KU's Brandon Rush (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
SAN ANTONIO — News, notes, and quotes as Kansas gears up to face North Carolina in the Final Four at the Alamodome tonight.
BATTLE OF THE TITANS
North Carolina and Kansas are two of the most tradition-rich teams in
college basketball history. The Tar Heels are the second winningest
program (1,950 victories), while Kansas ranks No. 3 with 1,941 wins.
North Carolina is tied with UCLA for most Final Four appearances with
17; KU is tied for fourth with Kentucky with 13 Final Four berths. The
Tar Heels have won four national titles, while the Jayhawks own two
national championships, the last one coming exactly 20 years ago,
UNC ranks No. 2 in all-time NCAA tournament appearances with 40, while
Kansas is fourth with 37. The Tar Heels are first in consecutive
appearances in the Big Dance with 27 (1975-2001); KU is third with 19
Interestingly, UNC and KU have met just eight times, with
‘Carolina holding a 6-2 edge in the series. The Tar Heels are
2-1 in Final Four games against Kansas, beating KU for the national
title in 1957, losing to Kansas in the 1991 Final Four, and beating the
‘Hawks in the ‘93 Final Four.
North Carolina Player of the Year Tyler Hansbrough was asked on Friday
if he would have attended Kansas if Roy Williams had remained at KU.
Williams began recruiting Hansbrough when he was still head coach at
“That’s a tough question to answer, first of all
because we’re playing Kansas tomorrow, and second of all,
coach Williams was at ‘Carolina and he sold the University of
North Carolina to me when he recruited me,” Hansbrough said.
“I felt like I had a really good relationship with coach
Williams, and I did come to play for (him), but it was at the
University of North Carolina. I really liked the university.”
KU senior Jeremy Case was recruited by Williams. He remembers
Williams’ phone call to him when the former KU coach bolted
“He kind of gave me the reasons why he was leaving and then
apologized that he had put me in the situation,” Case said.
“(He) just wished me the best, and I wished him the best.
There were no hard feelings at all. I think it was hard for him to tell
anyone (he was leaving) because it was one of the biggest decisions
he’s made in his life, and it was one of the toughest ones. I
could tell in his voice that it was hard for him.”
“I was pretty disappointed,” Case added about
Williams leaving. “I was anticipating playing for coach
Williams, a great coach. I was excited about that. I had to realize he
had to do what was best for him. I talked to my father and mother.
Kansas was the place I wanted to be, it wasn’t just because
of the coach. It was the tradition and the fans and the whole
atmosphere that Kansas has.”
Case’s dad, Win, played with KU coach Bill Self at Oklahoma State. Win attended KU’s practice on Friday. He and Self
“He’s waited a long time for that
possession,” Self told Win about Jeremy’s clutch
three-pointer with eight seconds remaining before halftime in
KU’s Sweet 16 game with Villanova.
Self was asked about attorney Stewart Campbell’s quote in the
Tulsa World on Friday about the Oklahoma State head coaching vacancy.
The paper reported that Campbell represented Self. “I am
completely in a wait-and-see mode. I never say never. They would have
to be eye-popping numbers (for Self to consider OSU),”
“He’ s not my agent,” Self replied.
“Stewart Campbell is an attorney that looks over my
contracts. So he does not speak for me. I have not spoken to Stewart
Campbell about this. I haven’t spoken to Stewart Campbell in
a month. So anybody speaking on behalf of me doesn’t know
what they’re talking about because I will speak for me. So if
that was said that way, I’m very disappointed.
That’s not an indication of how I feel. I’m not
looking for anything except our team to play well this weekend.
That’s all I care about.”
And about KU Athletics Director Lew Perkins and Self meeting after this
season is over?
“I hope Lew is talking about something in that regard
(contract extension) as opposed to where we’re going to play
golf when he said he wanted to meet with me after the
season,” Self said. “I don’t know.
You’d have to ask Lew about that. But I’m hopeful
that’s the case.”
KANSAS-NORTH CAROLINA REVISITED
Williams recalled his matchups with North Carolina in the 1991 and 1993
Final Fours as KU head coach.
“(In) ‘91, I didn’t think coach (Dean
Smith) was dealt with fairly at the end of the game (when he was
ejected after picking up two technicals). I was so disappointed because
I thought it was to get more attention than how well my team played. I
didn’t think it was fair for my kids.
“(In) ‘93, Adonis Jordan and Rex Walters walking
off the court, knowing that was going to be the last time I was going
to get to coach those two kids and how much they meant to our program.
Adonis, my first recruit at Kansas, starting at the point for us three
years, two Final Fours. You know, I’m corny. You
just got to live with that. So both thoughts (in ‘91 and
‘93) were about the kids that I had playing for me.”