Sunday, April 6, 2008

Extra Minutes: Kansas 84, North Carolina 66



2008 NCAA Tournament

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


2008 NCAA Tournament

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Some thoughts ... from San Antonio

Tom Keegan, Journal-World sports editor

"Toughness, relentless pursuit of loose balls, defensive intensity. All the qualities Bill Self demands of his players were on display as Kansas stormed to a 40-12 lead on the night the bitterness over Roy Williams departure to North Carolina should have ended once and for all. After stumbling badly in the middle of the game, Kansas closed in great fashion, looking supremely confident and ready for Monday night's national title game.

Ryan Greene, editor

"All of Brandon Rush's teammates on Friday shared the story of Rush 'snapping' in practice earlier in the week. Russell Robinson said it was just the second time he'd ever seen that happen. Mario Chalmers said it meant Rush would be locked in. That he was, scoring a game-high 25 points on 11-of-17 shooting (9-of-10 from two-point range). I'd say that's 'locked in'. Though Saturday may have just been an opening act for Rush, as his college career (most likely done after Monday) now faces its biggest challenge - Rush will go head-to-head with Memphis' Chris Douglas-Roberts in probably the most key matchup of the title tilt."

Ryan Wood, Journal-World sports reporter

"Be afraid of Memphis. The Tigers are as good as their 38-1 record indicates, and they completely dominated a 35-3 UCLA team in its third straight Final Four. Kansas probably has a little more depth, but the Jayhawks' athletic superiority they usually count on won't be there. Memphis is a team of freaks. It's a wash.

"May the best team win, but I'm not sure which one that is at this point."

Inside the numbers

25: Brandon Rush played yet another great game during his late season tear, this time scoring a game-high 25 points on 11-of-17 shooting. Doing most of his damage lately from long range, Rush was 9-of-10 from inside the arc on a night in which several of his three tries rattled out. Rush also had seven rebounds and helped push the pace as well as anyone.

17: Bill Self said after the game he felt Cole Aldrich may have been as important as anyone in KU's win. The freshman big man played 17 minutes, finishing with eight points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots - most of that coming in the first half. His 13 minutes before halftime were huge in spelling both Sasha Kaun and Darnell Jackson, who had early foul trouble. He proved pivotal during KU's 25-2 run, one that pushed the Jayhawks ahead by a margin as large as 28 points.

50: All the hype in the week leading up to this game revolved around Tyler Hansbrough (talking about the players involved, not those on the sidelines). 'Psycho T' was held below his averages, finishing with 17 points and nine assists (came in averaging roughly 23 and 11), and KU proved that post depth overcomes star power on most nights. Darrell Arthur stepped up defensively on Hansbrough, along with Aldrich. Arthur had six points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots. KU outrebounded UNC 42-33 on the night.

7: The pace of the game was one that UNC was familiar with, but playing so much in terms of one-on-one in transition was foreign to the Tar Heels. Carolina's fast break game usually relies on quick, pinpoint passes which result in easy buckets. Saturday night, though, Wayne Ellington, Danny Green and Ty Lawson had to do plenty without the help of others. As a team, UNC had just seven assists to 18 turnovers. Lawson, regarded as one of the nation's most efficient point guards, had nine points, just two assists and two turnovers.

3: Russell Robinson came into this weekend as the least heralded of the four starting point guards in a historic Final Four field. While Lawson and UCLA's Darren Collison both struggled, Robinson was his same old efficient self, with a final line including seven points (a big early three-pointer starting things off), four rebounds, four assists (to just one turnover) and three steals.

Just in case you missed it ...

One of the more heart-wrenching moments of the night came in the final minutes, just before the fans started their traditional Rock Chalk chant. The first chanted the name of Rodrick Stewart, KU's fifth-year senior reserve who suffered a season-ending knee injury in a freak accident Friday at practice while going up for a flashy dunk. Combined with the pain he was feeling with his right leg propped up behind the bench, Stewart broke down into tears before exiting the floor. He served as a source of inspiration for his team all night, with teammates keeping him involved by giving him words of encouragement during each break in the action.

Hopefully you didn't miss it ...

Aside from getting KU into its first title game since 2003, Saturday's win over North Carolina should sufficiently bury the hatchet in terms of the way Roy Williams left the program following that loss to Syracuse. The Jayhawk faithful craved the Carolina matchup since that day, got it and saw their team succeed. That should be that, and now every time KU and UNC meet in the future with Roy Williams still in power at Carolina, the storyline should be nothing more than a footnote.

They said it ...

Rodrick Stewart on watching the game hurt and losing control of his emotions late: "They used it as motivation, and every time they came over in the timeout, they would just say 'Keep your head up' and stuff like that. But it's all about the team. I don't know if my knee really helped motivate us. I hope it did. It looked like it did. Whatever worked. Played with a lot of energy and had a lot of fun out there ... I was over there crying, trying to hold it in the whole time, but I think that set it off a little bit with the fans chanting my name."

Sasha Kaun on Cole Aldrich's contributions Saturday: "He played the best game of his career. I think he did a phenomenal job. He came out strong, got some boards, made some shots, and he was a huge, huge, huge help to us."

Sasha Kaun on comparing going against Tyler Hansbrough to Michael Beasley: "They're both great players. They're so different from each other in a way that Beasley is more of a talent and Hansbrough's such a hard worker, and he always fights. Beasley can just take you off the perimeter, so creative with the ball."

Darrell Arthur on the efficiency KU played with: "If we keep playing the way we've been playing and come out like that (Monday), I don't think anybody can beat us."

Darrell Arthur on answering UNC's second half run: "I think those guys got winded, because they were down 28 and had to make a massive comeback, so I think those guys got tired and we just took advantage of those guys on our offensive end."

Sherron Collins on Memphis: "They're tough. They're fast, tough, strong, similar to our guards. We'll be ready to play them, though ... We feel confident. We feel we're one of the best teams in the country and it'll be proven Monday."

Sherron Collins on the game's pace Saturday: "Everybody keeps saying 'their pace', but it's our pace. We've played like that all season. That's the big thing. Everybody's saying 'How you gonna stop them? How you gonna run with them?' How you gonna stop us? We run, too. I think that played into our hand, everybody's worried about how we're going to run with them and we ran them."

Mario Chalmers on the huge first half lead: "I kinda was surprised, but I knew a lot of it had to do with them missing a lot of shots and we were hitting our shots. Our defense was excellent tonight, so it was hard for them to get going ... Once we got them down, we just wanted to make sure we kept them down and were able to do that."

Cole Aldrich on his performance against Tyler Hansbrough: "It was a blast. I don't even know what to say, because he's such a great player, and just being able to be on the same court, in the Final Four, in San Antonio, playing against him, it's a huge honor ... We've got four really good big guys, and I don't know if he's quite gone against four big guys like that. We just tried to double the post, constantly deny the post and keep him off the glass."

Cole Aldrich on literally taking a rebound away from Tyler Hansbrough: "I wasn't gonna let it go. I got it, and I was like 'He's gonna try his dangdest to get this, and I won't let him.'"

Bill Self on Cole Aldrich: "I thought Cole was the best player in the game for a stretch in the first half. We're playing out of foul trouble, Sasha gets two minutes and Darnell gets seven the first half, and we didn't have to play out of kilter because he was so good ... He may have won the game for us as much as anybody because he bought us so many great minutes."

Bill Self on answering UNC's run: "When I was at Tulsa, in my first NCAA Tournament game, we had College of Charleston down 52-26, and they missed a three to take the lead with a minute left, then we end up winning by nine ... We knew they were gonna make a run. We hoped they wouldn't have got to four, but we went braindead for awhile. We kept clipping off shots when shots weren't going down, and then their best offense was our offense because we just threw it to them to start the second half and they went and made layups ... The thing I was most proud of, on the biggest stage, they were in the attack mode for 40 minutes."

Bill Self on where motivation came from Saturday: "All we talked about was Carolina (their players, not going against Roy Williams). Our players care about guarding Lawson, Ellington and Hansbrough. They were on the circuits together. Ty was the best point guard, Sherron was the second-best point guard coming out. That's what everybody said. Mario wanted to go against Ellington. That's what our motivation was."

Bill Self on what is now guaranteed to be KU's last game of the season: "I think it's great, because we can all hibernate and get some rest in a little bit. Coaches are like this: They never want the season to end, but when they do, they're really glad. I know Cal and I are both gonna be really happy that the season's over - of course one of us is gonna be ecstatic and one of us will struggle for awhile. But I told our guys before, I'm really looking forward to practice tomorrow. And I am. When you get to this point, everything is the last ... And we're ready for it to end. We just didn't want it to end until Monday."


George Powell 14 years, 4 months ago

Well, we were doing the wave when Coach Williams was standing there with the look of disbelief from South Carolina.

This is an interesting little article from the other side.

Brad Watson 14 years, 4 months ago


Dirk Medema 14 years, 4 months ago

Cole makes me look forward to next year even with the NC waiting to be played. He had the "Psycho T" go for the ball intensity, but with O & D skills as well. After part of a year, it is rather crazy to think of what Danny will be able to do with him in another year. What a springboard for future recruiting.Memphis had a priority against UCLA of posting collison with their bigger guards. 3 of our four guards are also smaller, so I'd expect more of the same. I like the fact that our bigs don't need to worry about their bigs being creative offensively (~ Beasley, Atchley, ...), and can play help defense. It will also be interesting to see if their frontline can keep up with ours.

fansincewilt 14 years, 4 months ago

Cole - "I wasn't gonna let it go. I got it, and I was like 'He's gonna try his dangdest to get this, and I won't let him.'" - And he didn't.Boy, has this guy come a long way this year. Self said at one stretch, he was the best player on the floor. Did anyone other than Self and the players see this coming?

SDSurferFan 14 years, 4 months ago

Need same defensive effort on Monday night.I thought our 'brain dead' plays were entirely on the offensive side. How many charges did we have? If we convert 1/2 those we win by 25 and they never get close.Wow!!!! I still feel so cleansed from Roy Williams. Beating him down like that and the 'ultra talented deep UNC' team was amazing. The lapses nearly killed me, but what a great feeling. I'm sure winning Monday will be 2x this good. Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeez win!!!!!

SDSurferFan 14 years, 4 months ago

Something to think about for Monday. We can D up great O.Hansbro, Lawson, Ellington- combined 16-42. Memphis is obviously backcourt oreinted.UCLA, with exception of Love and he isn't as quick as Shady or DJ and is probably not as strong as Kaun, got used in the Post. It won't happen Monday night. We need to set up shop down low and go to town.

Michael Leiker 14 years, 4 months ago

It's such a unique thing to hear coaches talk about the end of the season when they're in this situation. I enjoyed Self's comments on everything being the end.

bbeckum 14 years, 4 months ago

Gee, where are all the Bill Self haters and basketball experts that have been so critical of coach and team all season?

tdomine 14 years, 4 months ago

I sent an e-mail to the Tar Heel author of the article that sleeperhawk posted. It's a good article, but the author has no grasp of the subjunctive tense. Even KU journalists are better than Tar Heel journalists. Domination on all fronts!Rock chalk!

Lin Rahardja 14 years, 4 months ago

This article said it about how we took UNC from their comfort zone... "... but playing so much in terms of one-on-one in transition was foreign".We need a slightly different strategy against Memphis. Memphis' Rose & CDR would love to challenge KU on one-on-one transition, these two know how to finish. So we must:1. NOT let these two to get into their transition game (especially Rose)2. Take these two out of their comfort zone in the half court game. These two love to take mid-range jump shots, so our bigs have to play mini zone defense with the first tier to come up and disrupt their comfort zone, while the second tier focuses on swatting the ball away.3. DO NOT FOUL these two guards, just get them off balance. After all, Rose is a freshman, and CDR slashes straight to the basket with his quickness.4. Hack-a-Dorsey when he is under the basket. This should get Memphis back to their old free throw percentage.May the ball bounces the right way for KU. Go Hawks!!!

JJHAWK 14 years, 4 months ago

In 88 when we won it all, Oklahoma manhandled every opponent in the tournament. The closest victory of margin before the champioship game was (I believe) 15 points. Meanwhile KU just barely managed to advance into the sweet sixteen. Then history happened. 20 years later Menphis has been destroying everyone in the tournament and we just barely managed to advance into the final four. History - let thyself be deja vu all over again!Go Hawks!

classfan 14 years, 4 months ago

KU basketball fans have no class and are cursed. KU will never when a championship because of the curse. You can't blame Roy for taking the step up and getting away from that, and Bill Self will do the same. He's as good as gone....Rock Caulk Chokehawk....Rock Caulk Chokehawk....Rock Caulk Chokehawk

Lance Hobson 14 years, 4 months ago

Wow, what a great quote by Sherron. He said it all.

Lance Hobson 14 years, 4 months ago

What exactly does Rock Caulk mean? Is that some sort of new carpentry technique for home construction? 69 wins over two years is the kind of curse I can deal with!

JJHAWK 14 years, 4 months ago

How do you 'when a championship game . . .'? And 'A curse?' WOW! Too much Harry Potter for the poster I suspect. Envy is a such terrible thing!Clearly the poster is young, illerate, or from Missouri. Or all three!GO HAWKS

KUbsee69 14 years, 4 months ago

Not only can't he spell, classfan has no class! SO, yeah, he's probably from Missouri.

classfan 14 years, 4 months ago

The jayhawks always choke in the big game. They have won just two National Championships in the last 60 years, but they still think they are one of the nations top programs. Florida has won that many in the past two years. No, the jayhawks are chokehawks and if they forgot about ol Roy before he left why is that all they have talked about this week, and after KU chokes Monday night and Bill leaves a few weeks later we will all have to listen to the whining again. KU has no class, so the great coaches search for better schools with more class and to get away from the KU curse.....Rock Caulk Chokehawk....Rock Caulk Chokehawk....Rock Caulk Chokehawk....

Dan Harris 14 years, 4 months ago

classfan lol your an idiot and a loser.

lance1jhawk 14 years, 4 months ago

classlessfan- I see your jealousy of a winning program has brought you to a KU board. It is no accident, we are ranked in the top three of all time NCAA wins in basketball, We played in and won a BCS bowl this year.Are atheletes are actually model citizens who aren't arrested for gun play. (In Mizzery its no longer called a starting line up rather a police line up).Tomorrow we play for a national title, your little spell or curse can't stop that. um have to run to give to your sister again.

classfan 14 years, 4 months ago

lol....Just tell me what part of that last comment is not true....

Lance Hobson 14 years, 4 months ago

Dude, I'm still trying to figure out what "caulk" is. Anyone? Also classfan, you were using the word "nations" in the possessive sense, so you need the apostrophe, e.g. "...they are one of the nation's top programs." Hey, I know that Missour public education can be tough to overcome. Here's your sign...

MOJHawk 14 years, 4 months ago

Classfan..this is America and as long as I can vote, I will protect your right to free speech but allow me to give you a history lesson. A top program is more than just NC's. Here's a little quiz:1] What school has the creator of the game of basketball as it's first coach........Kansas2] What school's second coach is considered the Father of Modern Coaching......Kansas3]What school has played more games than anybody else.....Kansas4] What school has the third most victories and is closing in on second place....Kansas5] What school produced the greatest coach of the school with the most victories....Kentucky/Adolph Rupp? Kansas6]What school produced the greatest coach of the school with the second most victories...North Carolina/Dean Smith? Kansas7] What school is in the top five in NCAA appearances and the top ten in Final Fours....Kansas8] What school had the greatest college player of all time.....Wilt Chamberlain/Kansas9]What school has the greatest venue for BBall.....Allen Fieldhouse/Kansas10] What school has the most haunting chant in NCAA history...The Rock CHALK chant......KansasI'm sure I've said little to change your mind but freedom of speech cuts both ways. Please try to be a little more the long run, you'll be a lot happier.

jaybate 14 years, 4 months ago

WHAT KU DID TO UNC:1. For the first 15 minutes they played a high risk, half court guerilla defense. They played the passing lanes instead of their men. They anticipated and jumped into every passing lane possible BEFORE UNC threw the ball. They didn't even bother to guard their men at times. It was an awesomely audacious display of high risk defense. And it worked, because Roy refused to adjust and UNC's players did not adjust. The adjustment is to fake the pass, then have the offensive player break the opposite way of the over committed KU defender and take the easy, uncontested J. Once KU had the big lead, KU stopped the high risk defense. And they had to, because they collected a lot of fouls gambling on EVERY pass. But it was beautiful while it lasted.2. KU triple teamed Hansbrough and beat him to the punch at dirty play by putting him on the floor and brutally fouling him before he could do it to them. Oh he got in his share of licks on KU players, but he was clearly mugged before he got a chance to mug anyone else. The bully got bullied and, like most bullies, it stunned him for awhile. I've seen him roughed up before, but never three on one and just time after time after time. I wish the refs did not allow this sort of play in the Madness, but because they do, Self decided to beat Hansbrough to the punch.

jaybate 14 years, 4 months ago

  1. KU took what UNC gave them. UNC tried to sucker KU into running and KU said, in classic text book Bill and Eddie Sutton ball, we'll take whatever you give us. KU ran, and ran, and kept running as long as UNC would give it to them. Roy would not adjust.4. What announcers called one of the greatest come backs in NCAA history, was really KU sitting on its lead and protecting the foul situation until the eigh minute mark, when KU, like a great prize fighter, waded in to finish the fight. UNC and their fans were dreaming if they thought they were going to beat KU after the big lead at the start. Should KU have let the lead shrink to 4? No, of course not. But one cannot totally control games. KU was waiting and waiting and waiting to go for the jugular. They waited until they got a break and there was enough time that fouls would not be a problem. And then they beat the living bull bisquits out of UNC almost as badly as they had the first 15 minutes. KU demolished UNC down the stretch. It was not even close. It was not a matter of UNC having an off shooting night and KU having a great shooting night. KU only shot 30% from trey. KU was just flat out better and Roy couldn't adjust to what Self had them doing. What did Self have them doing? In addition to the above, he GAVE UNC its own running game. He said, "Go ahead, Roy, hurry your team down the court. The more trips down the floor, the more chances we have to play high risk defense against your high risk offense. Defense wins every time, Roy. its a percentage game." And so it went. A lot of coaches are going to study what KU did on defense on the off season and there are going to be teams adopt that style for stretches, just as surely as Self and others studied the UCLA hack and slap this last off season and incorporated it into their defenses this season.

classfan 14 years, 4 months ago

lol....I'm happier than you could imagine. That entire list is old news because KU has been cursed and chokes in all the modern day final four and national championship games. If someone were to ask what have you done for me lately, that question would have to go to a modern winner. Lets say someone who has won it in the last 15 years. How is it Florida can win it back to back and the great KU only twice since World War Two. KU has been cursed....Rock Caulk Chokehawk....Rock Caulk Chokehawk....Rock Caulk Chokehawk....

Dale Kroening 14 years, 4 months ago

Im betting classfan is an upset UNC fan.Its ok ol Roy's soft team will get you back there next year only to break your heart again.This is not the same KU team as teams in the past.They have a chip on their shoulder and it showed,and now the media is once again fueling the fire even more while picking Memphis,saying we used all of our energy beating the Tarheels.They said we wouldnt stop Curry,then Hansboro.Now we wont be able to stop Rose or Douglass Roberts.And all this talk about Memphis guards having an advantage because of their size,compare their guards to UNC.What happened to their "bigger" guards?Once again underestimating our defense.UNC was the #2 offense in the nation and were held to 66 pts on 35% shooting.Rush will guard D-R,Russrob will guard Rose,and Chalmers will take care of Anderson.We'll have something for Memphis come Monday,you watch.ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK!

tim deegan 14 years, 4 months ago

just read this over on the espn site...kinda sucks..."Most people would think Self crazy to leave one of the Cadillac programs for a good-but-not-great one in the same conference. But armed with T. Boone Pickens' money, Oklahoma State is offering a chance to go from rich to filthy rich. And it is offering the Edmond, Okla., native a chance to come home.And it offers the chance to lift up one more program."Deep down at the core, coaches like fixing things," Self said.He wasn't talking about Oklahoma State when he said that, but it was an interesting comment. Might mean something. Might not. We'll have to wait and see."If Self bolts, man i hope not, i'd be bitter as hell, but if he does (boatloads of money makes people do odd things)...I would love to have Turgeon as our coach.

therahawk 14 years, 4 months ago

What I'm trying to figure out is if this "classfan" is so "class", why won't he admit where his allegiance lies? Probably because if he did, he would immediately prove that his screen-name was a lie. Also, since he/she/it is good at cutting and pasting his previous comments, I think I'll do the same:Very true, fansincewilt. Ask yourself this: do Duke fans turn on the tube, and root against UNC? NO. Are Louisville fans gnashing their teeth at Memphis? Absolutely NOT. Does anyone know why? Because good rivalries stem from competitive spirit and mutual respect, with each year bringing a new set of highly competitive games from two successful programs. Why do MU/KSU fans feel the need to show zero class and spoil their "rival" fans' fun? Probably because losing year in and year out is frustrating. I've been a Jayhawk fan since birth (thanks dad), yet met my wife and graduated from KSU. Crazy circumstances led to my going there (thanks wife), but I can tell you this: they DO whine about everything KU does, and to tell you the truth, I found it quite disgusting. They hate KU more than they like their own teams, and then wonder why their teams are never good. Then they get even more infuriated when KU doesn't even recognize them as a true rival. KSU...the reason why is because respect is a key ingredient in a good rivalry, and neither you, nor MU fans have a capacity for it. Even a little conference loyalty would be nice, considering sports pundits continually sh*t on the Big XII every year. Is KU different from MU/KSU to this regard?

therahawk 14 years, 4 months ago

You bet...I have consistently heard around the KU campus (I'm at KU now, and will be a KUMed grad in 2011) is that K-State earned that win in Manhattan this year, and of any of KU's 3 losses this year, that was the only one that was competitively acceptable, considering the atmosphere surrounding the game. Also, many KU fans felt like Michael Beasley was snubbed in the AP POY voting, and did our best last night to prove their selection, Hansbrough, was incorrect.I sure hope you're a MU fan, because if you're a K-Stater, that'll make me want to hide my KSU degree even more. Show a little class and school pride, suck it up, wish KU luck, and root for the Big XII...otherwise, I say we boot you out of the Big XII, and make you play in the Missouri Valley Conference, if they'll even take you.ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK, GO KU!!!

Dale Kroening 14 years, 4 months ago

Self will get a big raise at season's end and wont go anywhere.Im not saying it will never happen,but not at this time.

actorman 14 years, 4 months ago

"Menphis has been destroying everyone in the tournament and we just barely managed to advance into the final four."I'm not saying you're wrong about KU winning, JJHawk, but your point about Memphis is not valid. They barely escaped their second round game against Mississippi St., so they too had one game where they struggled. That being said, the closer we get to the game, the more confident I am about this KU team. Before the UNC game I was very confident that KU would beat the Heels but was worried about the next game. Then after watching Memphis I became VERY worried. But now as I think about it and look at all the details, I'm starting to get a little more relaxed. If I had to predict at this point, I'd say that KU will win by about five points. There's just something special about this team, which many of us have been saying most of the year. This just HAS to be the year that title number 3 finally arrives!

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