Now we can reign in all those crazy comments that were flying around about Bill Self and his ability to coach a team to a national championship. Thankfully, history always has the final word, and in this particular case, Bill Self has established himself as a better coach than Roy Williams ever was during his time at KU.
I know, for some diehards, this is pretty ridiculous for me to say. After all, Roy spent 15 years at Kansas and maintained an 80% winning percentage. He coached some amazing teams, and some amazing players. The only thing missing from his tenure at KU is a national championship: the ultimate trump card. Last Saturday’s win over Roy Williams and the Tar Heels was one step in the right direction for Bill Self to make his case as the better coach, and last night simply solidified it. For the next week or two, you will hear plenty of interviews from players who will consistently give credit to Bill Self for their National Title, and rightfully so. Bill Self is legit, and now he has the hardware to silence all those critics.
As the final seconds ticked off the clock last night and Sherron Collins danced around the court, the city of Lawrence, Kansas erupted. The students of KU flooded Mass Street, and I’m pretty sure that despite the rain, they probably stayed out there all night long. Although I was 45 miles away in the town of Kansas City, the joy of Jayhawk nation spilled over into my neighborhood as people ran out onto their balconies and front porches to yell in glee that their beloved Jayhawks had returned to glory. There is probably nothing more strange than seeing complete strangers cheer in each others’ directions because their favorite sports team won, especially when it occurs in suburban America.
One final note: the unsung hero of this game will forever be Sherron Collins, whose amazing steal set up his three-pointer to bring KU within 4 and final pass gave Mario Chalmers the chance to shoot that last second three-pointer to force overtime. The Scapegoat? The Hershey’s Company. Don’t be surprised when Derrick Rose’s alleged diet of Gummi Bears and Twizzlers which gave him a stomach ache on Sunday is given blame for Rose’s missed free throw in the last seconds of the game and his pitiful overtime performance (1 assist, 1 turnover, and missed three pointer). That candy is empty calories, bro. Everyone knows that.