Skip to content

Self: KU players ‘thought they were better than Kentucky’ before title game

Aug 25, 2012, 7:30 PM EDT

NCAA Men's Championship Game - Kansas v Kentucky Getty Images

The Kansas City Star recently published an interview with Kansas coach Bill Self. The piece ran in the newspaper’s weekend magazine section, so it was a bit more of a ‘puff piece’ than a hardcore sports interview. Many things a long-time hoops writer would have skipped asking about — questions we might consider to be too basic for our knowledgeable audience — were asked, with some interesting responses coming from a seemingly more relaxed Self.

One such query aped the quintessential sideline reporter question: “What does it feel like?” We often mock such questions, because they rarely give revealing answers, but Self’s level of despondency following some famous losses was actually pretty interesting. The reporter asked him what losses feel like, and this was his answer.

“The end of the world. It took me a year to get over the loss we had to Bucknell in the first round of the NCAA tournament in 2005. Every time I took a bite, in between golf shots — it didn’t make any difference what I was doing, my mind always went there. But my mind never goes to when we came from behind and won a big game.”

I’m betting no overwrought Kansas fan can honestly claim he was still chewing that loss with breakfast in the summer of ’05, or banging it around the back nine at Alvamar when he/she was supposed to be enjoying life.

The reporter also asked about a more fresh tournament loss – the 2012 title game. Self revealed something interesting about his players’ state of mind before, during and after that huge matchup.

Q Was losing the championship game hard, since no one expected KU to be there?

A No. Kentucky was loaded. But the way the game went, it was set up for us to have a shot. We fell behind early, which was probably good, because they played not to lose late.

We’re down 7 with 3 1/2 minutes left. We were down more with less time left against Memphis (in 2008).

But I was so proud because the most shocked people in the world that we lost that night were our players. They were crushed. They thought they were better than Kentucky. And if they had not had that attitude we would never have been playing in that game.

Run down your own internal mental lineups for that game and marvel at the chutzpah. Then maybe offer a little tip of the hat to that indomitable athlete mindset.

  1. imforbigblue - Aug 25, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    Funny they thought they were better than Kentucky but went 0-2 vs them for the year you do the math math math math math.LLC

  2. gatordontplay - Aug 25, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    Let’s all get on a sports blog and talk shit about a college basketball team who made the championship game and thought they could win vs uk..
    Get over yourself you low life fuck

  3. imforbigblue - Aug 27, 2012 at 8:06 AM

    Dude your the biggest tool on this site who had zero life. You live on here and Just troll ever UK article waiting for me to post so you can run your mouth. You are a very sad human being who use to get on my nerves now I Just feel sorry for you

  4. gatordontplay - Aug 27, 2012 at 8:30 AM

    I thought you weren’t going to reply to me anymore? I don’t troll on uk stories just reply to your dumb ass or ignorant remarks.. Your own uk fans hate on you too and then you go into hiding (pussy).. How dare those Kansas players thinking they could beat Kentucky what a bunch of idiots. There was no reason of even playing that game or even having a season this year, just give uk the title, the most dominating program ever. Wait no their NOt espn just came out with the top 50 programs and unc was no.1 and uk was 3rd.. But I’m sure espn Is hating and unc is cheating academically but wait NCAA is investigating uk too.. Oh man

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Derrick Gordon says 'Why not me?'