Selection Sunday Presser: News and Notes

Kansas head coach Bill Self met with the media Sunday afternoon, following the unveiling of the 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket. Phog.net is here with a recap.

* They thought they would be a one-seed even before yesterday. Everybody sees it through their own skewed eyes, but he thinks they've got a tough draw. Every coach probably feels that way. But the players are excited. They knew their name was going to come up as a one seed, but seeing it is still exciting.

* Doesn't know much about Boston University. They've had some strong teams at times throughout the years, and have been to the tournament before. They'll have a before feel for the Terriers tonight or tomorrow, once they've had a chance to watch some film.

* It will be a hard game if KU gets the chance to match-up with either UNLV or Illinois in the third round. Even though KU hasn't played UNLV but once, this will be the third year in a row they've prepared for them, as they've always been in KU's bracket. Interesting that the last three Illinois coaches are all within one game of each other on the bracket.

* This is a culmination of this team's efforts. They've put themselves in a good position by working their tails off and getting in the tournament. Now they have to get out there and make the most of it.

* The fact that they're playing a "B" team didn't even cross his mind until he was almost ready to address the media, because he was told they would ask him about it. At first he thought, 'What's up with the letter 'B'?'' Then he realized he had been hurt and stung deeply twice by them (laughter).

* KU didn't so as much emotion on the broadcast as some of the other teams, because they pretty much knew where they were going to be. But their guys are excited. They can be very excited and energized at times during games, and at times they can be duds, and they can't afford any of those moving forward. They'll be ready to play.

* Teams should always worry more about themselves rather than who they play. Sometimes as a coach you worry so much about another team that you forget about what you do. KU may tweak based on match-ups, but they won't change.

* He's shocked about Colorado missing out. He feels bad for Tad Boyle, and thought they really deserved to be in. The Big 12 was the 3rd best league and they were 8-8. They beat KSU three times and beat Texas, and those are two great teams. That speaks for itself right there. Somebody is going to have a gripe every year, but from his standpoint, and he's a little biased, Colorado has as much reason to gripe as anyone.

* Texas getting a four seed is a bad seed. He thought for sure they were a 2-seed after the game yesterday. You're talking about a team that three weeks ago most people thought was the best team in the country. KU played its tails off yesterday, and it was an 8 point game late in the second half. He doesn't understand that.

* It's a fine line, reminding the team of what happened last year. You don't want to dwell on the negative. KU won't be the only team to flame out in the second round, but they are the last team to do it. But this should have been a motivating factor for their guys since March of last year. The thing about this time of year is that any little thing can get you off just a little bit. When he got to Illinois, he realized the distractions were so much more intense than they were at Tulsa. There are so many people trying to get to your guys, and you have to trust your players to be strong.

* He had a lot of fun coaching at ORU and Tulsa. So it will be cool going back, and playing in that building. People equate the success he had at the University of Tulsa as his stay at Tulsa, but they had a great time and success at ORU, too. He's already heard from a couple of his former players at both schools, but get the word out – there are no tickets available (laughter).

* If KU does advance to San Antonio, he might take a walk down memory lane. But he's not thinking about that right now. Ask him again in a week.

* Self likes his team a lot, but he also thought OSU deserved to be the overall #1. They've been the most consistent. When KU plays at its peak there's a case for them, but they just haven't been at that level all year long. Parity in this bracket is through the roof. Not a lot of difference between a lot of teams. He says not to be surprised if a team that barely got into the Dance makes it to the Sweet 16.

* One thing about the use of more TV channels for the broadcasts is that people in different states will be able to watch their teams. They can see those games now. But the biggest chance to him is the addition of the extra spots in the tournament. Those teams playing the first round games are going to be doing a lot of traveling, first to their first destination and then, if they win, the second destination later in the week.

* Last year was a weird year, but a good year. They were 32-2 going into the tournament, just like this year, and ranked #1 basically the entire season. Even though you should enjoy that, there is pressure involved in that because of the attention. They still get people's best shot, but he thinks they're more relaxed this year. That was a loose group who played Texas yesterday, and for whatever reason they've got a couple of guys who will keep things loose for them. Being loose and having fun this time of year is imperative to success.

* He's kept tabs on Quintrell Thomas, who is now at UNLV, and the players keep in touch from time to time. He's done well with the Rebels, and Self thinks he would love to get a chance to play against his old school and his old teammates. But there's absolutely no animosity with Quintrell at all. He made a good decision for his playing time moving forward. Whoever they play, UNLV or Illinois, there are personal connections.

* The assistants are looking at tape almost 24 hours straight right now - one coach for each of the three match-ups in the first two rounds. One for BU, Illinois and UNLV, etc. He thinks that's how a lot of coaches do it. You've gotta focus in on the big picture. You've gotta win a two-game tournament.


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