“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.” -KU Head Coach Bill Self
Pretty cool feeling indeed! It was a close game in the first half- a back and forth fight, and KU’s well-coached defense gained the upper hand in the second half to stun the #1 seeded North Carolina team. It’s been four long years since KU has been to the final four- and defeating North Carolina to get there was frosting on top of my cake. The last time we played North Carolina in the tournament in 2008 I was in Manhattan, KS at my apartment during college- unable to join into the celebration in Lawrence. It was my senior year and I was thrilled we beat the team that our old coach Roy Williams had abandoned us for. (Still a little bitter… he just could have handled it better..) *Side note: Even though I went to K State to college, (which I loved, by the way) I have been and always will be a KU basketball fan. Pretty hard not to be growing up in Lawrence! From a very young age I always said KU would win the National Championship my senior year of college. I totally willed them to win. ;D (I did get to experience Mass Street after our Championship win in 2008 so all was not lost 🙂 )
Needless to say, being in Lawrence for our win against Roy’s team this year required a party on Mass Street! Anna and I headed out right after the game ended- it was an experience just getting there! Before I could even leave the neighborhood a woman was holding her toddler and waiving a huge KU flag inciting much horn honking from cars. Then reaching closer to downtown people could be seen hollering and waiving their arms out car windows, much horn honking and pedestrian cheering. Overall very similar to the scene from 2008’s Championship win- only it was still daylight and the weather was goregous. We parked a couple of blocks away, (very smart) and joined the masses headed in. It was a mad scene- cars blocked in, air horns, chants, cheers, lots of ‘Whoo!’ to be heard, high-fiving, alcohol everywhere, homemade signs, police officers on every corner – and even a float revived from the 1988 win. We had a blast.
Thanks for the awesome year so far KU! Ready for the Ohio St. game next Saturday- and hopefully another bid for the National Championship!!
Rock Chalk Jayhawk, Go KU!