Bill Self, Kansas Jayhawks Didn’t Choke: Oregon Ducks Earned Final Four Bid

Charlie Riedel/Associated PressC.J. MooreCollege Basketball National Lead WriterMarch 26, 2017

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The prohibited take out of Kansas City on Saturday night is Bill Self did it again.


Choked. In another Elite Eight. The seventh time in his career his organisation has crashed one step from a Final Four.

The Oregon Ducks were complicated highway dogs—yes, road—in an locus 42 miles from KU’s campus with a juggernaut that had blitzed a final dual opponents by as many points as any tourney organisation in a final decade. By a time a Ducks took a theatre to applaud their Final Four, a locus was mostly empty. 

The Jayhawks were deliberate a best organisation left in a joint and a many gifted organisation Self has had given he won his pretension in 2008.

But this was classical Self, right? His organisation personification parsimonious and bricking a approach to a 74-60 loss.

Now stop.

Back to reality.

Bill Self did not choke. He lost.

“It’s tough to admit, a best organisation did win today,” Self said.

You might boot that quote as coach-speak. And in some ways it is only that.

But, on this night, it was a comprehensive truth. The Ducks had Jordan Bell, a best defensive arms in all of college basketball who blocked 8 shots and left a Jayhawks spooked, a opening that brought to mind a impact Anthony Davis had in Kentucky’s 2012 pretension run.

“He got a integrate of blocks early and we suspicion it unequivocally put a suspicion in their mind,” Oregon manager Dana Altman said.

The Ducks had Tyler Dorsey, a hottest shooter in this NCAA tournament, who put 3 daggers in Kansas that will haunt Self like former Northern Iowa ensure Ali Farokhmanesh.

With KU creeping behind into a diversion before halftime, Dorsey fast ran into a pull-up 3 with 43 seconds left to set adult a two-for-one unfolding entering halftime. The round bounced scarcely 3 feet above a edge before eventually descending in.

After a KU turnover, Dorsey again pulled up, this time from 26 feet out, and banked in a three-pointer before a buzzer to pull a Ducks’ lead from 5 to 11.

Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

And a Ducks also had Dillon Brooks, Pac-12 Player of a Year and a small-ball 4 who was a answer to Josh Jackson. Brooks scored 17 points, though some-more critical than any bucket, he put KU’s star beginner on a dais 157 seconds into a diversion with dual fouls in one possession.

“I feel like my initial foul, yeah, we fouled him,” Jackson said. “My second foul, no, we don’t feel like we fouled him during all. It’s only an opinion. Refs, they’re all only people out there, and they make mistakes, too.”

The NCAA contest is a variable beast, and Ted Valentine’s alarm did not caring that a Jayhawks, who had mislaid in this same building (to TCU!) 16 days progressing though Jackson, were exposed though him.

Jackson might go to a grave desiring that was not a foul, and some officials might have let it go. But Brooks got Jackson off balance, started to expostulate past him and Jackson stranded out his palm and connected with Brooks’ shoulder.

“We never got in stroke after that,” Self said. “When he got behind in, he was dire a small bit, as a infancy of a guys were.”

The Jayhawks had some kind of stroke entrance in, too, a initial organisation to measure 90-plus points in a initial 3 rounds given Connecticut in 1995.

The pivotal to KU’s success all deteriorate had been a ability of a guards to get into a line whenever they wanted and measure when they got there or put defenses in rotations that led to open threes.

Oregon manager Dana Altman took a distributed risk by personification a section invulnerability that planted Bell in front of a basket in an bid to annul a pushing abilities of KU’s guards.

Doing so meant a Jayhawks were going to get copiousness of three-point looks, though it also meant a reduce possession game. KU had averaged 71.4 security in a contest by 3 rounds, and this diversion featured only 64 possessions, per KenPom.com.

It was a shining tactical pierce that looks even improved given Devonte’ Graham, a first player given Stephen Curry to strike 4 threes in 4 uninterrupted tourney games, would skip all 6 threes he attempted.

“I felt like each time a round left my hands, we felt like it was going in,” Graham said. “It only kept rattling in and out.”

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Kansas, a organisation that came in sharpened 41.1 percent from low and 53.6 percent a final time out, done only 5 of 25 threes. 

Self attempted to speed adult a diversion with vigour and urged his guards to pull a pace. It roughly worked, as KU cut a Oregon lead to 6 with 2:50 left and on a indirect security was a separate second divided from forcing a shot-clock violation.

Dorsey threw a round during a edge to equivocate it, and a round caromed off a iron toward a free-throw line where Frank Mason III awaited a arrival. But before Mason could squeeze it, Jackson got a fingertip on a ball, and it slid right past Mason behind to a Ducks.

“If we had never overwhelmed a ball, we substantially would have had a possession,” Jackson said.

Oregon milked a time again, and Dorsey crossed over Lagerald Vick and left a infancy of a 18,643 inside a locus dumbfounded when his three-pointer splashed by a net.

“That was fundamentally a ballgame,” Self said.

In a single-elimination tournament, those are a plays that can finish a season. Had Mason grabbed that miscarry and KU pulled off a supernatural comeback—and this organisation pulled off a few this year, including down 14 with reduction than 3 mins left opposite West Virginia—it would have combined to Self’s legend.

The man who ran a play to set adult Mario’s Miracle in 2008 had again pulled a strings on another supernatural win.

But instead, Self is out in a Elite Eight again, and his defenders will indicate to dual Final Fours, a inhabitant pretension and 13 true Big 12 titles.

His critics will contend he should have some-more than dual Final Fours, and that his teams do not accommodate expectations in a NCAA tournament.

Self does not have to urge his resume. Nor should Arizona’s Sean Miller, a good manager who has nonetheless to strech a Final Four.

Gonzaga’s Mark Few punched his sheet Saturday night, and he’s no improved of a manager than he was Friday.

Fair or not, a NCAA contest is how seasons are remembered and how coaches are judged.

“In sequence to have special years, we have to perform good in a NCAA tournament,” Self said. “And we achieved about as good as we ever have for 3 games. Final Four would have done it feel special, though we apparently fell short.”

Kansas fell brief opposite a organisation that is 33-5, won a share of a Pac-12 and limped a approach by a initial month of a deteriorate with a star, Brooks, recuperating from a feet injury.

If there was an Elite Eight detriment that seemed inexcusable in Self’s career, that would have been in 2011 to 11th-seeded VCU.

But this one? A choke? Nah.

That diminishes what a Ducks only pulled off, and that is not fair.

        

C.J. Moore covers college basketball and football for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter: @CJMooreBR. Odds supposing by OddsShark.


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