly who we lost to. I can tell you where they were. I can tell you why we lost, how I didn’t prepare them. And then I can’t tell you the wins. But I can certainly remember those games.”

Manning honored

According to Mike DeCourcy, of The Sporting News, former Kansas forward Danny Manning is the second best player in all of college basketball in the expanded NCAA Tournament bracket era.

Earlier this week, DeCourcy ranked the 68 best players in the college game since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams (and later 68) beginning with the 1984-85 season.

Only Duke’s Christian Laettner, with four Final Four appearances and two NCAA titles, ranked higher than Manning.

“Manning’s performance in the 1988 tournament, particularly the national championship victory over Oklahoma, ranks with the greatest ever,” DeCourcy wrote. “He averaged 27.2 points and 9.3 rebounds during the tournament (and) it was his willingness to take as many shots as necessary to elevate the team known as “Danny and the Miracles” to the championship that made the difference for Kansas. Manning also was a major contributor on the 1986 Kansas team that lost in the national semifinal.”

One other former Kansas player appeared on DeCourcy’s list, with point guard Frank Mason III checking in at No. 66.

Mason’s 1,885 career points and national player of the year prize following his senior season helped him crack the Top 68.

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Kansas coach Bill Self relives OT win over Dayton in Maui in Episode 2 of “Self Perspective”

Kansas coach Bill Self watching film of KU's overtime win over Dayton in the 2019 Maui Invitational.

Kansas coach Bill Self watching film of KU's overtime win over Dayton in the 2019 Maui Invitational. by Matt Tait

It was one of the games of the year in college basketball during the 2019-20 season — if not the game of the year — and Kansas basketball coach Bill Self brings it to you from a whole different point of view.

In the second episode of KU’s new film breakdown series, “Self Perspective,” the Kansas coach takes fans back through the final 7 minutes of regulation and overtime of KU’s 90-84 victory over Dayton in the Maui Invitational title game back in November.

You’ll remember as the game Devon Dotson and Udoka Azubuike combined for 60 points to lead the Jayhawks to the Maui title. But Self remembers it for so much more.

From breaking down good and bad defensive possessions, to pointing out when and where a block-out should have come, Self highlights just about every meaningful aspect of the final 12 minutes of that terrific game.

The two things that keep coming up, though, are the elite play of his point guard and center. And it’s not just on scoring plays either.

If you’ve ever wondered how and why the Jayhawks get the easy buckets they do or what is supposed to happen when a big man like Azubuike sets a high ball screen, you’ll learn a lot from this episode alone.

One of the other interesting elements of this particular episode is how much of Jay Bilas’ commentary you can hear during the playback. A lot of it is either a repeat or a preview of something Self said in his breakdown of the game and specific plays.

“That was definitely a big boy game,” Self said in summing up the 40-minute film session. “We did a lot of things poorly down the stretch, but we did a lot more things right.”

None by Kansas Basketball

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Self Madness 2020: Semifinals

Self Madness 2020

Self Madness 2020 by Matt Tait

And then there were four. And, go figure, the four teams still standing in our Self Madness bracket are the four top seeds, three Final Four teams and this season’s squad, which would’ve entered March Madness as the No. 1 overall seed and the favorite to win it all.

The Round 2 voting was a little more interesting and entertaining than the Sweet 16, but all of the outcomes were still pretty decisive.

None more so than the 2007-08 title team’s beatdown of the team that came before it, 2006-07.

Nearly 4,500 votes were cast in the second round of the Self Madness bracket and not one of them went to the 2006-07 team that reached the Elite Eight and lost to UCLA.

Zero.

If you think about it, it makes sense. Not only were most of those players on the 2007-08 roster returning from the ’06-’07 team with another year of experience, but they also won it all and were the class of the first and only Final Four to feature all four No. 1 seeds.

Julian Wright and a slightly different starting lineup was the major difference between the two teams. But Sherron Collins and Darrell Arthur as sophomores instead of freshmen, along with the emergence of Darnell Jackson in a starting role, also made that 2008 team so much tougher than the crazy-good group that came before it.

The 4-5 matchup between 2011-12 and 2009-10 was the closest of the second round, with T-Rob, Tyshawn and the gang topping senior Sherron Collins and junior Cole Aldrich with 61% of the vote.

The 2017-18 Final Four team led by Devonte’ Graham and company easily reached the Self Madness semis by taking their matchup with 69% of the vote against the Morris twins and the 2010-11 team.

And, in what I thought might be the best matchup of Round 2, the 2019-20 team trounced the Frank Mason, Devonte’ Graham, Josh Jackson team of 2016-17, by earning 73% of the vote.

No surprise there, given how strongly people felt about the current squad and how the season ended, but, if that were played in real life, that would be an absolute battle.

So the Final Four is set. It’s No. 1 2007-08 vs. the 2011-12 Final Four team on one half of the bracket. And the 2017-18 squad against the current team on the other side.

Here’s a quick look at those matchups and the bracket to vote in. If you haven’t already, be sure to enter to win the $500 prize from Truity Credit Union.

1. 2007-08 • 37-3

The deepest and most balanced team Self has had at KU not only won six straight games in the 2008 NCAA Tournament to give Self his first title, but it also was the last team standing at the only Final Four to date that featured all four No. 1 seeds. Led by four players in double figures in scoring — Brandon Rush (13.3), Mario Chalmers (12.8), Darrell Arthur (12.8), Darnell Jackson (11.2) — and a fifth who was right there in sophomore Sherron Collins (9.3), the 2007-08 Jayhawks had terrific talent, ideal chemistry and the players who filled their roles to perfection. After rolling to 20 wins to open the season, the Jayhawks won the Big 12 regular season crown, the Big 12 tournament title and reached the Final Four by rolling past Portland State and UNLV in Omaha, Neb., and Villanova and a Steph-Curry-led Davidson team in Detroit. From there, Kansas clobbered Roy Williams and North Carolina and knocked off John Calipari’s Memphis Tigers, 75-68 in overtime, after Chalmers’ miracle shot saved KU in regulation.

vs.

No. 4 • 2011-12 • 32-7

Who could ever forget Thomas Robinson’s monster junior season, filled with double-doubles (he averaged 17.7 points and 11.8 rebounds per game) and wild finishes? Or his running mate, Tyshawn Taylor (16.6 ppg), whose speed, toughness and play-making ability helped lead this team all the way to the national title game against Kentucky in New Orleans. That dynamic duo took the Jayhawks on a wild ride through the NCAA Tournament, that featured KU barely surviving Round 2 against Purdue and intense battles with North Carolina State, North Carolina and Ohio State in the three rounds that followed. Joined in the starting lineup by Elijah Johnson, Travis Releford and swat king Jeff Withey, these Jayhawks were one of Self’s thinnest teams — sharp-shooter Conner Teahan and electric forward Kevin Young were the only other two who played consistent minutes — but also one of the toughest. Never was that more evident than in the final Border War game with Missouri at Allen Fieldhouse, where Kansas came back from 19 points down to send off their rival to the SEC in dramatic fashion late in the season.

NO. 1 vs. NO. 4 MATCHUP

Starting Five

2007-08

Russell Robinson, Sr.

Mario Chalmers, Jr.

Brandon Rush, Jr.

Darrell Arthur, Soph.

Darnell Jackson, Sr.

2011-12

Tyshawn Taylor, Sr.

Elijah Johnson, Jr.

Travis Releford, Jr.

Thomas Robinson, Jr.

Jeff Withey, Jr.

Top Reserves

2007-08

Sherron Collins, Soph.

Sasha Kaun, Sr.

Cole Aldrich, Fr.

2011-12

Conner Teahan, Sr.

Kevin Young, Jr.

Justin Wesley, Soph.

KenPom.com Comparison

2007-08

Final Ranking: No. 1

Offensive Efficiency: 2nd

Defensive Efficiency: 1st

Strength of Schedule: 14th

2011-12

Final Ranking: No. 4

Offensive Efficiency: 23rd

Defensive Efficiency: 3rd

Strength of Schedule: 1st

Statistical Comparison

2007-08

Points Per Game: 80.5 (13th)

Points Allowed Per Game: 61.5 (21st)

FG Percentage: 50.8 (2nd)

3-point Percentage: 39.7 (15th)

Rebounding Margin: +7.9

2011-12

Points Per Game: 73.5 (48th)

Points Allowed Per Game: 61.7 (44th)

FG Percentage: 47.2 (31st)

3-point Percentage: 34.5 (157th)

Rebounding Margin: +2.9


No. 2 • 2019-20 • 28-3

There’s no telling if this year’s team would have brought a banner back to Allen Fieldhouse or not, but Self, along with dozens of national college basketball analysts, have said they thought this group had as good a shot as anybody to win it all. This group featured a trio of difference makers — on both ends of the floor — and was backed by a solid supporting cast that knew its role and knew how and when to play it. Big 12 Player of the Year and double-double machine Udoka Azubuike (13.7 points, 10.5 rebounds) was the biggest problem. Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Garrett was the glue that held everything together on both ends of the court. And prolific point guard Devon Dotson led the Big 12 in scoring (18.1 ppg) and earned all-Big 12 and All-American honors from several outlets. A year after watching the Big 12 title streak come to an end, the Jayhawks climbed back on top of the conference with the best record in the history of the Big 12 (17-1) and ended the season on a 16-game winning streak.

vs.

No. 3 • 2017-18 • 31-8

Arguably the best offensive team Self has ever coached at KU, the 2017-18 Jayhawks embraced all the aesthetically captivating aspects of living that four-guard life. KU surrounded 7-foot sophomore center Udoka Azubuike (13 points per game, 77% field goal percentage) with sharpshooting senior guards Devonte’ Graham (17.3 points, 40.6% on 3-pointers) and Svi Mykhailiuk (14.6 points, 44.4% 3-pointers), as well as Malik Newman (14.2 points, 41.5% 3-pointers) and Lagerald Vick (12.1 points, 37.3% 3-pointers). With a virtually unstoppable center in Azubuike, and always-confident floor-stretching guards around him, KU shot 49.2% from the floor overall, went 391-for-974 on 3-pointers (40.1%) and put up 81.4 points per game en route to the program’s 14th straight Big 12 title and a run to the Final Four. A No. 1 seed in the Midwest in 2018, the Jayhawks, led by consensus All-American Graham, went through Penn, Seton Hall, Clemson and Duke before meeting their match against eventual champion Villanova in San Antonio.

NO. 2 vs. NO. 3 MATCHUP

Starting Five

2019-20

Devon Dotson, Soph.

Isaiah Moss, Sr.

Ochai Agbaji, Soph.

Marcus Garrett, Jr.

Udoka Azubuike, Sr.

2017-18

Devonte’ Graham, Sr.

Malik Newman, Soph.

Lagerald Vick, Jr.

Svi Mykhailiuk, Sr.

Udoka Azubuike, Soph.

Top Reserves

2019-20

David McCormack, Soph.

Christian Braun, Fr.

Tristan Enaruna, Fr.

2017-18

Marcus Garrett, Fr.

Mitch Lightfoot, Soph.

Silvio De Sousa, Fr.

KenPom.com Comparison

2019-20

Final Ranking: No. 1

Offensive Efficiency: 8th

Defensive Efficiency: 2nd

Strength of Schedule: 2nd

2017-18

Final Ranking: No. 9

Offensive Efficiency: 5th

Defensive Efficiency: 47th

Strength of Schedule: 2nd

Statistical Comparison

2019-20

Points Per Game: 74.6 (88th)

Points Allowed Per Game: 60.7 (10th)

FG Percentage: 48.4 (9th)

3-point Percentage: 34.4 (117th)

Rebounding Margin: +6.6

2017-18

Points Per Game: 81.4 (29th)

Points Allowed Per Game: 71.9 (160th)

FG Percentage: 49.2 (12th)

3-point Percentage: 40.1 (11th)

Rebounding Margin: +0.4

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Self Madness 2020: Round 2 Matchups

Self Madness 2020

Self Madness 2020 by Matt Tait

Somewhat predictably, there were no upsets in Round 1 of our Self Madness 2020 bracket, and only one of the fictitious games was even close.

That was the 6-11 matchup between the 2010-11 team and the 2015-16 team.

The sixth-seeded 2010-11 team, starring the junior set of Morris twins and Tyshawn Taylor, knocked off the Perry Ellis-led 2015-16 team in by far the closest vote of the first round.

The 2010-11 team received 53.5% of the vote in its matchup with junior Frank Mason and sophomore Devonte’ Graham. Evidently the youth of those two future All-Americans was just enough to keep KU fans from advancing them in the bracket.

In all, Round 1 featured more than 3,100 votes and some incredibly lopsided results.

Three of the eight victories came with the winning team receiving 92% of the vote or better, including the 2007-08 team’s rout of 2014-15, 97.6% to 2.4%.

Amazingly, 10 people voted for the 2014-15 squad over the national champs, but we have no way of finding their identity to properly shame them.

The other two runaway wins belonged to the 2009-10 squad, which won 92.1% to 7.9% over 2004-05, and the 2019-20 team’s 95.9% to 4.1% win over the 2005-06 team.

Those were just the biggest blowouts.

Three other matchups featured a winning squad with at least 82% of the vote, as the 2017-18 Final Four team knocked off the 2008-09 team 82.7%-17.3%, the 2011-12 Final Four team topped the 2013-14 team 86%-14% and the Frank Mason-led 2016-17 team knocked off the 2012-13 team 85.5% to 14.5%.

The only matchup that wasn’t either super close or a complete rout was the 2006-07 squad’s 69.2% to 30.8% win over Bill Self’s first Kansas team from 2003-04.

Things should start to get a little more interesting from here on out. So check out the Round 2 matchups here and make your voice heard in the bracket below them.

Voting for Round 2 runs through Tuesday night. And don’t forget to register for the $500 prize courtesy of Truity Credit Union if you haven’t already.

If you already registered in Round 1, you don’t need to do it again to be entered in the drawing.

On to the quarterfinals!

1. 2007-08 • 37-3

The deepest and most balanced team Self has had at KU not only won six straight games in the 2008 NCAA Tournament to give Self his first title, but it also was the last team standing at the only Final Four to date that featured all four No. 1 seeds. Led by four players in double figures in scoring — Brandon Rush (13.3), Mario Chalmers (12.8), Darrell Arthur (12.8), Darnell Jackson (11.2) — and a fifth who was right there in sophomore Sherron Collins (9.3), the 2007-08 Jayhawks had terrific talent, ideal chemistry and the players who filled their roles to perfection. After rolling to 20 wins to open the season, the Jayhawks won the Big 12 regular season crown, the Big 12 tournament title and reached the Final Four by rolling past Portland State and UNLV in Omaha, Neb., and Villanova and a Steph-Curry-led Davidson team in Detroit. From there, Kansas clobbered Roy Williams and North Carolina and knocked off John Calipari’s Memphis Tigers, 75-68 in overtime, after Chalmers’ miracle shot saved KU in regulation.

vs.

No. 8 • 2006-07 • 33-5

This team played a key part in the progression of Kansas becoming a national champion again. With sophomore Julian Wright in the lineup as the team’s third leading scorer (12 points per game) the Jayhawks lost just four times all season heading into the NCAA Tournament. Three of the four losses were on the road and the fourth was the thrilling, Texas A&M/Acie Law IV game at Allen Fieldhouse. Rush (13.5) and Chalmers (11.5) led the team in scoring and Arthur (9.8) and Collins (9.3) learned valuable lessons about playing at the college level — and for Self — that served them well in KU’s pursuit of the title a year later. After a 14-2 run through the Big 12, KU won the Big 12 tournament crown with a classic, overtime win over Texas in Oklahoma City and entered the tournament as a No. 1 seed. The Jayhawks rolled over Niagara in Round 1 and dumped Kentucky in Round 2 before surviving a physical war with Southern Illinois in the Sweet 16. That set up an Elite Eight showdown with UCLA and many Kansas fans remain bitter that the Bruins, seeded second, wound up with the advantage of facing top-seeded KU in San Jose instead of somewhere closer to Kansas. KU lost that game, 68-55 — delivering UCLA the second of three consecutive trips to the Final Four under Ben Howland — and finished the season one step shy of reaching the Final Four for the first time since Roy Williams left in 2003.

NO. 1 vs. NO. 8 MATCHUP

Starting Five

2007-08

Russell Robinson, Sr.

Mario Chalmers, Jr.

Brandon Rush, Jr.

Darrell Arthur, Soph.

Darnell Jackson, Sr.

2006-07

Russell Robinson, Sr.

Mario Chalmers, Jr.

Brandon Rush, Jr.

Julian Wright, Soph.

Sasha Kaun, Jr.

Top Reserves

2007-08

Sherron Collins, Soph.

Sasha Kaun, Sr.

Cole Aldrich, Fr.

2006-07

Sherron Collins, Soph.

Darrell Arthur, Fr.

Sherron Collins, Fr.

KenPom.com Comparison

2007-08

Final Ranking: No. 1

Offensive Efficiency: 2nd

Defensive Efficiency: 1st

Strength of Schedule: 14th

KenPom.com Comparison

2006-07

Final Ranking: No. 5

Offensive Efficiency: 29th

Defensive Efficiency: 1st

Strength of Schedule: 59th

Statistical Comparison

2007-08

Points Per Game: 80.5 (13th)

Points Allowed Per Game: 61.5 (21st)

FG Percentage: 50.8 (2nd)

3-point Percentage: 39.7 (15th)

Rebounding Margin: +7.9

2006-07

Points Per Game: 78.4 (20th)

Points Allowed Per Game: 61.7 (29th)

FG Percentage: 49.4 (9th)

3-point Percentage: 39.6 (21st)

Rebounding Margin: +6.7


No. 4 • 2011-12 • 32-7

Who could ever forget Thomas Robinson’s monster junior season, filled with double-doubles (he averaged 17.7 points and 11.8 rebounds per game) and wild finishes? Or his running mate, Tyshawn Taylor (16.6 ppg), whose speed, toughness and play-making ability helped lead this team all the way to the national title game against Kentucky in New Orleans. That dynamic duo took the Jayhawks on a wild ride through the NCAA Tournament, that featured KU barely surviving Round 2 against Purdue and intense battles with North Carolina State, North Carolina and Ohio State in the three rounds that followed. Joined in the starting lineup by Elijah Johnson, Travis Releford and swat king Jeff Withey, these Jayhawks were one of Self’s thinnest teams — sharp-shooter Conner Teahan and electric forward Kevin Young were the only other two who played consistent minutes — but also one of the toughest. Never was that more evident than in the final Border War game with Missouri at Allen Fieldhouse, where Kansas came back from 19 points down to send off their rival to the SEC in dramatic fashion late in the season.

vs.

No. 5 • 2009-10 • 33-3

The No. 1 overall seed entering the 2010 NCAA Tournament was loaded with talent, experience, depth, versatility and saddled with just two losses — at Tennessee and at Oklahoma State. Some future stars, i.e. Taylor and Marcus Morris, were just getting started and a pair of upperclassmen named Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich led this team on both offense and defense. Kansas finished 15-1 in Big 12 play and rolled through the Big 12 tournament by an average margin of victory of 11 points per game. Collins led the team at 15.5 points per game and freshman Xavier Henry, a smooth 6-foot-6 lefty expected to be KU’s latest one-and-done phenom averaged 13.4 points per game. These Jayhawks finished the season ranked in the Top 8 in both offensive and defensive efficiency, but ran into upset-minded Northern Iowa and encountered a much tougher second-round showdown than anyone expected. UNI guard Ali Farokhmanesh delivered the dagger 3-pointer with 34 seconds to play in the 69-67 KU loss.

NO. 4 vs. NO. 5 MATCHUP

Starting Five

2011-12

Tyshawn Taylor, Sr.

Elijah Johnson, Jr.

Travis Releford, Jr.

Thomas Robinson, Jr.

Jeff Withey, Jr.

2009-10

Sherron Collins, Sr.

Tyshawn Taylor, Soph.

Xavier Henry, Fr.

Marcus Morris, Soph.

Cole Aldrich, Jr.

Top Reserves

2011-12

Conner Teahan, Sr.

Kevin Young, Jr.

Justin Wesley, Soph.

2009-10

Markieff Morris, Soph.

Brady Morningstar, Jr.

Tyrel Reed, Jr.

KenPom.com Comparison

2011-12

Final Ranking: No. 4

Offensive Efficiency: 23rd

Defensive Efficiency: 3rd

Strength of Schedule: 1st

2009-10

Final Ranking: No. 5

Offensive Efficiency: 29th

Defensive Efficiency: 1st

Strength of Schedule: 59th

Statistical Comparison

2011-12

Points Per Game: 73.5 (48th)

Points Allowed Per Game: 61.7 (44th)

FG Percentage: 47.2 (31st)

3-point Percentage: 34.5 (157th)

Rebounding Margin: +2.9

2009-10

Points Per Game: 81.6 (5th)

Points Allowed Per Game: 64.2 (64th)

FG Percentage: 48.9 (8th)

3-point Percentage: 40.4 (7th)

Rebounding Margin: +6.9


No. 3 • 2017-18 • 31-8

Arguably the best offensive team Self has ever coached at KU, the 2017-18 Jayhawks embraced all the aesthetically captivating aspects of living that four-guard life. KU surrounded 7-foot sophomore center Udoka Azubuike (13 points per game, 77% field goal percentage) with sharpshooting senior guards Devonte’ Graham (17.3 points, 40.6% on 3-pointers) and Svi Mykhailiuk (14.6 points, 44.4% 3-pointers), as well as Malik Newman (14.2 points, 41.5% 3-pointers) and Lagerald Vick (12.1 points, 37.3% 3-pointers). With a virtually unstoppable center in Azubuike, and always-confident floor-stretching guards around him, KU shot 49.2% from the floor overall, went 391-for-974 on 3-pointers (40.1%) and put up 81.4 points per game en route to the program’s 14th straight Big 12 title and a run to the Final Four. A No. 1 seed in the Midwest in 2018, the Jayhawks, led by consensus All-American Graham, went through Penn, Seton Hall, Clemson and Duke before meeting their match against eventual champion Villanova in San Antonio.

vs.

No. 6 • 2010-11 • 33-5

It was the year of The Morrii, and with twin bigs Marcus and Markieff Morris scoring at all three levels, the Jayhawks rolled much of the season, outscoring opponents by an average of 16.5 points per game. KU entered the NCAA Tournament on an eight-game winning streak, and having suffered only two losses the entire season. The “Family Over Everything” mantra of Marcus (17.2 points per game, 7.6 rebounds) and Markieff (13.6 points, 8.3 rebounds, 42.4% 3-point shooting) seemed to permeate the balanced roster, with guards Tyshawn Taylor, Tyrel Reed, Brady Morningstar and Josh Selby serving as the supporting cast. KU went into the Big Dance as a No. 1 seed in the Southwest region, and after breezing past Boston and Illinois in the opening weekend, the Jayhawks saw the rest of the bracket open up, as they were joined in the Sweet 16 by double-digit seeds Richmond (12), VCU (11) and Florida State (10). Kansas beat Richmond by 20 only to go cold in the Elite Eight (2-for-21 from 3-point range) and lose to VCU, 71-61.

NO. 3 vs. NO. 6 MATCHUP

Starting Five

2017-18

Devonte’ Graham, Sr.

Malik Newman, Soph.

Lagerald Vick, Jr.

Svi Mykhailiuk, Sr.

Udoka Azubuike, Soph.

2010-11

Tyshawn Taylor, Jr.

Tyrel Reed, Sr.

Brady Morningstar, Sr.

Marcus Morris, Jr.

Markieff Morris, Jr.

Top Reserves

2017-18

Marcus Garrett, Fr.

Mitch Lightfoot, Soph.

Silvio De Sousa, Fr.

2010-11

Josh Selby, Fr.

Thomas Robinson, Soph.

Mario Little, Sr.

Elijah Johnson, Soph.

Travis Releford, Soph.

2017-18

Final Ranking: No. 9

Offensive Efficiency: 5th

Defensive Efficiency: 47th

Strength of Schedule: 2nd

2010-11

Final Ranking: No. 3

Offensive Efficiency: 6th

Defensive Efficiency: 6th

Strength of Schedule: 32nd

Statistical Comparison

2017-18

Points Per Game: 81.4 (29th)

Points Allowed Per Game: 71.9 (160th)

FG Percentage: 49.2 (12th)

3-point Percentage: 40.1 (11th)

Rebounding Margin: +0.4

2010-11

Points Per Game: 73.5 (48th)

Points Allowed Per Game: 61.7 (44th)

FG Percentage: 47.2 (31st)

3-point Percentage: 34.5 (157th)

Rebounding Margin: +2.9


No. 2 • 2019-20 • 28-3

There’s no telling if this year’s team would have brought a banner back to Allen Fieldhouse or not, but Self, along with dozens of national college basketball analysts, have said they thought this group had as good a shot as anybody to win it all. This group featured a trio of difference makers — on both ends of the floor — and was backed by a solid supporting cast that knew its role and knew how and when to play it. Big 12 Player of the Year and double-double machine Udoka Azubuike (13.7 points, 10.5 rebounds) was the biggest problem. Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Garrett was the glue that held everything together on both ends of the court. And prolific point guard Devon Dotson led the Big 12 in scoring (18.1 ppg) and earned all-Big 12 and All-American honors from several outlets. A year after watching the Big 12 title streak come to an end, the Jayhawks climbed back on top of the conference with the best record in the history of the Big 12 (17-1) and ended the season on a 16-game winning streak.

vs.

No. 7 • 2016-17 • 31-5

This offensive juggernaut was led by national player of the year point guard Frank Mason III (20.9 points per game) and a supporting cast that included future All-American Devonte’ Graham (13.4 ppg) and No. 4 overall draft pick Josh Jackson (16.3). After rolling to another Big 12 title with a 16-2 mark, the Jayahwks appeared to be well on their way to reaching another Final Four, and perhaps more, when the postseason arrived. After delivering three of the most lopsided wins of the tournament over UC Davis (100-62), Michigan State (90-70) and Purdue (98-66) KU was upset by Oregon, in Kansas City, Mo., of all places. Lagerald Vick’s 360 dunk in the win over Purdue is one of the lasting images of the season that also featured big man Landen Lucas serving as a defensive anchor and rebounding force down low.

NO. 2 vs. NO. 7 MATCHUP

Starting Five

2019-20

Devon Dotson, Soph.

Isaiah Moss, Sr.

Ochai Agbaji, Soph.

Marcus Garrett, Jr.

Udoka Azubuike, Sr.

2016-17

Frank Mason III, Sr.

Devonte’ Graham, Jr.

Josh Jackson, Fr.

Svi Mykhailiuk, Jr.

Landen Lucas, Sr.

Top Reserves

2019-20

David McCormack, Soph.

Christian Braun, Fr.

Tristan Enaruna, Fr.

2016-17

Perry Ellis, Fr.

Naadir Tharpe, Soph.

Jamari Traylor, Fr.

Andrew White III, Jr.

KenPom.com Comparison

2019-20

Final Ranking: No. 1

Offensive Efficiency: 8th

Defensive Efficiency: 2nd

Strength of Schedule: 2nd

2016-17

Final Ranking: No. 6

Offensive Efficiency: 5th

Defensive Efficiency: 24th

Strength of Schedule: 8th

Statistical Comparison

2019-20

Points Per Game: 74.6 (88th)

Points Allowed Per Game: 60.7 (10th)

FG Percentage: 48.4 (9th)

3-point Percentage: 34.4 (117th)

Rebounding Margin: +6.6

2016-17

Points Per Game: 83.2 (14th)

Points Allowed Per Game: 71.9 (172nd)

FG Percentage: 48.8 (12th)

3-point Percentage: 40.4 (6th)

Rebounding Margin: +4.4

Reply 2 comments from Matt Tait Mallory Briggans

Kansas coach Bill Self follows up live-tweeting performance with new feature dubbed ‘Self Perspective’

A still image from KU's new film-room feature, "Self Perspective" with head basketball coach Bill Self.

A still image from KU's new film-room feature, "Self Perspective" with head basketball coach Bill Self. by Matt Tait

Long after leaving Kansas following his senior season, former KU point guard Devonte’ Graham is still finding a way to rack up assists for the Jayhawks.

And his most recent dime went to his former head coach.

A week or so after Graham went viral by watching clips of past KU games and providing commentary on his shots, thoughts and the action in the video, Kansas coach Bill Self did the same thing.

Sort of.

“If you’re a little bored, as I am right now, (and) you’re looking for things to do, this is something we came up with (and we’ll be) watching some old game footage,” Self said in the opening seconds of Episode 1.

So look for more games and episodes in the future, with video breakdowns replacing Self’s live tweets from last weekend when CBS re-aired the 2008 national title game victory over Memphis.

Self’s setup — dubbed by KU as “Self Perspective” — is a little more formal and a lot less funny than Graham’s, but it still provides the same kind of insight and in-the-heart-of-the-action feel that Graham’s Instagram performance did.

Set up in the theater room at his house, Self walks Kansas fans through a 30-minute reflection on the Jayhawks’ 85-81, overtime win over Duke in the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

Complete with pauses, rewinds and watch-for-this moments, Self invites the viewer to get a small taste of what it’s like to watch film with the Jayhawks.

Granted there is no scouting report or game prep involved here, but Self does provide enough X’s and O’s to make you feel like there is.

It might not fully replace the Elite Eight games we could be watching right now, but it’s basketball. And it’s better than nothing.

Beyond that, it’s a pretty cool look behind the curtain at the way Self and the Jayhawks operate and how the action unfolds out on the floor.

None by Kansas Basketball

KU-Gonzaga on tap?

According to a report from Zags beat writer Jim Meehan of The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Wash., Gonzaga and Kansas are close to finalizing a deal for a future home-and-home series.

Meehan reported that the series is expected to begin in December 2022 at Allen Fieldhouse and would continue the following December at Gonzaga’s McCarthey Athletic Center.

A source close to the KU program told the Journal-World on Sunday that the two schools had been discussing a series but that nothing had been finalized.

KU leads the all-time series with Gonzaga, 1-0. The lone meeting between the two perennial contenders came on Nov. 13, 1998, when the Jayhawks knocked off the Zags, 80-66, at Allen Fieldhouse. Gonzaga led that game at halftime and went on to reach the Elite Eight later that season.

KU and Gonzaga finished the 2019-20 rankings at the top of most major polls, with Kansas at No. 1 and Gonzaga at No. 2 in the final Associated Press and USA Today coaches polls. Gonzaga wound up on top in the NET rankings, with KU just behind at No. 2.

Around the Big 12

Kansas State guard Cartier Diarra announced late last week that he had entered the transfer portal and would not return to K-State for his senior season.

The 6-foot-4 guard from Florence, S.C., started 58 of the 95 games he appeared in during his three seasons in Manhattan. In his announcement about entering the portal, Diarra said he was seeking a fresh start.

Meanwhile, Texas coach Shaka Smart is not going anywhere. UT officials late last week announced that Smart would return to Austin for his sixth season leading the Longhorns.

“Shaka’s our coach,” Texas Athletic Director Chris Del Conte told the Austin American-Statesman. “Nothing’s changed. We won five of the last six down the stretch, finished third in the conference. We have a good team coming back. Nothing’s changed on my end.”

Smart is 90-78 (40-50 in Big 12 games) during his time at Texas. That includes a 19-12 (9-9) record during the 2019-20 season.

Reply 12 comments from Dirk Medema Koolkeithfreeze Keithii Jim Chastain Blake Brown Pat Bell Brad Avery Matt Tait Dale Rogers

Self Madness 2020: Round 1 Matchups

Self Madness 2020

Self Madness 2020 by Matt Tait

The higher-seeded team advanced in the play-in game of the Self Madness 2020 bracket here at Kusports.com, and now the fun can really begin.

The 16th-seeded 2014-15 team, led by a young core of Perry Ellis, Frank Mason III and Wayne Selden Jr., advanced to the full bracket by clobbering No. 17 seed 2018-19 in a vote of more than 500 Kansas basketball fans.

The 2014-15 team received 87% of the vote in our first matchup and was never threatened, jumping out to an early lead in the voting and cruising from there.

The convincing victory moves the 2014-15 squad into the first round against the No. 1 overall seed and that means the rest of our bracket is set.

Voting for the first round starts today and runs through Saturday night.

So take a quick look at the matchups below and advance whichever teams you think are deserving in the bracket that follows.

When making your picks, be sure to register to win the $500 cash prize from Truity Credit Union.

Here are the matchups and the bracket is below.

No. 1 • 2007-08 • 37-3

The deepest and most balanced team Self has had at KU not only won six straight games in the 2008 NCAA Tournament to give Self his first title, but it also was the last team standing at the only Final Four to date that featured all four No. 1 seeds. Led by four players in double figures in scoring — Brandon Rush (13.3), Mario Chalmers (12.8), Darrell Arthur (12.8), Darnell Jackson (11.2) — and a fifth who was right there in sophomore Sherron Collins (9.3), the 2007-08 Jayhawks had terrific talent, ideal chemistry and the players who filled their roles to perfection. After rolling to 20 wins to open the season, the Jayhawks won the Big 12 regular season crown, the Big 12 tournament title and reached the Final Four by rolling past Portland State and UNLV in Omaha, Neb., and Villanova and a Steph-Curry-led Davidson team in Detroit. From there, Kansas clobbered Roy Williams and North Carolina and knocked off John Calipari’s Memphis Tigers, 75-68 in overtime, after Chalmers’ miracle shot saved KU in regulation.

vs.

No. 16 • 2014-15 • 27-9

A young KU team with no seniors in its rotation and only two juniors — Perry Ellis and Jamari Traylor — the Jayhawks still managed to win the Big 12 outright and secure a No. 2 seed in the Big Dance. Perhaps the fact that KU lost three of its last six regular season games, and dropped another in the Big 12 title game to Iowa State — making Kansas 5-4 in its nine most recent games entering the NCAA Tournament — should have warned many that this March run wouldn’t last long. After handling No. 15 seed New Mexico State in the first round, the Jayhawks had a Sunflower State struggle in Omaha, Neb., versus No. 7 seed Wichita State. KU freshman Kelly Oubre Jr. didn’t have any answers for the Shockers, and the killer WSU duo of Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker helped send the Jayhawks back to Lawrence.

NO. 1 vs. NO. 16 MATCHUP

Starting Five

2007-08

Russell Robinson, Sr.

Mario Chalmers, Jr.

Brandon Rush, Jr.

Darrell Arthur, Soph.

Darnell Jackson, Sr.

2014-15

Frank Mason III, Soph.

Wayne Selden, Soph.

Kelly Oubre, Fr.

Perry Ellis, Jr. vs.

Landen Lucas, Soph.

Top Reserves

2007-08

Sherron Collins, Soph.

Sasha Kaun, Sr.

Cole Aldrich, Fr.

2014-15

Devonte’ Graham, Fr.

Jamari Traylor, Jr.

Brannen Greene, Soph.

KenPom.com Comparison

2007-08

Final Ranking: No. 1

Offensive Efficiency: 2nd

Defensive Efficiency: 1st

Strength of Schedule: 14th

2014-15

Final Ranking: No. 17

Offensive Efficiency: 27th

Defensive Efficiency: 9th

Strength of Schedule: 1st

Statistical Comparison

2007-08

Points Per Game: 80.5 (13th)

Points Allowed Per Game: 61.5 (21st)

FG Percentage: 50.8 (2nd)

3-point Percentage: 39.7 (15th)

Rebounding Margin: +7.9

2014-15

Points Per Game: 71.1 (78th)

Points Allowed Per Game: 64.8 (132nd)

FG Percentage: 46.4 (250th)

3-point Percentage: 37.9 (47th)

Rebounding Margin: +3.8


No. 8 • 2006-07 • 33-5

This team played a key part in the progression of Kansas becoming a national champion again. With sophomore Julian Wright in the lineup as the team’s third leading scorer (12 points per game) the Jayhawks lost just four times all season heading into the NCAA Tournament. Three of the four losses were on the road and the fourth was the thrilling, Texas A&M/Acie Law IV game at Allen Fieldhouse. Rush (13.5) and Chalmers (11.5) led the team in scoring and Arthur (9.8) and Collins (9.3) learned valuable lessons about playing at the college level — and for Self — that served them well in KU’s pursuit of the title a year later. After a 14-2 run through the Big 12, KU won the Big 12 tournament crown with a classic, overtime win over Texas in Oklahoma City and entered the tournament as a No. 1 seed. The Jayhawks rolled over Niagara in Round 1 and dumped Kentucky in Round 2 before surviving a physical war with Southern Illinois in the Sweet 16. That set up an Elite Eight showdown with UCLA and many Kansas fans remain bitter that the Bruins, seeded second, wound up with the advantage of facing top-seeded KU in San Jose instead of somewhere closer to Kansas. KU lost that game, 68-55 — delivering UCLA the second of three consecutive trips to the Final Four under Ben Howland — and finished the season one step shy of reaching the Final Four for the first time since Roy Williams left in 2003.

vs.

No. 9 • 2003-04 • 24-9

Despite new leadership, the Jayhawks, during the first year of the Self era, nearly made it three straight trips to the Final Four. Ranked No. 16 in the nation entering the NCAA Tournament, after a 21-8 regular season, Self led Kansas all the way to overtime of the Elite Eight game against Georgia Tech and to the brink of the promised land. His ability to take Williams’ players and guide them on a deep tournament run went a long way toward proving to Kansas fans that Self was up for the challenge of leading the tradition-rich program. It also helped his players buy into what he was doing, which took some time and was not by any means automatic. Junior forward Wayne Simien led this team in scoring at 17.8 points per game and Keith Langford (15.5) and freshman J.R. Giddens (11.3) also scored in double digits. The 2003-04 Jayahwks, at 12-4, finished tied for second in the Big 12 race, marking the final time KU would finish out of the top spot in the conference for the next 14 seasons.

NO. 8 vs. NO. 9 MATCHUP

Starting Five:

2006-07

Russell Robinson, Sr.

Mario Chalmers, Jr.

Brandon Rush, Jr.

Julian Wright, Soph.

Sasha Kaun, Jr.

2003-04

Aaron Miles, Jr.

Keith Langford, Jr.

J.R. Giddens, Fr.

Wayne Simien, Jr.

David Padgett, Fr.

Top Reserves

2006-07

Sherron Collins, Soph.

Darrell Arthur, Fr.

Sherron Collins, Fr.

2003-04

Jeff Graves, Sr.

Michael Lee, Jr.

Jeff Hawkins, Soph.

KenPom.com Comparison

2006-07

Final Ranking: No. 5

Offensive Efficiency: 29th

Defensive Efficiency: 1st

Strength of Schedule: 59th

2003-04

Final Ranking: No. 18

Offensive Efficiency: 38th

Defensive Efficiency: 13th

Strength of Schedule: 11th

Statistical Comparison

2006-07

Points Per Game: 78.4 (20th)

Points Allowed Per Game: 61.7 (29th)

FG Percentage: 49.4 (9th)

3-point Percentage: 39.6 (21st)

Rebounding Margin: +6.7

2003-04

Points Per Game: 75.8 (39th)

Points Allowed Per Game: 67.2 (120th)

FG Percentage: 46.5 (46th)

3-point Percentage: 33.5 (212th)

Rebounding Margin: +4.1


No. 5 • 2009-10 • 33-3

The No. 1 overall seed entering the 2010 NCAA Tournament was loaded with talent, experience, depth, versatility and saddled with just two losses — at Tennessee and at Oklahoma State. Some future stars, i.e. Taylor and Marcus Morris, were just getting started and a pair of upperclassmen named Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich led this team on both offense and defense. Kansas finished 15-1 in Big 12 play and rolled through the Big 12 tournament by an average margin of victory of 11 points per game. Collins led the team at 15.5 points per game and freshman Xavier Henry, a smooth 6-foot-6 lefty expected to be KU’s latest one-and-done phenom averaged 13.4 points per game. These Jayhawks finished the season ranked in the Top 8 in both offensive and defensive efficiency, but ran into upset-minded Northern Iowa and encountered a much tougher second-round showdown than anyone expected. UNI guard Ali Farokhmanesh delivered the dagger 3-pointer with 34 seconds to play in the 69-67 KU loss.

vs.

No. 12 • 2004-05 • 23-7

After a strong start to his Kansas postseason career in 2004, Self and the Jayhawks fell on hard times in 2005. Despite spending the entire season in the Top 10 — most of it in the Top 5, including the preseason No. 1 ranking — the Jayhawks entered the NCAA Tournament on fumes and with injuries as a part of the equation. That made the 12th-ranked and 3rd-seeded Jayhawks ripe for the picking and the Bucknell Bison were there to take advantage of it. No. 14 seed Bucknell knocked off KU, 64-63 in Oklahoma City, during Self’s second NCAA Tournament at KU, putting a sour taste on the end of the careers of Simien, Langford, Aaron Miles and Mike Lee, who opened their time at Kansas with back-to-back trips to the Final Four under Williams. The most memorable thing that came out of the season was KU winning the first of what would become a 14-year streak of Big 12 Conference titles. The Jayhawks won the Big 12 regular season crown, at 12-4, before losing to Oklahoma State in the semifinals of the conference tourney. The Jayhawks lost an unheard-of three of their final four games of the season. Simien, who was a consensus first-team All-American, led the Jayhawks with a 20.3 points-per-game scoring average. Simien was the first player at Kansas under Self to average 20 points per game and remained the only one to do it until Mason did it (20.9) during the 2016-17 season.

NO. 5 vs. NO. 12 MATCHUP

Starting Five

2009-10

Sherron Collins, Sr.

Tyshawn Taylor, Soph.

Xavier Henry, Fr.

Marcus Morris, Soph.

Cole Aldrich, Jr.

2004-05

Aaron Miles, Sr.

Keith Langford, Sr.

J.R. Giddens, Soph.

Christian Moody, Jr.

Wayne Simien, Sr.

Top Reserves

2009-10

Markieff Morris, Soph.

Brady Morningstar, Jr.

Tyrel Reed, Jr.

2004-05

Michael Lee, Sr.

Alex Galindo, Fr.

Russell Robinson, Fr.

Sasha Kaun, Fr.

KenPom.com Comparison

2009-10

Final Ranking: No. 5

Offensive Efficiency: 29th

Defensive Efficiency: 1st

Strength of Schedule: 59th

2004-05

Final Ranking: No. 18

Offensive Efficiency: 38th

Defensive Efficiency: 13th

Strength of Schedule: 11th

Statistical Comparison

2009-10

Points Per Game: 81.6 (5th)

Points Allowed Per Game: 64.2 (64th)

FG Percentage: 48.9 (8th)

3-point Percentage: 40.4 (7th)

Rebounding Margin: +6.9

2004-05

Points Per Game: 75.0 (41st)

Points Allowed Per Game: 65.2 (84th)

FG Percentage: 47.6 (28th)

3-point Percentage: 36.7 (77th)

Rebounding Margin: +3.4


No. 4 • 2011-12 • 32-7

Who could ever forget Thomas Robinson’s monster junior season, filled with double-doubles (he averaged 17.7 points and 11.8 rebounds per game) and wild finishes? Or his running mate, Tyshawn Taylor (16.6 ppg), whose speed, toughness and play-making ability helped lead this team all the way to the national title game against Kentucky in New Orleans. That dynamic duo took the Jayhawks on a wild ride through the NCAA Tournament, that featured KU barely surviving Round 2 against Purdue and intense battles with North Carolina State, North Carolina and Ohio State in the three rounds that followed. Joined in the starting lineup by Elijah Johnson, Travis Releford and swat king Jeff Withey, these Jayhawks were one of Self’s thinnest teams — sharp-shooter Conner Teahan and electric forward Kevin Young were the only other two who played consistent minutes — but also one of the toughest. Never was that more evident than in the final Border War game with Missouri at Allen Fieldhouse, where Kansas came back from 19 points down to send off their rival to the SEC in dramatic fashion late in the season.

vs.

No. 13 • 2013-14 • 25-10

The arrival of No. 1-ranked freshman phenom Andrew Wiggins brought with it visions of Beatlemania in Lawrence, as fans everywhere did whatever they could to get a look at Wiggins. The alumni summer camp game in June was standing-room-only and peopled stood five- or six-deep in the doorways just to watch a few possessions. Wiggins was far from the only player on this roster who came to Kansas with serious buzz. Wayne Selden Jr., was another Top 10 prospect and Joel Embiid wound up being the No. 3 pick in the NBA Draft after the season. The freshman class also included a guard named Frank Mason III, who played limited minutes on this team but became one of the best guards to ever play for Self by the time he was done. Despite the loaded lineup, the Jayhawks didn’t get out of the second round at the NCAA Tournament, falling to Stanford in St. Louis, with Embiid in street clothes because of injury. This team did win the Big 12 at 14-4, but it also finished 25-10 overall and became the first KU team under Self to have double-digit losses.

NO. 4 vs. NO. 13 MATCHUP

Starting Five

2011-12

Tyshawn Taylor, Sr.

Elijah Johnson, Jr.

Travis Releford, Jr.

Thomas Robinson, Jr.

Jeff Withey, Jr.

2013-14

Naadir Tharpe, Jr.

Wayne Selden Jr., Fr.

Andrew Wiggins, Fr.

Perry Ellis, Soph.

Joel Embiid, Fr.

Top Reserves

2011-12

Conner Teahan, Sr.

Kevin Young, Jr.

Justin Wesley, Soph.

2013-14

Tarik Black, Sr.

Jamari Traylor, Soph.

Frank Mason III, Fr.

Conner Frankamp, Fr.

KenPom.com Comparison

2011-12

Final Ranking: No. 4

Offensive Efficiency: 23rd

Defensive Efficiency: 3rd

Strength of Schedule: 1st

2013-14

Final Ranking: No. 7

Offensive Efficiency: 6th

Defensive Efficiency: 22nd

Strength of Schedule: 1st

Statistical Comparison

2011-12

Points Per Game: 73.5 (48th)

Points Allowed Per Game: 61.7 (44th)

FG Percentage: 47.2 (31st)

3-point Percentage: 34.5 (157th)

Rebounding Margin: +2.9

2013-14

Points Per Game: 79.0 (23rd)

Points Allowed Per Game: 70.1 (178th)

FG Percentage: 49.3 (7th)

3-point Percentage: 34.0 (188th)

Rebounding Margin: +7.5


No. 6 • 2010-11 • 33-5

It was the year of The Morrii, and with twin bigs Marcus and Markieff Morris scoring at all three levels, the Jayhawks rolled much of the season, outscoring opponents by an average of 16.5 points per game. KU entered the NCAA Tournament on an eight-game winning streak, and having suffered only two losses the entire season. The “Family Over Everything” mantra of Marcus (17.2 points per game, 7.6 rebounds) and Markieff (13.6 points, 8.3 rebounds, 42.4% 3-point shooting) seemed to permeate the balanced roster, with guards Tyshawn Taylor, Tyrel Reed, Brady Morningstar and Josh Selby serving as the supporting cast. KU went into the Big Dance as a No. 1 seed in the Southwest region, and after breezing past Boston and Illinois in the opening weekend, the Jayhawks saw the rest of the bracket open up, as they were joined in the Sweet 16 by double-digit seeds Richmond (12), VCU (11) and Florida State (10). Kansas beat Richmond by 20 only to go cold in the Elite Eight (2-for-21 from 3-point range) and lose to VCU, 71-61.

vs.

No. 11 • 2015-16 • 33-5

It had been a rough couple of Marches for KU before the 2015-16 team helped the Jayhawks rediscover some NCAA Tournament normalcy. With upperclassmen Perry Ellis (16.9 points, 5.8 rebounds), Wayne Selden Jr. (13.8 points), Frank Mason III (12.9 points, 4.6 assists) and Landen Lucas (5.8 points, 6.8 rebounds) all having experienced early second-round exits in each of the previous two seasons, the group broke through for a deep run. Ranked No. 1 in the AP poll entering the postseason, the Jayhawks’ winning streak was at 14 by the time the tournament began. KU, of course, had a No. 1 seed, this time in the South region. The Jayhawks scored 105 points in a first-round win over Austin Peay and knocked off Connecticut and Maryland before running into an under-appreciated No. 2 seed in Villanova. The soon-to-be champs, Villanova, edged KU, 64-59, in the Elite Eight.

NO. 6 vs. NO. 11 MATCHUP

Starting Five

2010-11

Tyshawn Taylor, Jr.

Tyrel Reed, Sr.

Brady Morningstar, Sr.

Marcus Morris, Jr.

Markieff Morris, Jr.

2015-16

Frank Mason III, Jr.

Devonte’ Graham, Soph.

Wayne Selden Jr., Jr.

Perry Ellis, Sr.

Landen Lucas, Jr.

Top Reserves

2010-11

Josh Selby, Fr.

Thomas Robinson, Soph.

Mario Little, Sr.

Elijah Johnson, Soph.

Travis Releford, Soph.

2015-16

Brannen Greene, Jr.

Svi Mykhailiuk, Soph.

Jamari Traylor, Sr.

KenPom.com Comparison

2010-11

Final Ranking: No. 3

Offensive Efficiency: 6th

Defensive Efficiency: 6th

Strength of Schedule: 32nd

2015-16

Final Ranking: No. 3

Offensive Efficiency: 10th

Defensive Efficiency: 3rd

Strength of Schedule: 3rd

Statistical Comparison

2010-11

Points Per Game: 73.5 (48th)

Points Allowed Per Game: 61.7 (44th)

FG Percentage: 47.2 (31st)

3-point Percentage: 34.5 (157th)

Rebounding Margin: +2.9

2015-16

Points Per Game: 81.3 (16th)

Points Allowed Per Game: 67.6 (71st)

FG Percentage: 49.5 (5th)

3-point Percentage: 41.8 (4th)

Rebounding Margin: +5.5


No. 3 • 2017-18 • 31-8

Arguably the best offensive team Self has ever coached at KU, the 2017-18 Jayhawks embraced all the aesthetically captivating aspects of living that four-guard life. KU surrounded 7-foot sophomore center Udoka Azubuike (13 points per game, 77% field goal percentage) with sharpshooting senior guards Devonte’ Graham (17.3 points, 40.6% on 3-pointers) and Svi Mykhailiuk (14.6 points, 44.4% 3-pointers), as well as Malik Newman (14.2 points, 41.5% 3-pointers) and Lagerald Vick (12.1 points, 37.3% 3-pointers). With a virtually unstoppable center in Azubuike, and always-confident floor-stretching guards around him, KU shot 49.2% from the floor overall, went 391-for-974 on 3-pointers (40.1%) and put up 81.4 points per game en route to the program’s 14th straight Big 12 title and a run to the Final Four. A No. 1 seed in the Midwest in 2018, the Jayhawks, led by consensus All-American Graham, went through Penn, Seton Hall, Clemson and Duke before meeting their match against eventual champion Villanova in San Antonio.

vs.

No. 14 • 2008-09 • 27-8

A year after six Jayhawks from the national title team were drafted into the NBA, junior guard Sherron Collins and sophomore big man Cole Aldrich were the only two returners with any kind of experience. And the two quickly turned into Batman and Robin to keep the Jayhawks in the national spotlight. Collins led the team with an 18.9 points-per-game average and also led by example, with his toughness, fearlessness and competitive spirit becoming contagious. Aldrich, who had flashed his potential in shutting down North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough in the 2008 Final Four, showed that he was capable of much more, averaging 14.9 points, 11.1 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game. Freshmen Tyshawn Taylor (9.7 ppg) and Marcus Morris (7.4 ppg) also laid the foundation for their careers as role players and the Jayhawks reached the Sweet 16 and nearly knocked off No. 1 seed Michigan State while there. KU once again won the conference, finishing 14-2 in Big 12 play, and closed the unexpectedly solid season with a 27-8 record.

NO. 3 vs. NO. 14 MATCHUP

Starting Five

2017-18

Devonte’ Graham, Sr.

Malik Newman, Soph.

Lagerald Vick, Jr.

Svi Mykhailiuk, Sr.

Udoka Azubuike, Soph.

2008-09

Sherron Collins, Jr.

Tyshawn Taylor, Fr.

Brady Morningstar, Soph.

Marcus Morris, Fr.

Cole Aldrich, Soph.

Top Reserves

2017-18

Marcus Garrett, Fr.

Mitch Lightfoot, Soph.

Silvio De Sousa, Fr.

2008-09

Tyrel Reed, Soph.

Mario Little, Jr.

Markieff Morris, Fr.

KenPom.com Comparison

2017-18

Final Ranking: No. 9

Offensive Efficiency: 5th

Defensive Efficiency: 47th

Strength of Schedule: 2nd

2008-09

Final Ranking: No. 14

Offensive Efficiency: 23rd

Defensive Efficiency: 11th

Strength of Schedule: 37th

Statistical Comparison

2017-18

Points Per Game: 81.4 (29th)

Points Allowed Per Game: 71.9 (160th)

FG Percentage: 49.2 (12th)

3-point Percentage: 40.1 (11th)

Rebounding Margin: +0.4

2008-09

Points Per Game: 76.4 (38th)

Points Allowed Per Game: 65.4 (108th)

FG Percentage: 47.8 (22nd)

3-point Percentage: 37.1 (55th)

Rebounding Margin: +7.2


No. 7 • 2016-17 • 31-5

This offensive juggernaut was led by national player of the year point guard Frank Mason III (20.9 points per game) and a supporting cast that included future All-American Devonte’ Graham (13.4 ppg) and No. 4 overall draft pick Josh Jackson (16.3). After rolling to another Big 12 title with a 16-2 mark, the Jayahwks appeared to be well on their way to reaching another Final Four, and perhaps more, when the postseason arrived. After delivering three of the most lopsided wins of the tournament over UC Davis (100-62), Michigan State (90-70) and Purdue (98-66) KU was upset by Oregon, in Kansas City, Mo., of all places. Lagerald Vick’s 360 dunk in the win over Purdue is one of the lasting images of the season that also featured big man Landen Lucas serving as a defensive anchor and rebounding force down low.

vs.

No. 10 • 2012-13 • 31-6

With three key returners from the 2012 run to the national title game, this team entered the season ranked No. 7 in the nation and stayed in the Top 10 for all but two weeks. Led by the experienced trio of Elijah Johnson, Travis Releford and Jeff Withey, the Jayhawks’ starting lineup received a major boost from All-American Ben McLemore. The St. Louis native and future NBA lottery pick led Kansas at 15.9 points per game and Self’s squad featured another balanced look, with four players averaging in double figures. Senior forward Kevin Young also returned in a key role and the Jayhawks tied for first at 14-4 in Big 12 Conference play and went on to reach the Sweet 16 and finish with a 31-6 record. Kansas nearly advanced to yet another Elite Eight under Self, but lost to Michigan in Round 3 in Dallas despite controlling most of the game. Wolverines guard Trey Burke buried an insanely deep 3-pointer late to tie the game and send it to overtime and KU fell 87-85.

NO. 7 vs. NO. 10 MATCHUP

Starting Five

2016-17

Frank Mason III, Sr.

Devonte’ Graham, Jr.

Josh Jackson, Fr.

Svi Mykhailiuk, Jr.

Landen Lucas, Sr.

2012-13

Elijah Johnson, Sr.

Ben McLemore, Fr.

Travis Releford, Sr.

Kevin Young, Sr.

Jeff Withey, Sr.

Top Reserves

2016-17

Perry Ellis, Fr.

Naadir Tharpe, Soph.

Jamari Traylor, Fr.

Andrew White III, Jr.

2012-13

Tyrel Reed, Soph.

Mario Little, Jr.

Markieff Morris, Fr.

KenPom.com Comparison

2016-17

Final Ranking: No. 6

Offensive Efficiency: 5th

Defensive Efficiency: 24th

Strength of Schedule: 8th

2012-13

Final Ranking: No. 8

Offensive Efficiency: 27th

Defensive Efficiency: 5th

Strength of Schedule: 40th

Statistical Comparison

2016-17

Points Per Game: 83.2 (14th)

Points Allowed Per Game: 71.9 (172nd)

FG Percentage: 48.8 (12th)

3-point Percentage: 40.4 (6th)

Rebounding Margin: +4.4

2012-13

Points Per Game: 75.2 (24th)

Points Allowed Per Game: 61.9 (55th)

FG Percentage: 48.1 (9th)

3-point Percentage: 36.4 (65th)

Rebounding Margin: +3.7


No. 2 • 2019-20 • 28-3

There’s no telling if this year’s team would have brought a banner back to Allen Fieldhouse or not, but Self, along with dozens of national college basketball analysts, have said they thought this group had as good a shot as anybody to win it all. This group featured a trio of difference makers — on both ends of the floor — and was backed by a solid supporting cast that knew its role and knew how and when to play it. Big 12 Player of the Year and double-double machine Udoka Azubuike (13.7 points, 10.5 rebounds) was the biggest problem. Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Garrett was the glue that held everything together on both ends of the court. And prolific point guard Devon Dotson led the Big 12 in scoring (18.1 ppg) and earned all-Big 12 and All-American honors from several outlets. A year after watching the Big 12 title streak come to an end, the Jayhawks climbed back on top of the conference with the best record in the history of the Big 12 (17-1) and ended the season on a 16-game winning streak.

vs.

No. 15 • 2005-06 • 25-8

The beginning of Self’s third season was unlike any other in the previous 25 seasons, as the Jayhawks opened with a 1-2 record and took seventh place at the Maui Invitational. In fact, KU, which was led by a core group of freshmen that would go on to become national champions a couple of years later, did not even crawl above .500 until Dec. 10. Still, led by Brandon Rush (13.5 ppg) and Mario Chalmers (11.5), the Jayhawks got things going in the right direction and managed to win 25 games and tie for first in the Big 12 Conference. In addition to rumbling to a 13-3 record in Big 12 play, KU also won the Big 12 tournament before losing to Bradley in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. That loss marked the second consecutive first-round exit for Self, but also was the beginning of a stretch that included KU reaching at least the Sweet 16 in six of the next seven seasons. Much of the groundwork for that run and for the completion of the culture shift from Roy Williams to Self was laid by this team.

NO. 2 vs. NO. 15 MATCHUP

Starting Five

2019-20

Devon Dotson, Soph.

Isaiah Moss, Sr.

Ochai Agbaji, Soph.

Marcus Garrett, Jr.

Udoka Azubuike, Sr.

2005-06

Russell Robinson, Soph.

Mario Chalmers, Fr.

Brandon Rush, Fr.

Julian Wright, Fr.

Sasha Kaun, Soph.

Top Reserves

2019-20

David McCormack, Soph.

Christian Braun, Fr.

Tristan Enaruna, Fr.

2005-06

C.J. Giles, Soph.

Darnell Jackson, Soph.

Jeff Hawkins, Sr.

KenPom.com Comparison

2019-20

Final Ranking: No. 1

Offensive Efficiency: 8th

Defensive Efficiency: 2nd

Strength of Schedule: 2nd

2005-06

Final Ranking: No. 8

Offensive Efficiency: 50th

Defensive Efficiency: 2nd

Strength of Schedule: 64th

Statistical Comparison

2019-20

Points Per Game: 74.6 (88th)

Points Allowed Per Game: 60.7 (10th)

FG Percentage: 48.4 (9th)

3-point Percentage: 34.4 (117th)

Rebounding Margin: +6.6

2005-06

Points Per Game: 75.2 (42nd)

Points Allowed Per Game: 61.3 (33rd)

FG Percentage: 47.4 (29th)

3-point Percentage: 38.0 (45th)

Rebounding Margin: +5.3

Reply 2 comments from Shannon Gustafson Mallory Briggans

What if KU had been down only 2 points before Mario’s Miracle?

Kansas' Mario Chalmers and Sherron Collins celebrate after beating Memphis on Monday, April 7, 2008 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

Kansas' Mario Chalmers and Sherron Collins celebrate after beating Memphis on Monday, April 7, 2008 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. by thad-allender

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self on Sunday came out of what he called “Twitter retirement” to live-Tweet the CBS rebroadcast of the 2008 national title game.

Heading into the day, Self had sent 273 career Tweets from his verified account (@CoachBillSelf), and, in about three hours time, he bumped up that total by more than 20% after firing off 56 Tweets relating to the action during KU’s 75-68, overtime win over Memphis in San Antonio.

“Our social media team asked me to do it,” Self said. “I haven’t Tweeted in a year. And I’m terrible at it. But that’s hard for me to watch the game and Tweet and do it in a timely manner and all that stuff. So I hope people enjoyed it.”

They did. Big time. And Self covered it all, from what he was thinking and calling at the time a dozen years ago, to new thoughts and reactions he had while re-watching it.

Self said Sunday that he had seen the game probably 50 times since it happened. But he also revealed that it had been a decade since he last saw it. So the idea of watching it again during times of quarantine, when his 2019-20 team should have been preparing for its second-round NCAA Tournament game in Omaha, brought a little joy to an otherwise disappointing time.

The same was true for KU fans across the globe, who ate up all of Self’s commentary, retweeting it and chiming in with their own thoughts and questions.

A handful of Lawrence residents even reenacted part of the celebration by flooding Mass Street in their cars, honking horns and waving KU flags to celebrate the now 12-year old title. It was nothing like the scene that unfolded back in 2008, of course. For one, it wasn’t new and fresh. And, for two, we’re all about social distancing these days. So bravo to everyone who enjoyed it responsibly.

While watching the replay, a thought that has popped into my head during the past 12 years surfaced once again.

We all know that Derrick Rose’s 1-of-2 trip to the free throw line in the game’s final 12 seconds set the stage for KU’s Mario Chalmers to become a hero.

But what if Rose had missed the second free throw, too? What would the Jayhawks have done if they were down by two points there instead of three?

After he jumped off of Twitter, Self took my phone call to answer that very question.

“We would’ve taken whatever we could get,” Self told me.

It could have been a 3-pointer. It could’ve been a drive to the rim. It could have been a drive-and-kick or something designed to get to the free throw line. Self said the Jayhawks would not have necessarily gone for the win or the tie. They simply would have taken whatever produced the best shot.

“Part of our strategy off that play is to have like five or six options,” Self said of the now famous “Chop” play that has been used throughout the years and been copied by coaches at other programs. “In that deal, we thought they would switch ball screens so we didn’t even set a ball screen. That was just a dribble handoff. And the reason it worked, as much as anything, was the fact that Sherron (Collins) fell down. If it was a handoff, it would’ve been an easy switch. But when he fell down, it made it about a 4-foot pass and that led to some confusion — was it a switch or was it a stay? — and created just enough time where Mario could get the shot off.”

Self had time to think about those scenarios on Sunday. But he did not really even let them enter his mind during that final timeout of regulation 12 years ago.

“When we called timeout, before (Rose) shot the first free throw, you don’t go into the timeout thinking he’s going to miss both,” Self noted. “You just want to leave (your players) that one thought of what you’re going to do as opposed to an either/or situation. Because when you’ve got the future NBA MVP shooting free throws you’d think he’d make at least one and that’s what he did.”

Rose missed the first and made the second, leaving KU hope with 10.8 seconds to play. Self said that reality gave the Jayhawks a sense of calm, partly because they were still in it and partly because they were confident in Chop.

“If you look at Mario as soon as (Rose) missed the first one, he like looked up to the heavens and said OK, thank God, we’ve got a chance. One of those deals,” Self said.

Although their chances would have been significantly worse if Rose had made both free throws and put the Tigers up 64-60 with 10.8 seconds to play, Self said the Jayhawks would have run the same thing.

“And Mario would’ve probably tried to turn the corner and played to a drive or a penetrate-and-pitch,” he added.

But that wasn’t necessary. Self said KU never even considered that scenario, instead focusing during the entire timeout on what they needed to do if Rose made 1-of-2 at the free throw line.

And the rest is history.

Here’s a look back at 2017 KUsports.com season tip-off event in which Collins, Tyrel Reed, Jeremy Case, Brennan Bechard and Matt Kleimann came together to rewatch the end of regulation and overtime with a few hundred KU fans on the big screen at Abe & Jake’s.

Like Self’s input on Twitter on Sunday, that group offered a great glimpse back at what it was like to live those moments.

And here's our photo gallery from the 2008 national title game because our photographers were beasts and why the heck not.

And below is the full replay of the 2008 title game in case you missed it yesterday or even if you watched yesterday and just want to watch it again.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5BhakOnwvc

And here's a sampling of some of Self's input from Sunday's rebroadcast...

None by Bill Self

None by Bill Self

None by Bill Self

None by Bill Self

None by Bill Self

None by Bill Self

None by Bill Self

None by Bill Self

None by Bill Self

None by Bill Self

None by Bill Self

None by Bill Self

None by Bill Self

None by Bill Self

None by Bill Self

None by Bill Self

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Reply 5 comments from Dane Pratt Len Shaffer Matt Tait Dirk Medema

Self Madness 2020: Play-in game voting

Kansas guard Wayne Selden Jr. (1), forward Perry Ellis, center, and guard Kelly Oubre Jr. celebrate with Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) after Lucas took a charge from Baylor forward Rico Gathers (2) during the second half, Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Wayne Selden Jr. (1), forward Perry Ellis, center, and guard Kelly Oubre Jr. celebrate with Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) after Lucas took a charge from Baylor forward Rico Gathers (2) during the second half, Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Call it Dayton, Ohio, and KU’s version of the First Four games that usher in a new NCAA Tournament each and every year.

Welcome to the play-in game of “Self Madness 2020,” where the No. 16 and No. 17 seeds in the bracket of the 17 years of Self’s teams will face off for the right to join the full, 16-team bracket on Wednesday.

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the idea behind “Self Madness” along with a look at where this thing is headed. In short, you, our readers, will spend the next couple of weeks determining which of Self’s 17 teams since arriving in Lawrence have been the best.

Seeding and the way the bracket sets up will make for some tough decisions and likely will leave some teams disappointed. But, hey, that’s March, right?

Be sure to check back often right here in this blog and on Twitter (@Kusports) for results and links to the voting.

We’ll leave the play-in vote open for the next two days and will move forward with Self’s Sweet 16 on Wednesday.

Without further ado, let’s get to the first matchup:

No. 16 seed 2014-15 vs. No. 17 seed 2018-19

Here’s a look at the teams followed by a quick breakdown of the matchup.

Vote for your pick in the poll below and, when you vote in the full bracket starting Thursday, be sure to register to win the $500 cash prize from Truity Credit Union when you do.

No. 16 • 2014-15 • 27-9 • Lost 2nd Round to No. 7 seed Wichita State

A young KU team with no seniors in its rotation and only two juniors — Perry Ellis and Jamari Traylor — the Jayhawks still managed to win the Big 12 outright and secure a No. 2 seed in the Big Dance. Perhaps the fact that KU lost three of its last six regular season games, and dropped another in the Big 12 title game to Iowa State — making Kansas 5-4 in its nine most recent games entering the NCAA Tournament — should have warned many that this March run wouldn’t last long. After handling No. 15 seed New Mexico State in the first round, the Jayhawks had a Sunflower State struggle in Omaha, Neb., versus No. 7 seed Wichita State. KU freshman Kelly Oubre Jr. didn’t have any answers for the Shockers, and the killer WSU duo of Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker helped send the Jayhawks back to Lawrence.

No. 17 • 2018-19 – 26-10 – Lost 2nd Round to No. 5 seed Auburn

Off-the-court issues plagued the KU roster throughout a forgettable 2018-19 season. KU withheld forward Silvio De Sousa from competition while awaiting the NCAA’s decision on his eligibility, and by early February the backup big man was officially out for the year. That blow came roughly a month after Udoka Azubuike suffered a season-ending injury one game into Big 12 play. Amid all of that, senior guard Lagerald Vick left the team for good less than a week into February. KU’s Big 12 title streak finally came to an end as the Jayhawks finished third. As a No. 4 seed sent out to Salt Lake City, Utah, KU beat Northeastern before Auburn boatraced the Jayhawks en route to two wins in Kansas City, Mo., and a Final Four berth.

Play-In Game Matchup

Starting Five

2014-15

Frank Mason III, Soph.

Wayne Selden, Soph.

Kelly Oubre, Fr.

Perry Ellis, Jr.

Landen Lucas, Soph.

2018-19

Devon Dotson, Fr.

Quentin Grimes, Fr.

Marcus Garrett, Soph.

Dedric Lawson, Jr.

David McCormack, Fr.

Top Reserves

2014-15

Devonte’ Graham, Fr.

Jamari Traylor, Jr.

Brannen Greene, Soph.

2018-19

Ochai Agbaji, Fr.

K.J. Lawson, Soph.

Mitch Lightfoot, Jr.

KenPom.com Comparison

2014-15

Final Ranking: No. 17

Offensive Efficiency: 27th

Defensive Efficiency: 9th

Strength of Schedule: 1st

2018-19

Final Ranking: No. 17

Offensive Efficiency: 27th

Defensive Efficiency: 17th

Strength of Schedule: 1st

Statistical Comparison

2014-15

Points Per Game: 71.1 (78th)

Points Allowed Per Game: 64.8 (132nd)

FG Percentage: 46.4 (250th)

3-point Percentage: 37.9 (47th)

Rebounding Margin: +3.8

2018-19

Points Per Game: 75.7 (93rd)

Points Allowed Per Game: 70.1 (143rd)

FG Percentage: 46.5 (60th)

3-point Percentage: 35 (143rd)

Rebounding Margin: +3.1

Kansas guard Quentin Grimes (5), Kansas guard K.J. Lawson (13), Kansas forward Dedric Lawson (1) and Kansas guard Marcus Garrett (0) fight for a loose ball with Northeastern center Anthony Green (30) during the first half, Thursday, March 21, 2019 at Vivint Smart Homes Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Kansas guard Quentin Grimes (5), Kansas guard K.J. Lawson (13), Kansas forward Dedric Lawson (1) and Kansas guard Marcus Garrett (0) fight for a loose ball with Northeastern center Anthony Green (30) during the first half, Thursday, March 21, 2019 at Vivint Smart Homes Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. by Nick Krug

Reply 1 comment from Crimson_bluescottco

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