Since Bill Self was hired as the coach at a certain school to the west, he has led his team to tremendous success. His teams have won or tied for 7 straight Big 12 regular season conference championships. His teams have won oodles of games. He has even won a national title. There is no denying that Bill Self has been an excellent coach at ku. At lest until March rolls around.
Before we get under way, it simply must be repeated out that Bill Self has won a national championship at ku. However, even with that magical 2008 run his resume in the NCAA tournament is quite shaky. Consider the following results since 2004:
2004 (4 seed)
W - #13 UIC, W - #12 Pacific, W - #9 UAB, L - #3 Georgia Tech
2005 (3 seed)
L - #14 Bucknell
2006 (4 seed)
L - #13 Bradley
2007 (1 seed)
W - #16 Niagra, W - #8 Kentucky, W - #4 S.Illinois, L - #2 UCLA
2008 (1 seed)
W - #16 Portland St., W - #8 UNLV, W - #12 Villanova, W - #10 Davidson, W - #1 North Carolina, W - #1 Memphis
2009 ( 3 seed)
W - #14 N. Dakota St., W - #11 Dayton, L - #2 Michigan St.
2010 (1 seed)
W - #16 Lehigh, L - #9 N. Iowa
2011 (1 seed)
W - #16 Boston U., W - #9 Illinois, W - #12 Richmond, L - #11 VCU
- In 8 years kansas has played 25 NCAA tournament games. 14 of those games have come against teams seeded 10 or lower, 5 have come against teams seeded 8 or 9 (right on the middle of the field), and only 6 of those 25 games have come against teams seeded 7th or better. Only about 1 in 4 times ku has taken the floor in the NCAA tournament under Self have they faced the prospect of having to beat a team that was firmly seeded in the top half of the bracket.
- Of those 6 times that kansas has actually had to play a team seeded higher than 7th, Self coached teams are a less than stellar 3-3. If you choose to remove what appears to be an outlier year of 2008 that record drops to 1-3.
- Half of ku's tournament appearances under Self have ended at the hands of teams seeded 9th or worse.
- Of the 8 years in the NCAA tournament above, five times has Self-led teams come out without registering a single victory over a high major team. Only once has kansas ever beaten more than one high major team.
- 4 times kansas has garnered a #1 seed, which will obviously skew the first bullet point a little. But of the 4 times that ku hasn't been seeded #1, with a near bye in the first round, they've lost their first roung game twice. The two times they did win their first game they lost to the first team they faced seeded higher than 9th.
- Of the 4 times kansas has garnered a #1 seed, only twice have they made it past the Sweet 16.
It seems to me that the meme that ku has benefited from as much luck as talent in the NCAA tournament is no meme at all. 2008 was the only year in the last 8 where kansas so much as faced more than one high major team not on the 8/9 line, and it was also the only year where they beat anybody worth writing home about. Outside of 2008 the best tournament victory under Bill Self is against #4 Southern Illinois in 2007. The next best is any of the 3 8/9 teams they've beaten. Not too awesome of a track record for when the games count the most.