Bill Self is being mentioned in the National Coach of the Year conversation, and there’s no surprise there. After all, the Kansas Jayhawks were not supposed to be here in New Orleans at the Final Four. Yet this weekend, they are one of the last four pillars standing, along with Kentucky, Louisville and Ohio State. Self himself realizes the crazy nature of this season and says it’s provided the most fun he’s had to date with any team in KU’s storied history.
"I think this team’s probably played as close to its ceiling as any team I’ve had," Self said. "… I don’t think you can give 110 percent. I think all you can give is 100. And I think this team has given as close to 100 as any team that I’ve probably ever coached.
"I will say this: I don’t know if I ever enjoyed coaching a team more than this one. I love them. We fight, it’s combative sometimes, all of those things. But I love coaching these guys. … It is just remarkable to me to see them cutting down nets out here because this would not be the year that anybody would have thought we would do it. It’s a pretty cool feeling."
The Jayhawks lost the Morris twins, Marcus and Markieff, to the NBA and Josh Selby as well. Multiple graduate also thinned out the roster and left the team in the hands of Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor. While they were promising in their own way, no one could have expected a Final Four appearance. Yet here they are.