There is no denying Bill Self is a very good basketball coach. He’s taken Tulsa and Illinois to the Elite 8, and won a title at Kansas a few years ago (he’s forever indebted to Mario Chalmers). But he’s also prone to some horrible coaching jobs in March that result in epic choke jobs. Shall we?
2005 NCAA Tournament: Kansas, 13.5 point favorites against Bucknell, lost in the first round, 64-63.
2006 NCAA Tournament: Kansas, 7-point favorites against Bradley, lost in the first round, 77-73.
2010 NCAA Tournament: Kansas, 11-point favorites against Northern Iowa, lost in the second round, 69-67.
2011 NCAA Tournament: Kansas, 11.5-point favorites against VCU, lost in the Elite 8, 71-61.
And sorry to pile on, Kansas fans – yes, we did this exercise last year after the Jayhawks gagged in the second round against the Panthers. It was absolutely necessary to recite Self’s March struggles because … well, this one was probably his worst, considering Kansas had the easiest road to the title and Kansas was the “best” team left in the tournament.
But for overall Kansas chokes, the 1997 loss to Arizona – when the Jayhawks entered the tourney with just one 2-point loss – probably is the program’s worst. That team had four players who spent considerable time in the NBA (LaFrentz, Pierce, Pollard, Vaughn).