Back to 2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament coverage

2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

Monday, March 31, 2008

Williams, Heels loom



2008 NCAA Tournament

video thumbnail

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


2008 NCAA Tournament

Get your March Madness fix at

— The dream matchup everybody has been talking about for five years is finally on the schedule.

Kansas versus Roy Williams.

Make that Kansas versus North Carolina, a team coached by former Jayhawk mentor Williams.

"It's been remarkable we've gone five years without him coaching against Kansas and myself coaching against Illinois," fifth-year KU coach Bill Self said in discussing Saturday's Final Four semifinal in San Antonio.

Self, of course, coached at Illinois prior to heading to KU.

"There will be much talk about that. Our fans should not be pulling for Roy this weekend, but happy and proud he was head of the program for 15 years, be proud of his standard of excellence," Self said.

"People get upset when you leave a place. I know about that as well. There will be a lot of talk about it, but Roy Williams and I will not be playing, it'll be our teams."

Self was asked how he'll handle the distraction of "Roy talk" this week.

"They probably will be asking him all the questions about it as opposed to me," Self said. "I can't speak for Roy. I'm sure I'll say this again: As Kansas fans, representing Kansas, we should be proud of the time Roy gave us, because excellence was the standard while he was there.

"Our focus will not be on that. Our focus will be on their team. When fans get upset," he continued, "all that is a backhanded compliment because they didn't want you to leave. I'm sure Roy knows that. This should be about players, not coaches."

Williams has said this and every season he wants KU to win the title if his Tar Heels aren't the ones to clip the nets.

"I have the greatest love for a place I gave my heart, body and soul for 15 years. I have no idea what my emotions are going to be," Williams said. "I know when I was at Kansas, we played North Carolina in '91 and '93. I said I hated it, but if I was ever going to play North Carolina and coach (Dean) Smith, I wanted it to be at the Final Four.

"I will never play the University of Kansas in a regular-season game. It will have to be a tournament, whether it's the NCAA Tournament or a holiday tournament. But nobody could have more love and try to give more to that place than I did for 15 years. They gave me a chance. They gave me a chance when I had Bob Frederick (as AD) and a chance when I was not exactly a household name. I was barely a name in my own house.

"So I have no idea what the emotions will be. I'm ecstatic for our club right now to be going to San Antonio and enjoy what's going on and enjoy the accomplishments that they have made."

Not many Jayhawks have ties to Williams anymore.

Williams did recruit fifth-year senior Jeremy Case to KU.

"I haven't really talked to him in five years," Case said. "He called me and spoke to me and said he was leaving. I wished him well. I wanted to look ahead, not behind. He had to do what he had to do.

"It was the best decision for him and his family. I don't regret for a minute staying at KU. I've enjoyed playing for coach Self and being a Jayhawk."

Michael Lee, who is on Self's KU staff, played for Williams two years.

"I've thought about it a little bit, not much. I've not seen those guys in three, four years, since they left," Lee said of Williams and staff members Joe Holladay, C.B. McGrath and Jerod Haase.

"It may be kind of awkward, I don't know. I like coach Williams. That game will be interesting for many reasons."


bigjay83 14 years, 3 months ago

You gave a lot to this University, Coach Williams. And for that we could not say thank you enough.

But then there is the fact that, like you said, Kansas gave you your start. And your name. Then you said this...

best of luck to you coach....... but I hope we kick your a**

yates33333 14 years, 3 months ago

Why be redundant? You used Heel once. Oh, perhaps it is the heel's Heels! Here's wishing no luck to the heel or the Heels. Go Hawks!!!!

RonBurgandy 14 years, 3 months ago

Everyone has to take the high road...please.

Screw North Carolina, there is not one thing I like about that school. I hope we kick the living crap out of them and that spaz Hansbrough. Him and his "attack of the bees" celebrations.

Rock Chalk. There is no better school, no school with more tradition when it comes to men's bball, than KU.

KUbsee69 14 years, 3 months ago

In April, 1836, the cries of "Remember the Alamo" rang through the air at San Jacinto and resulted in final Texas independence.

In April, 2008, in the Alamo city, let the air shattering cries ring out as "Remember '57". Let's liberate Wilt's spirit once and for all.

Wilt always felt that he let the Jayhawk Nation down. Not so ... not so at all. Arguably the greatest Jayhawk BBallers of all time ... certainly one of the top three.

Remember '57. Remember Wilt.

No triple overtime. Let's route Roy's boys like Sam Houston's Texas Army routed General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna's boys. Send them packin' home with their tail dragging.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk.

janeyb 14 years, 3 months ago

The Tarheels will finally have to leave North Carolina. I glanced at their schedule and two games in Las Vegas and a game at Columbus, Ohio was about far as they ever ventured from ACC land. Will the culture shock of Texas affect them? Be sure and eat lots of Tex-Mex before Saturday's game Tarheels.

Mike Crosbie 14 years, 3 months ago

We are very lucky, we should be grateful. There is no doubting Roy's sincerity and love for KU. After all KU made Roy Williams into who he is today, Roy didn't make KU. He brought a lot of great history to our rich tradition.

We are even Luckier to have Bill Self. Already an accomplished coach when he came here. It's pained me to read posts here about Bill and not going to the final four. Now he(we) are there. No matter what happens let's be grateful. With Bill's style, our tradition, great things will happen, whether it be this year or the years to come. When it's all said and done, I believe Bill's time at KU will be the best era ever!

The rumors won't stop out of Stillwater and that's all they are "rumors". So let's all do our part and smother our "Self" with so much KU love that he would never want to go anywhere else !!!!!!!!!!!

Rock Chalk !!

okjhok 14 years, 3 months ago

"attack of the bees" Hilarious. That was funny, and very awkward to watch.

KU1979 14 years, 3 months ago

"...But nobody could have more love and try to give more to that place than I did for 15 years."

This is what continues to p!ss me off. It's a lie. I love KU more than you do, so just stop it with that crap. I hope we kick your azz up and down the river walk and make you cry like a baby. (Geez, I didn't realize I was that wound up until I read what I typed -- it's gonna be a long week!).

hawk_bred20 14 years, 3 months ago

I used to hate Roy as much as the next person. But I truely don't care anymore. I think it's because Coach Self is so great that it has made me move on easily. We need to kick the crap out of UNC because they are a fake. But as for Williams, he did give us 15 great years so lets all try and move on and respect what he did for us. I know this is easier for some than others.

knayte 14 years, 3 months ago

All this Roy-bashing is pathetic. Coach Self has it right, we should have a lot of respect for him. I can't believe how much hatred people still harbor for a guy who gave KU an amazing 15 years. You're like little children. It's sad.

JayCeph 14 years, 3 months ago

Regardless of how much people like Self (and that number continues to grow with each passing season), the fact remains that the separation of Roi and KU was not a pretty one. It really has a lot to do with the school of UNC and how they comported themselves, interjected themselves into the KU family during 2003.

They showed very little class with how they handled Coach D (undeserved firing and humiliation), requested an audience with Roi and then perpetuated distraction and dissension among the schools' faithful following.

When Roi chose to go back to his alma mater, nobody minded that rationale... it is how he left and when he left that caused the most consternation.

A parallel has been made many times of the 'jilted lover' and if we were to use that one today, then no matter how much you cared for that person, they still chose to leave you and then go on to a very public and 'successful' relationship with their new fling. That will never feel good.

15 years at KU is one thing and worth only so much. If your legacy with a spouse is one of tenderness and support for a while but then is reduced to abandonment, neglect, and other forms of non-physical abuse, that will be all that remains... no matter how much time you had smiling at each other during walks in the park.

Roi handled it (the transition) poorly. But he is just one man and people make mistakes. UNC is the primary culprit and therefore, I can't bring myself to be magnanimous or compassionate toward that man or his holy grail.

Nothing good or cathartic will come out of hard fought loss next Saturday to UNC. The only form of retribution will be to destroy the bad guys and then clean up the season with a Nat. Chmpship!

jenaj21 14 years, 3 months ago

All I have to say is that ESPN kept talking about how Kansas fans would "boo" Roy next week and that it would be expected. However I say that we do not boo Roy; not because I love him but because I love coach self and if we are booing Roy its a backwards way of saying that we are missing him. This game should be all about Kansas and Self. Once we win then we can talk all we want about how we beat Roy, but lets not boo him at the final four.

Jim Pendleton 14 years, 3 months ago

There are going to be boo's, there always are, regardless of the opponent. This week the boo's need to rain down and rain down hard. I think the boo's will come from Memphis & UCLA also.

People who like Roy and wish him well need to remember two things - he lied when he left, no matter how you spin it, he lied. Second, you can't wish him well because the two schools recruit a lot of the same people, and if they get the ones we want, it hurts us in the long run, so quit wishing the heels & UNC-Roy well.

I have said all along we have the right guy here. It's high time all Jayhawks show they believe that as well. I congratulate Coach Bill & his team for all they have accomplished. They are representing us well.

Jonathan Allison 14 years, 3 months ago

I can't wait to see the look on his face when the first faint chorus of Rooock Chaaaalk Jaaaayhawwwk Kaaay YOOO begins to drift downward from the rafters of the Alamodome.

Oooh, its gonna kill him

Lance Hobson 14 years, 3 months ago

Intresting seeing McGrath and Jerod Haase still on Roy's coattails. Now they finally get to see a Kansas team in the Final 4, since they were never good enough to do it.

Joe Ross 14 years, 3 months ago

Im gonna come out and say it and I dont care what you think:those of you who have a problem with Roy Williams can burn in hell. It was a mutualistic relationship between KU and Roy Williams. KU benefitted and so did Roy. In return for KU giving credence to an unknown, Roy gave everything except his family jewels to put Kansas in a position to win. EVERYTHING! Some people here act as if Roy was a parasite, that only he benefitted and didnt give anything back. So to all of you who are too juvenile, too immature, too self-absorbed, too obtuse, too knuckle-headed, too belligerant, and too disingenuous to give Roy his credit for what he did here, then you can go to hell. Thank GOD at least Coach Self has the correct perspective: "Self said. "I can't speak for Roy. I'm sure I'll say this again: As Kansas fans, representing Kansas, we should be proud of the time Roy gave us, because excellence was the standard while he was there...Our focus will not be on that. Our focus will be on their team. When fans get upset," he continued, "all that is a backhanded compliment because they didn't want you to leave. I'm sure Roy knows that. This should be about players, not coaches."Listen to Coach Self and grow the f@$% up!THAT SAID, I still want to knock the living piss outta UNC. Its a perfect stage for Kansas to get its props. I rooted for UNC to beat Louisville because I wanted to be in a position to face and beat UNC. When youre a quality program you dont shy away from the big games. Beating UNC would give us a stamp of credibility. And think of the recruiting!!!! Think of what it does for Coach Self and his tenure here! Think of the confidence gained to go on into the national championship game if and when we beat the number one over all seed in the best of ALL Final Fours ever!Thanks, Roy...but I hope we beat you like Ike beat Tina.

Dan Harris 14 years, 3 months ago

jross-burn in hell might be a litttttttttllllee bit over the top but I agree, RCJH beat the crap out of the tarbabys!

jayhawk_in_iowa 14 years, 3 months ago

that ike turner comment is out of line in the fact that it puts a positive perspective on an horrible situation that Tina and too many other ladies find themselves in

sevenyearhawk 14 years, 3 months ago

Any of you who don't have a problem with our former coach ... consider this situation:You're married for fifteen years, have lots of good times and children ... and because of that, you'll always love them.But shortly after renewing your vows, your spouse runs off with their high school sweetheart, and then hits the freaking lottery!!You can honestly tell me that you still wouldn't be just a little angry?

JayCeph 14 years, 3 months ago

Just because Roi 'meant it at the time' when he said he was going to stay at KU in 2000 doesn't make it okay that the landscape shifted right out from under all parties involved during that fateful spring in 2003.If I were to go pick up a hooker and then get caught, I doubt that the rationale that I 'meant it at the time' when I said my vows to my wife just wouldn't wash.Nobody thinks that what Roi did during his 15 years at KU was superfluous and uneventful. Nobody is mad at him for that. To continue to bring up those 15 years is just a tactic of misdirection.The real issue is, on one level, how Roi handled his departure but supremely rests with UNC and how they crapped in the mouths of the entire college basketball community just so they could have their way... regardless of the fallout.This has nothing to do with how much people like Self and the great place we (the KU faithful) are in today. It has everything to do with UNC and how they put everyone in a bad spot. Such a bad spot that their fair haired boy Roi now has to confront the fact that he chose to side with a school that has very little class and integrity.People who argue about anything but the main issue are just confused, blind or attracted to shiny things.

WisconsinJayhawk 14 years, 3 months ago

OK. Its Tuesday. I've already had all the Roy (old) news I can handle. New rule: from here on out, NO MORE ROY COVERAGE from our hometown paper! There's a game coming up, for Frick's sake!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.