Monday, March 28, 2016


Tom Keegan: Difference between Final Four, Elite Eight — ‘Huge. It’s monumental’

Kansas head coach Bill Self leaves the court following the Jayhawks' 64-59 loss to Villanova, Saturday, March 26, 2016 at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

Kansas head coach Bill Self leaves the court following the Jayhawks' 64-59 loss to Villanova, Saturday, March 26, 2016 at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky.


Any season that ends one loss to a No. 2 seed shy of advancing to the Final Four qualifies as a successful one. That’s especially so in a year that included a 12th consecutive Big 12 regular-season title, a Big 12 tournament championship and 17 consecutive victories leading up to the elimination game.

At the same time, no loss in any other round stings quite the same as coming so close and then having to watch the Final Four on television.

Villanova coach Jay Wright captured the difference between reaching the Elite Eight and the Final Four in a news conference a day before his team threw a blanket over Perry Ellis and defeated Kansas University, 64-59, Saturday night in the Yum! Center.

“Huge,” Wright said when asked about the difference. “It’s monumental. ... The whole week leading up for the university is great, (and) for the alumni.”

Elite Eight losses rank high among the toughest to stomach in sports.

“I think if you’re in the NBA, you get to the finals, if you don’t win, it’s not that big of a deal,” Wright said. “But getting to the Final Four, it’s so big. It’s defining.”

Wright lost his first Elite Eight game in 2006 to eventual national champion Florida. Three years later, Wright took Villanova to its first Final Four since the school won the national championship in 1985.

“All of our young assistants from our Final Four team, the young guys, liked the graduate assistants, the video guy, they all are major assistants on major-college teams,” Wright said. “I told our guys it’s because people want people that were associated with the Final Four.”

But in terms of assessing a team’s accomplishments, it’s just a one-game difference, and Villanova was better in that one game.

Villanova advanced by playing a cleaner game, turning it over nine times, compared to 16 for KU. The Wildcats (18-of-19 in both of its South Regional games) did a better job of cashing in opportunities at the free-throw line than Kansas (7-of-11), which was consistent with how both teams performed at the line all season.

Villanova remains in the hunt for a national title, and Kansas begins an offseason of reloading.

Next season’s roster — no telling precisely what it will look like — probably won’t be as experienced, but possibly as talented.

“They’ve done so much for the program,” sophomore Devonté Graham said of KU’s departing seniors. “Perry (Ellis) is going to be a KU legend. It’s going to be tough moving forward without them.”

It’s never easy, but Kansas will find a way. It always does.


Clarence Haynes 6 years, 6 months ago

I wonder if the level of Elite Eight and Final Four media commitments become a distraction and affect the focus of players, particularly those who have not been there before.

Tim Browne 6 years, 6 months ago

I think it's the opposite. They're just so used to winning and all the attention that it numbs them. The kids from programs with lesser expections know this is their one shot...

Bryan Mohr 6 years, 6 months ago

Difference between East and West huge. In the last 20 years only 2 championships West of the Mississippi (KU '08, Arizona '97). The Big12, apart from KU, has been terrible in the tournament. OU this year a rare exception. And really, KU has dissapointed more often than not. Only OU '88, and KSU '51 have even made it to the title game, and 0 titles apart from KU. Roy had nil at KU and now has 2, and counting. It's recruiting. KU would no longer be the giant among midgets, but it would improve recruiting and competition to join the ACC. That's unlikely. The Big12 is a football conference. Any expansions will target football. That's economics. The West has been left behind by the East when it comes to basketball, and that's why KU should look east.

Mike Barnhart 6 years, 6 months ago

It makes sense to look east but how far. There is good basketball being played at Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan State and Indiana.

The midwest is fine, it's the Big 12 that needs work!

Bryan Mohr 6 years, 6 months ago

All the schools you mentioned are east of the Mississippi, and not Big12, and not going to be added to the Big12. Louisville is now ACC. MSU and Indiana are B1G. So, sure, KU joining the B1G is a good option, and the ACC even better. The Big12 has no interest in expanding to improve basketball, which I'm saying requires east coast geographical presence. Why did the B12 add TCU instead of Louisville? Football. Why has UConn not been added? Football. Why did the Big12 sit on its butt while the ACC added Pitt, Syracuse, and Louisville? Get it. KU is a basketball blue blood with horrendous football. KU is in the wrong conference... a football conference. And so is Kentucky, until they brought in the recruiting wise-guy Calipari. KU's basketball program is its fame and legacy. KU needs to do what is best for basketball recruiting and basketball media exposure... that would be moving to the ACC, imo.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 6 months ago

Up until our most recent loss in The Elite 8, I would have argued against your points. However, I'm coming around to believe KU would be far better off in the B1G. It would be nice if OU and KU both went as we'd then have a couple of our most traditional rivals in NU and OU at out side.

Tim Browne 6 years, 6 months ago

Ohhhhhh... let's play the Mizzou game. Oh Mr. Big Ten, please take us? We're ugly and desperate? Face it, they took RUTGERS in. You've signed away your football revenues for years to the Big XII. You're stuck with your current dance partners. Hate to disappoint.

Tim Browne 6 years, 6 months ago

Of course the obvious fact that KU is a long long way from the Atlantic Coast not withstanding....

Stephen H Hadley 6 years, 6 months ago

Many of you won't want to hear this but Roy Williams just qualified for his 8th Final Four (4 at KU, 4 at UNC). In the same period of time he has been to twice as many Final Fours as Bill Self. His Elite Eight record is 8-4 with 4 appearances in the Championship Game going 2-2 in those games. Bill Self has been to 2 Final Fours, both Championship game appearances going 1-1 in those games. Self's Elite Eight record is a dismal 2-6. If Final Four appearances is the standard by which we judge at KU then Roy Williams is, by far, the better coach. By any measure, Self's record in Elite Eight games is unacceptable. I do believe that Self is a better coach and I'm not suggesting we look for someone else. However, he is not in the elite group of coaches until his performance in Elite Eight games improve.

KJ Quartermaine 6 years, 6 months ago

Roy spent the first 15 seasons of his head coaching career at Kansas. Your Final Four comparison sucks. Why don't you do us all a favor and research where Self spent the early part of his head coaching career. I'll give you a hint, it wasn't at any blue-blood programs.

Bill also has one national championship at Kansas. And Roi, ZERO in 15 years at Kansas. Self has averaged slightly more wins per season at Kansas than Roi, and has won 12 consecutive conference championships.

So looking at the evidence, Self has one national championship to Roi's zero at Kansas. The only thing Bill trails Roi in is FF appearances. Self though 13 years at KU is on pace to have better numbers than Roi at Kansas through 15 years, including wins and winning percentage

Michael Leiker 6 years, 6 months ago

To make the argument that Bill deserves to be given credit as a better coach at KU because of NCs is really to say that Bill is better because Mario hit the miracle and Hakim Warrick has 8 foot arms. Going into 2016-2017, Bill has to appear in 8 tournament games to tie Roy in the same number of years. Can't be done.

Bill trails Roy in tourney success while at KU, indisputable. KU is an Elite program and that's the standard. It's a tough standard, but that's what it's about.

What fans should be more concerned about is the success in comparison to "semi-elite" mid level schools. Uconn, Louisville, MSU going into Bill's tenure would all have been considered below KUs level. I think now any fair minded fan has to admit that those school's recent tourney success puts them on a similar playing field to KU in the minds of young ball players. That is the concern. The field of Elite schools vying for talent is widening and KU's place in that field is stagnating. Hawks are in real jeopardy of being passed by if they have not already been.

Being an Elite program almost by definition means that you get it done when it matters. The philosophy that when it matters is random Wednesdays in February at Oklahoma State or TTU is misplaced. Unfortunately, what it feels like the streak has done is undermine the Big XII as a conference in the minds of basketball people around the country. It's unfortunate and not KUs fault, but that's what people think right now.

Getting to the FF every 4 years means that you would be over that period of time in the top 10-12 programs in the country. 16 spots, some repeat trips by some schools. Likely on average there are 10-12 different programs represented in the FF every 4 years. That's not too much for a KU fan to ask.

Given all that, Doug Cramer is right below. It's not like it would make any sense to get rid of Bill, he's a great coach KU should be happy to have.

KJ Quartermaine 6 years, 6 months ago

Roy had two Final Four's at KU and zero national championships through his first 13 years at KU. Roy notched back-to-back FF's in his 14th and 15th seasons at Kansas to get to four. Self has two FF's and 1 national championship at KU through 13 seasons.

It doesn't matter that the '08 championship game was ultra-dramatic, a victory is a victory. Self also has a slightly better winning percentage and double the conference championships that Roy had through 13 years at Kansas. The numbers don't lie, and they are slightly in favor of Self when talking Kansas tenure

Michael Leiker 6 years, 6 months ago

Right, count Roy's 1st year where they weren't eligible to bolster your argument. 13 years compared to 13 years, in the tournament. 8 games behind going into year 14.

Mike Barnhart 6 years, 6 months ago

This may be the only place on the internet you need to make the argument that Roy is a better coach than Bill. I'd give Roy a score of 96/100 and Bill 93/100. Both solid A's.

Tom Jones 6 years, 6 months ago

Self won a title five years after getting his first job at a blue blood program.

It took Roy 16 years.

The tournament is what it is. The best team wins about a third of the time, but that's why it's the best American sporting event to watch. Anything can happen.

If you really believe Saturday's loss is on Self, you don't really know much about basketball. Sorry.

KJ Quartermaine 6 years, 6 months ago

Self has also made the same number of national championship game appearances in a much shorter timeframe than it took Roy to do at Kansas. It took Self nine seasons to appear in two national championship games, going 1-1, while it took Roi 15 seasons to appear in multiple national championship games, as he went 0-2. I give Bill a score of 96 out of 100, and Roi a score of 93 out of 100. What really separates the two aside from the national championship, is clearly the 12 consecutive conference titles

Mick Allen 6 years, 6 months ago

Based on face to face competition, Roy vs. Bill, guess who is the better coach?

Joseph Leon 6 years, 6 months ago

I'll answer that question. Bill is undefeated. (I will concede I think Roy gets his team emotionally screwed up before playing KU.)

Michael Leiker 6 years, 6 months ago

But that's like saying that any team in any year at any given school is equal to all other teams at any other given year at that same school. Everybody knows that's not how it works. It's nice the success KU has had against Roy but it's not an effective way to evaluate them.

Mick Allen 6 years, 6 months ago

It is every bit as valid as comparing NCAA tournament records and should be given equal weight.

Timothy Rake 6 years, 6 months ago

AS per my post elsewhere this weekend, let us be reminded that Williams legacy of success at UNC comes after, what, about 15 years of very good years at KU, as he moves into the "mature" twilight of his career. Similarly, John Wooden spent 1948 to 1961, being a "pretty successful" coach before he became a legend of championships. Bill Self will win. The question seems to be, at Kansas? or somewhere else (NBA included) as "not-good-enough" crowd continues to pursue their agenda of running Self out of Lawrence.

Joe Baker 6 years, 6 months ago

Bill Self is HOF and you're comparing him to Roy Williams? Roy Williams failed KU horribly. He had more opps to win a NC and failed. He refused to recruit East out of respect for Dean Smith, stupid. It cost him at least 1 NC and maybe 2.
Roy had more talent than Bill and underachieved. Bill Self has taken less talent and coached them up to become what Roy Williams failed to do. Champions. What is Roy's record against Bill Self? 3-0 and in the NCAA tourney. Go get your big boy pants on before you start posting about a coach that failed to bring a NC to KU. In my coaching mind, Roy Williams is a good ol' boy, but a failure at KU as a coach.

Michael Lorraine 6 years, 6 months ago

Bill has been a better coach at KU than Roy was when he was at KU.

Tim Browne 6 years, 6 months ago

It's somewhat unfair to compare their tenures at KU. College basketball has been radically changed / ruined by allowing itself to become a D-League for the NBA. The rosters of the "elite" programs are full of guys that are biding their time till the next draft. It's a mess, and I really don't know how the coaches cope with it. When Roy was at KU the entire college basketball culture was much more focused on four year players. Now, not so much.

Keith Gellar 6 years, 6 months ago

This loss wasn't on Bill, but he needs to answer about Diallo. WTF? Have a big stud riding the pine? We could have used Diallo on Saturday.

Robert Brock 6 years, 6 months ago

Diallo has terrific physical capabilities but little knowledge of how to play the college game. He is clueless and proved it several times during the season. Self couldn't trust him.

Jay Scott 6 years, 6 months ago

I'm sure he would give the same answer as any coach about any player who has shown that he can't yet help the team.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 6 months ago

I can fully understand why Diallo was on the bench. He still has to learn the game. The head scratcher to me was Mykailiuk only getting a few minutes. When Ellis missed his first couple of shots, then to pull into his shell, Self could have inserted Mykailiuk to run 4 (Mason, Graham, Selden, Mykailiuk) around one (Lucas).

Jay Scott 6 years, 6 months ago

Stupidest comment of Adam's long history.......

Mickelson doesn't play the same position as Ellis....

Diallo has proven that he isn't ready. Give it a rest.

Doug Cramer 6 years, 6 months ago

Self got outcoached period. And his NCAA tournament history is shaping up to be not good. Part of this is because he has a difficult time pulling the trigger on making in-game adjustments.

But - I couldn't do any better. And I wouldn't trade Self for any other coach.

Jay Scott 6 years, 6 months ago

What coaching strategy would you have used? They out rebounded and out shot Nova from both 3 and overall. They had more assists.

Out coached? You're a Chicken Little Cramer.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 6 months ago

How about considering Nova hit 18-19 FTs and Kansas hit 7-13, counting the missed front ends as two.

Taking advantage of Just over 50% of your FT opportunities will not win many elite competitive games. Did Self shoot those FTs? No. Did Self put any kind of emphasis/premium during the season or off season? I don't know but if Self were to be criticized it could be in his requirement that guys need to hit FTs to get PT.

Jay Scott 6 years, 6 months ago if Tyler and Evan are the best FT shooters,.....and you wouldn't have played Shaq or Wilt?

Jay Scott 6 years, 6 months ago

That was my point Suzi. You're mocking your own idea now.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 6 months ago

c'mob your comment isn't even worth discussing. But will digress. There has to be some judgement on the part of the coach. However, if Traylor is missing FTs why not play Bragg more, if he hits his FT. Same goes for Selden vs Mykailiuk. Same for Lucas vs Diallo, so long as Diallo could also rebound.

Missing perimeter shots happens. I've been around enough basketball and players to understand there are no valid reason to miss FTs. Every player, with very few exceptions like Wilt, should be able to shoot 80%, minimum from the line. FT shooting is all about discipline and desire.

How many guys shoot their +100 FTs a day. I bet not many. The really good FT shooters I have known, including MJ ALL shot a minimum of 100 a day....nearly every single day.

Jay Scott 6 years, 6 months ago

Suzi... As a team they average 71.3%. If they averaged 80%, which only Greene does (who the CLs want banished) .....they would make a whopping 73 more this year....or TWO more points per game.

To be polite, the idea of determining play by FT% is idiocy.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 6 months ago

geez Jay, your making this overly simplistic. I'm not close to saying FT% should be the sole determinant. I'm saying it should be a more significant determinant, if it is not already, in those close call situation who gets the PT.

Jay Scott 6 years, 6 months ago

Suzi. You're beating a dead horse that has no legs. And no, that wasn't what you tried to suggest. Should subs be made at crunch time based on FT's, especially with the lead? Yes. Should a few % points be the deciding factor? C'mon...

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 6 months ago

This is a moronic discussion especially since wear ere probably in agreement on the larger points. FT win or loose critical games. Nova hit theirs, We did not. Nova won, Kansas lost.

Kristen Downing 6 years, 6 months ago

How about just practicing free throws? Oh, that's right Self does not believe in it. He thinks it messes with their head. Needs to start messing with their heads.

Jay Scott 6 years, 6 months ago

Self doesn't allocate official practice time to such a simple task. The NCAA limits practice time. Players are expected to do it on their own.

Barry Weiss 6 years, 6 months ago

for crying out loud, it was a two point game with what, a minute left? Self did not get out-coached. A few things simply did not go our way. If Selden hits that three when we were down 56-54 at around one minute, we take the lead and the whole game changes. And I still think despite Perry's struggle, you keep going to him anticipating that at some point it will pay off. This time it didn't. But know that would be like knowing when the stock market has hit its bottom.

Armen Kurdian 6 years, 6 months ago

Bad perimeter shooting, I mean really bad where a few didn't draw iron didn't help. I would say the refs didn't do us any favors either. But we also didn't attack the paint like we should have. it's hard. Every 3 or 4 years we have a real shot. It's not a good stat that a team with such rich history as KU is 3-6 in title games, where a school like UCONN has four and Duke has five in a lot less time.

There's not a lot of room at the top. And when you are the #1 seed, the only way you lose is to someone below you. It's going to happen, I accept that. And 'Nova was a #1 caliber team. Nothing against them at all. Coach Wright had really classy things to say about us after the game. But dang it, what is with this school and the tourney?

Scott Lippoldt 6 years, 6 months ago

Has anyone else noticed that Jay Scott (a.k.a. "Chicken Little" caller) has disappeared from the board?

Seriously, though, my son and I attended the game, and we were proud to be Jayhawk supporters, especially with a couple angry-at-the-world Nova fans next to us. We could just tell from the start (e.g., Perry's first missed shot and Seldon's two airball threes) that it wasn't going to be our night. The Hawks battled to the end though, and even on a night where everything seemed to go against us, we had a chance to win against a very solid, well-coached team.

Even with Self's less than stellar Elite Eight record, we would not trade him for any coach in America. That being said, I think it's OK for fans to question and have different opinions about some of his coaching decisions and philosophies. For instance, with as bad as some of our starters struggled in this game, it would have been great for Self to have more faith in his bench. But, IMHO, since he did not develop the bench as much as he could have this season, he didn't feel comfortable putting other guys in there. It kind of goes back to the question of whether he is willing to lose a couple extra games earlier and possibly not win the Big 12 regular season title, or have more options for the NCAA tournament.

All in all, a heck of a season--way to go Jayhawks!!! If--and it's a big if--everybody comes back (wouldn't mind if Greene moved on...) and we develop some of the new recruits, we could be scary good next year. Yes, this loss hurt bad, but life goes on. Rock Chalk!

Jay Scott 6 years, 6 months ago

What player off the bench looked ready to make an impact? Svi, Traylor and Bragg all had minutes. Which of their stat lines did you want more of?

I'm sorry you missed me. Most of the truly moronic Chicken Littles had vanished. Winning and having their ideas identified as garbage does that with equal effectiveness.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 6 months ago

Self has picked rarefied air to have a dismal record. How many other schools can claim their coach has a 2-8 record in the Elite 8.

The NCAA Tournament has a lot to do with luck and calls. 'What if' Nova had been called for a foul on Graham, putting him on the line to tie the game.

I understand the Big 12 title seems to ring a bit hallow after bowing out of the NCAA Tournament before the Final Four, but it's time to begin focus on winning Number 13 to tie UCLA's conference win streak.

Michael Lorraine 6 years, 6 months ago

How many coaches can claim they've been to the Elite 8 that many times?

Bryan Mohr 6 years, 6 months ago

I see some Roy vs. Self debate. My earlier point is that Roy's better success at UNC vs his at KU is primarily a result of east coast presence... recruiting. I think Self would be as successful as Roy if he was coaching at UNC. Lawrence can't change its gps coordinates, but joining the ACC or B1G would help Self in recruiting. Maybe I'm wrong.

Timothy Rake 6 years, 6 months ago

Yeah, east coast presence is certainly what made all of those great UCLA teams, especially before the era of oversaturation of televised games nationwide. C'mon, I live in little ol' Oregon, and KU is on the tube EVERY week during the season on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU, if not (unfortunately) CBS. I don't see Big East, SEC and ACC teams get that much consistent exposure nationwide, unless your name is Duke, UNC or UK.

RJ King 6 years, 6 months ago

Yes, but if we were competing in the ACC, wouldn't we continually lose recruits to UNC and Puke, so long as Roy and K are around? We'd have a chorus of whining fans singing different lyrics to the same old tune.

We can't change the gps, but I'd rather stay put. I do think though, that Bill ought to revisit the West Coast (in addition to Chicago and Texas) and not just defer to Sean Miller and company.

David Robinett 6 years, 6 months ago

My own personal therapy is the attitude that we did not choke and were not out coached but rather their players just beat our players.

Janet Olin 6 years, 6 months ago

Greene just needs to Go. Away. Yes, I know he's hurt. But he's always in a situation where he's not available when the team needs it--suspended, pouting, injured--and he has been a terrible distraction even though he can shoot well. I wouldn't mind if Selden went away either. He had some good games but his effort is streaky at best, and he contributed exactly zip on offense his last 3 tournament losses, not what is expected from the 3guard. Wish the best for both of them, but KU needs others in those roles. I am also a huge Self fan, but have to shake my head about his refusal to use bench players when the game plan isn't working. Maybe it wouldn't have produced better results, but refusing to try is mind-boggling. Nova's plan to suffocate Perry and get him in foul trouble worked. Perry then retreats and is hesitant to attack, reverting to his more normal passive self. That means the guards have to drive or hit treys, which they didn't, or Self has to shuffle things, which he didn't. Perfect storm we've seen before, rinse, repeat. Disappointing. Still, I am very proud of this talented gritty team for its success and don't remember a KU team going into its final game with 17 straight wins. Terrific accomplishment.

Jay Scott 6 years, 6 months ago

Why do you need to insult Greene? He has a gift. He is as good a pure shooter as there is in college ball. Hopefully he'll mature this offseason and find ways to be a contributor on what looks like a good team next fall.

RJ King 6 years, 6 months ago

How do you know Greene is a terrible distraction? Have the other players told you so? Yes he has had behavioral issues, including one "problem" that he apparently shares with Mason. His hip injury prevented him from going to Korea. We have NO idea how much it may have affected his gait - compensating for pain or limited movement. My guess is perhaps the back injury is related to the hip. Yes, the kid is hurt. But it's not like he went sky diving against team rules. Who do you think is most disappointed to not be available when the team needs him?

So just show him the door? Because 4 and 5 star recruits are a dime a dozen? And they are lining up outside Allen Field House?

Also, by the way, Self did not refuse to use bench players. He used them, and it didn't work.

Bill Jacobson 6 years, 6 months ago

Bill Self is a top 10 coach at a top 5 university. You could argue that the gap is smaller (say top 8 coach at a top 6 school) but I think we all agree that there is a gap that needs to be addressed. And just because fans recognize that gap, does not mean they all want him fired, I think they just want BS to recognize that there is a gap and what is the plan to close that gap.

As we all do when we fall short of our goals, BS needs to do some "self" evaluation on what he could do differently to go deeper in tourneys. If you play more freshman during year maybe you don't win as many big 12 titles but you may go deeper in the tournament? Maybe you make more substitutions for starters when they are not performing great. Maybe you have more flexible starting lineup based on how they are calling the game or who you are matching up against? We as fans are not in the best position to answer this. BS is, and we just want to know what he is going to do differently.

Sam Constance 6 years, 6 months ago

"Planning" to go deeper in the tournament is a fool's errand.

The idea that there is some secret formula to tournament winning that is different than winning regular games is absurd.

Jay Scott 6 years, 6 months ago

He needs to immediately instruct his players not to pick up what CBS announcers called "phantom fouls" and to make every single one of their outside shots in Elite 8 and Final Four games from now on.....

Unless he does this, he should be fired.

Tim Browne 6 years, 6 months ago

KU has been extremely fortunate to have three great coaches in a row. Prior to that you may recall a man named Ted Owens. Those were not good years. Be careful what you ask for.

Lynn Anderson 6 years, 6 months ago

Good gawd! Some of you people call yourselves fans? Your team just went to elite 8. Won what 31/32 games. Hadnt lost in 17 games wasnt it? The team had its worst collective game in 3 months. And some of you whiners question coaching heart ability. So, 'Cuse is one if the best teams in America right? Not just a team that git hit, no, gorget their 5 losses in previous 7 bfor the tourney. They do not matter. Winning in the tourney is all that matters. If u dont, then fire the coach, take away scholarships, suspend the program until it is respectable!

I mean the team only won 33 games. Pathetic. They lost 5 whole freaking times. Pathetic. The won their comf and their conference tourney. Pathetic. They didnt lost for 3 months. Pathetic. They only made it the elite 8. Pathetic. They need to win it all!!! And almost every year. Thats what Kansas should do!

Whiney azz fans some of you. Won't even do you the honor of calling you Chicken Littles. Wine and cheese fans.

Rae Bricil 6 years, 6 months ago

Most people are attempting to make constructive criticisms. If you are happy year in and year out with win streaks and conference titles then cool everyone should start comparing KU to teams like Gonzaga. On the other hand, most KU fans and especially the donors want final fours. KU calls itself a blue blood, which it is, but as so it is judged on the number of F4's and NCs as well as the other stuff--that is the standard and the expectations at KU.

Lynn Anderson 6 years, 6 months ago

I was set to type in some "other stuff" you might judge KU by or ask you to peruse the NCAA archive for winning % and number of final fours, etc. But why? Go on and "constructively" criticize a team that just went to an elite 8 and finish 33-5. We all know the best 4 teams in the nation with top 4 coaches are playing currently in the final four and KU will be ever so lucky if we could lure one of those coaches (back gasp).

Started to sound a bit crazy myself defending a great year and great team and coached by a coach who won a few coaching honors JUST THIS YEAR. Anyhoo...I will not be posting again...hopefully for some of our "fans", the University of Kansas can return to it's once lofty place atop the basketball world. Woe, we have fallen so far. Woe, so far...

Rae Bricil 6 years, 6 months ago

The comments i was referring to as constructive were not "criticizing" this team in isolation but rather the results Bill Self's NCAA record while at KU --as seen below.

Tim Browne 6 years, 6 months ago

KU has a major Entitlement issue. I grew up in Kansas, and you'd think the University was an Ivy League institution. It's not. I now live in suburban Chicago where KU is a "safety school" and all the kids who can't get in to a B1G (even Iowa) go there. Changes your perspective a lot. They need to get over themselves.

John Kelley 6 years, 6 months ago

Bill Self NCAA Tournament: 18 Years (40-17), 2 Final Fours, 1 Championship NCAA Champion: 2008

Roy Williams NCAA Tournament: 26 Years (69-23), 7 Final Fours, 2 Championships NCAA Champion: 2005 and 2009 Final Four 2016

Roy Williams never won a NCAA Championship at Kansas but is on the verge of his third at North Carolina.

Sam Constance 6 years, 6 months ago

What David Robinett said.

I don't login/comment around these parts much anymore because I get sick of reading all the entitled whining from so many people who carry the label of "fan".

But I guess I was compelled to do so today as part of processing the end of the season. This game (and this year's tournament) are perfect examples of why it's so foolish for people--not just KU fans--to hinge on the results of the tournament while simultaneously looking at regular season outcomes with relative indifference. We look at the excitement that comes with the unpredictability of the tourney and mistakenly use that excitement level as a surrogate for significance. An analogy, if you will: a half-court shot is exciting, but you wouldn't judge the quality of a shooter based on his percentages in half-court (and longer) bombs. Playing in the tournament is a similar affair--yes a good team is going to have a better chance to go far (much like a good shooter is going to have a better chance to hit that half-court shot), but other factors come into play.

Things like who you play and when--does anyone here think Villanova was, not only a 2-seed, but the "worst" 2-seed (as we should have been playing as the overall 1-seed)? I don't. But it is what it is. The tourney committee does questionable things with regards to seeding, matchups and geographical placement every single year. Look at right now. Who is sitting at the top of the ratings with an offensive efficiency of 4th overall and defensive efficiency of 7th? Villanova.That was a title game caliber matchup last night and we (and Nova, truth be told) had the misfortune to be playing in it two games too early.

Things like whether the officials are on point on a given night or not. The crew for our game against Nova was atrocious. Like most college officiating these days. And I don't even mean that they favored Nova. They were mostly inconsistent in their calls and while, on balance, I think Nova got the end benefit, but by a margin so thin that it's something you have to expect and play through. But that kind of thing becomes magnified when a team has an off night.

Things like two of your best players having off nights. If EITHER Ellis or Selden had shot the ball marginally better, it's very likely we're winning that game. Considering all that went against us in that game--including the execution by our best players, it's astonishing that it was a one-possession game until the final few seconds.

(to be continued)

Sam Constance 6 years, 6 months ago


What I don't understand is this idea that Self was outcoached by Wright. So Wright had a strategy to blunt KU's attack. He focused his defense on Perry Ellis and lucky for him, it worked. Of course, if we shoot from the perimeter like we did all season, that gameplan backfires, as it allowed quite a few open looks from three that we couldn't convert. Considering that it was a closely contested game where neither team managed to generate a double-digit lead and came down to the final 15 seconds, I'd say Self's coaching job was pretty impressive considering the way his best players executed.

Focusing on his Elite Eight record, while frustrating, when he has an opportunity next year to tie the record for consecutive conference titles with one of the most dominant teams of all time, in an era where parity reigns supreme, seems to be missing the forest for the trees.

Lynn Anderson 6 years, 6 months ago

Thank you Sam...It was a great year, wasn't it? I am seriously looking forward to next year! Rock Chalk!

Mick Allen 6 years, 6 months ago

Extremely well thought out and stated Sam.

Dan Mangan 6 years, 6 months ago

Nice post Sam...Agree 100%. Rock Chalk.

Rae Bricil 6 years, 6 months ago

A look at KU’s tournament performance under Self. Before everyone attempt to say that I am advocating for a new coach or that there is someone that would be better than Self--I am not. I am only trying to figure out if Self has an issue winning tournament games he should have won.

  1. 2004 KU a 4-seed loses to GT a 3-seed (Regional Finals)—3 GT was a better team

  2. 2005 KU a 3 seed loses to Bucknell a 14 seed (1st Round). Bucknell loses to a 6 seed by 9 the following game—2 KU team was sliding anyway

  3. 2006 KU a 4 seed loses to Bradley a 13 seed (1st Round). Bradley goes on to beat Pittsburg a 5 seed and then loses to number 1 seed Memphis—2 Bradley was decent

  4. 2007 KU a 1 seed loses to UCLA a 2 seed (Regional Finals)—2 were the one seed and should have gone to the FF but that was a good UCLA team

  5. 2008 NC --4

  6. 2009 KU a 3 seed loses to MSU a 2 seed (Regional Semifinals). MSU loses in NC—3 MSU was better

  7. 2010 KU a 1 seed loses to UNI a 9 seed (“third Round”—to move to the sweet 16). UNI loses next game to MSU.—1

  8. 2011 KU a 1 seed loses to VCU an 11 seed (Regional Finals). VCU loses next game to Butler. 1

  9. 2012 KU a seed loses the NC to UK a 1 seed. 5 great performance

  10. 2013 KU a 1 seed loses to Michigan a 4 seed (regional Semifinals). Michigan advances to NC. 2

  11. 2014 KU a 2 seed loses to Stanford a 10 seed (3rd Round—to advance to Sweet 16). Stanford lose to Dayton the next game. 2 lost Embiid and was a bad matchup for KU but still had the talent to win this.

  12. 2015 KU a 2 seed loses to WSU a 7 seed (3rd Round—to advance to Sweet 16). WSU loses next game to Notre Dame. 3—I thought WSU was the better team before the they even played.

  13. 2016 KU #1 loses to Nova. Nova a great team but I believe KU was slightly better as they were favored in the game by a few points. 2.

1-5 with 1 being underachieved, 3 meet expectation, 5 overachieved.

Best score is 65 worst is 13—achieved expectations/projections is 39.

Overall score 32. Based on this simplistic analysis I would say Self underachieves in the tournament. Would be curios if most think this is a fair assessment.

Also, I think the following criticisms are fair: • He has trouble with a quick turnaround within the NCAA tournament. I don’t count the Big 12 tournament because he knows those teams so well and little scouting is required.
• His teams play extremely tight when the final four is on the line. People will argue that players have to make plays which is fair but also there also been one common denominator over the years of these teams failing to make the F4 and that is Self.
• He sometimes has trouble with in game adjustments. The OU game at OU was a perfect of example of where he adjusted and it paid off.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 6 months ago

That is a nice methodical metric that summarizes KU's frustrations in the NCAA Tournament. Of all Self's teams only the '08 and '12 teams overachieved. The '12 team was funnest to watch because nothing was expected of them and each game they really got after it, winning some super exciting Tournament game.

To be fair, Roy's NCAA Tournament Record at KU would probably look as bad or worse. Even Allen's probably would no look all that great. Brown with the '88 title would be a 5 but the other years, probably 4s. Perhaps 87 would be his only 'bad' score of a 2 perhaps. I'd give LB 19 his 5 years.

Rae Bricil 6 years, 6 months ago

I agree that William’s and Brown’s records at KU may look just or bad or worse. Also, if we looked at Coach K’s or Izzo’s it may look similar.

I think you brought up a great point, that other have noted as well, in that the 2012 was fun to watch because of the way they played—nothing was expected of them. It seems like Self is a victim of his own success. His teams play so well during the non-con and conference schedule that so much is expected of them that the weight of expectations is just too much.

Tim Browne 6 years, 6 months ago

Honestly, I think it's a lack of heart on the part of the players. These guys didn't grow up as KU fans, most of them probably couldn't find Kansas on a map. I'm positive that the only time they've been west of Lawrence is the away games in Manhattan. They're basically hired guns. They know that very likely they'll be back next year, or they're off to the NBA. Other teams and other schools know this is their ONE SHOT at the brass ring. I really don't know how to say it any better. You'll note that nearly every year it's the new kids that win it all...

Lynn Anderson 6 years, 6 months ago

this is If you prefer Weeping Williams to Bill Self, then go visit the heels page. BTW, as pointed out above, Roy started his coaching career AT KU and went to UNC. Bill? ORU, then Tulsa then Illini and FINALLY at a top 5 school (well, some of you don't consider KU top 5, but I digress). So you are not comparing apples to oranges...but you would rather complain about a GREAT season that ended NOT on bad coaching or lack of effort, but on a night that our stars just were not hitting. It happenes...didn't happen to us for over three months, but since it happened in the tournament, Self sux..

Jay, some of these are not even Chicken Littles... some of these are straight up Whine and Cheese fans...

RJ King 6 years, 6 months ago

Whiny, entitled, and self indulgent. Is it possible these fans need Kansas success to fill personal voids? Clearly they have no empathy for 18-22 year old kids who are - for the most part - amateur scholar-athletes.

I live among MSU, Duke, Cal, Syracuse, Baylor, Stanford, Arizona, Oregon and UCLA fans. We all hurt. But they have the intelligence and perspective not to crucify their coach and team.

Jay Scott 6 years, 6 months ago

What on earth is wrong with people that don't want Brannen Greene back? He has a rare talent that EVERY major contender would take.

Would it be nice if he developed a better defensive game? A little more maturity? Had better luck with injuries? Yes. He'll be better next year. He has a gift folks. Losing him would be a bad thing, not a good thing.

Pius Waldman 6 years, 6 months ago

Yes the thrill of victory is more fun than the agony of defeat. In life we always find both situations. I can see that in a one and done tournament strange things happen. If we were playing a 5 or 7 game series like the pros do the outcome probably would be different. First to consider Villanova is a highly successful team that has good players a successful coach and a good team record. So for them to win wasn't a big upset. KU has won many games in a row and they simply didn't have their best performance so they lost. The Golden State Warriors lose games when they don't play well. Overall the season was very successful winning pre season Korea the conference and tournament championships.

Mike Barnhart 6 years, 6 months ago

There are literally thousands of basketball players with "gifts." Speed, hops, handle, height, etc. It takes more than one gift to be a division one basketball player. Greene has one gift and three years into the program, still has a basket full of flaws. He will never be more than a jag "just a guy."

Jay Scott 6 years, 6 months ago

That's why teams get 13 schollies...He's a great "jag" if that's all he ever is... He's a truly feared weapon. A zone buster. He rebounds well.

He has a great chance to be exactly what he is in college in the NBA. A 5-10 minute instant offence shooting monster. EVERY contending NCAA team wants him. Self wants him. He was #29 ranked recruit by Rivals. It's hilarious that CLs whine that top recruits don't get enough chance to develop, but want him gone. Only a Chicken Little doesn't want him in the lineup next fall.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 6 months ago

In these competitive games, the winning teams makes the most of their opportunities, just as Nova did vs Kansas.

Nova made 18 of 19 FTs, Kansas made 7-11, which was really 7-13 (missed the front end twice), just over 50%. Kansas learns this season again and again, if we want to win on an elite level, we have to make our FTs.

How many NCAA Tournament games and Championships have we lost at The Line? Far far too many.

Derek King 6 years, 6 months ago

I absolutely don't want him fired, and he's not going anywhere, but just for fun, can someone tell me what we'd owe coach Self if we fired him? He still has 6 years left on a $53 million deal, so it's got to be $25-$30 million, right?

If memory serves, Roy wasn't a big fan of adjustments, either. Hell, the guy never even called time out.

We were just a good team that had an off night. Perry was probably never quite the "star" he needed to be (the put-the-team-on-his-back guy), and the Selden "performance" does make me wonder if our coaching staff is doing enough to get players to eliminate the distractions and focus/execute. But at the end of the day, it's a one-and-done semi-crapshoot.

Robert Greenwood 6 years, 6 months ago

The NCAA Tournament is a great way to crown a National Champion and to generate interest and revenue for the sport. However, it not the best way to determine which team is actually the best team in the country that year. We should not use the tournament results to measure the health the basketball program. In fact, conference seeding from year to year would be a much better measure.

We are living in Golden Age for Kansas Basketball, one that started in 1983 and has been uninterrupted since. As entitled as we may feel, some day we may look back and be longing for these days.

John Kelley 6 years, 6 months ago

If you like great regular seasons then Bill Self is your man. If you like NCAA final four wins then Bill Self is not your man.

Harlan Hobbs 6 years, 6 months ago

Wouldn't trade Bill Self for any other coach in America. He is a great human being both on and off the court. The difference that he and his staff have made in the lives of so many young men has been simply phenomenal. This is the greatest legacy that anyone can have, and one way to measure it is to recognize how many of his players still participate in the program in one fashion or another.

I have always admired Roy Williams for what he has accomplished, but even he, thought to be squeaky clean, has lost some of his luster. An average program would already have been put on probation for the academic scandals there, and I don't care what anyone says, the head guy has to accept responsibility.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 6 months ago

Is it final that nothing will happen to UNC for their academic scandals? I thought is was still under review. The NCAA has not made any recent statements, perhaps they hope it just goes away.

It would be outrageous and super hypocritical if UNC did not get punished for their shameful behavior.

Timothy Rake 6 years, 6 months ago

And that's just another reminder of Bill Self's success at KU. When's the last time the program was called into question for mail-in classes with auto-pilot grades and/or strip/sex parties in the athletic dorm?

Tim Browne 6 years, 6 months ago

We'll see how long that streak lasts. The new $11MM basketball dorm isn't exactly what I'd call un-flashy. I'm sure it won't attract the "wrong sort"...

Harlan Hobbs 6 years, 6 months ago

I feel sorry for those of you who have a "national champs or bust" mentality. You will spend almost all of your life being disappointed. That's a shame!

Michael Lorraine 6 years, 6 months ago

I'm not a NC or bust fan but given the number of conference titles and final fours we have I feel like the one thing missing from our resume is national titles. Seems like we should have 5 or 6 by now. That being said, this was a phenomenal season. Sad but proud.

Tim Browne 6 years, 6 months ago

Especially given that KU only wins one every 20 or 30 years... 1953, 1988, 2008...could be along time...

Dave Miller 6 years, 6 months ago

KU lost the game against Villanova because of turn overs and free throw shooting. It's that simple. Limit turn overs and make your free throws and KU would have won this game.

Kristen Downing 6 years, 6 months ago

I would throw in good plan to defend Perry and no points from the bench and agree with you.

Jay Scott 6 years, 6 months ago

Holy crap? You can narrow down a the reasons for losing a game that within reach with the last possession to just two things? Shooting better than 27% from 3 would have been no help? Getting zero bench points couldn't have been helpful? Avoiding , as Raftery called them, "phantom fouls", wouldn't have helped?

Just FT's and TO's? You'e a genius.....

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 6 months ago

Those are the two factors a player has the most control over. Most of our TOs were ridiculous unforced errors.

Jay Scott 6 years, 6 months ago

You're having a bad day Suzi. Coach K says you're better than this.

Bill Corrigan 6 years, 6 months ago

33-5. If you're pondering whether the Jayhawk's 2015-16 record was an exceptional achievement, you should note that there is only one team (Villanova) that played or is still playing in the NCAA Championship Tournament that will exceed KU's final won-loss tally – and then only if the Wildcats manage to defeat North Carolina next Saturday in Houston.

Harlan Hobbs 6 years, 6 months ago

No, Suzi, I don't think that the investigation is over. However, given how long it has taken to come to a decision on what seems to be a pretty open and shut case, I believe that the NCAA is looking for some excuse to give UNC a pass. Even the Diallo case, hardly a shining moment for the NCAA, didn't take this long.

John Kelley 6 years, 6 months ago

The goal at the start of every season for every team is to win the NCAA Championship. The start of every NBA season the goal for every team is to win the NBA championship. To limit your season goal to only win your Conference Championship then your expectations are not high enough. For whatever reason Bill Self except for one championship has showed season after season he cannot make the ultimate goal.

Jay Scott 6 years, 6 months ago

Self has been in Kansas for 13 years. In that time several hundred coaches have Zero titles. He has one. How many are required? Should Izzo be fired? Just one. Should Bo Ryan have been fired? He had none. Lute had only one. Tark had only one. Both bums? Were the Celts stupid to hire a loser like Brad Stevens? He had NONE!

John is the Chicken Little of the week.

Timothy Rake 6 years, 6 months ago

Couldn't agree more Jay. From 1948 to 1961, how many NC's did John Wooden have at UCLA? ZERO. Repeat in digital format "0", although his record in the Pac 6, 7, 8? whatever it was at the time, was pretty decent. I'm still looking for the LIST of Self's potential replacements that would jump at the chance to come to Kansas, and have proven credentials and or trajectories for winning. Not even beloved Hawks like Danny Manning, Mark Turgeon, or Jerod Haase are there yet. I remember seasons during the Ted Owens era (as a student) when games could be good, fun, and entertaining - and you could walk into AFH and pick your seat. In financial terms, when you can get a seat in AFH without having to pay $10,000 to the Williams fund for the privilege, scalp a ticket in a snowstorm, or go back to college and wait in line with your frat brothers for 3 days in order to rush the student section, well, then, it's time to make a change, maybe.

Byron Watkins 6 years, 6 months ago

Self is 4-1 against Roy in the tournament, yet people are now saying he's the better tournament coach than Self? Roy didn't even know KU was running a triangle-and-2 against them the last time we played. As far as the whole "great regular season, mediocre tournament coach" thing, of coaches who have ever appeared in at least 20 tournament games, Self has the 11th best winning percentage and the 13th most tournament victories of all time, and is only five away from being in the top 10. He's well ahead of where many legends were at this stage of their careers. Also, Jim Calhoun and Adolf Rupp had losing records in the Elite Eight and still ended up winning multiple titles. Self is more than capable of doing that too.

Ben Simonett 6 years, 6 months ago

I keep thinking back to the dual interview with Self and Huggins before the big 12 championship game. the reporter asked each coach to comment on what he admired most about the others program. Self gave a typical flattering response about playing tough etc but what Huggins said about Self has really stuck with me. he said something along the lines of "i wish i was 800-3 or something ridiculous like that at home."

Think about it, if you take away Allen fieldhouse from Self the last 13 years are we really even having a debate about his performance? Its a lot easier to win 12 straight conference titles when you can chalk up 8 wins every season right out of the gate automatically. How many conference titles does he have during his tenure if his homecourt record was more in-line with national averages? thatd be an extra 2-3 conference losses every season, enough to move his teams down the conference standings significantly.

The AFH advantage seems to be manifesting itself in Self's tournament underacheiving. Winning the big 12 because of AFH gives the program inflated seedings in the brackets that they constantly fail to live up to.

TL;DR If Self didnt have AFH he's probably not coaching at KU at this point. The conference streak is his only saving grace when his tournament record is examined. There wouldnt be a conference streak without AFH

Jay Scott 6 years, 6 months ago

We suck in March because we win so many home games..........

That's the least logical comment of the day so far, but it's only 5PM...

Jack Hoff 6 years, 6 months ago

I am actually shocked by some of the negative critism I see getting thrown at Bill for this loss. This loss is squarely on the players, they shoot better and they win the game period. Also if Devonte doesn't get screwed over by a ref who was hell bent on calling him for fouls the game could have swung the other way completely. There isn't much else Bill could have done in terms of gameplan. Those of you saying Self should have subbed more, who the heck would you put in? Lucas and Perry were the only bigs capable of holding their own in that game. And for as bad as he shot Wayne made the most out of that game by doing other things well. It's obviously dissapointing but they had a tremendous season and this tournament rarely ever produces the actual best team in the tourney. For example, Syracuse got a cake walk to the final four. I hope selden returns for unfinished business, that would be 4/5 starters back from a 33-5 team. Can you say watch out. Rock Chalk!

Michael Lorraine 6 years, 6 months ago

If you think it’s tough for us imagine being an MU, KSU, or WSU fan. They have never known the unbelievable feeling of winning a national championship. Hopefully they never do.

Tim Browne 6 years, 6 months ago

Typical KU fan. Classy to the end ;)

I hope you live long enough to have that feeling again. You're not due for another 12 or more years... 1953... 1988.... 2008. The 1988 one really should have an asterisk as you hired Danny's truck driving dad as an assistant coach his junior year in high school. LOL

Michael Lorraine 6 years, 6 months ago

12 years, no problem. You've been waiting your whole life and look what bitter troll you've become.

Jay Scott 6 years, 6 months ago

The real Jay Scott is flattered that you so desperately want to be me.

Maybe you should focus your efforts on being more enlightened and you might have something useful to say.

Harlan Hobbs 6 years, 6 months ago

Ben, I would imagine that Bill Self also has the best conference road record during these 12 championship seasons. All games matter (just like lives), so Jay is correct to call your comments ludicrous.

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