I think this line from a story I read this morning sums it up best:
Roy Williams taught Kansas all about how to handle cruel, crushing disappointments.
Bill Self schooled the Jayhawks on how to dish out some pain of their own.
Kansas left its former coach in the dust Saturday night...
-- Eddie Pells, AP
Time to let Roy go home (after all, he left five years ago). Let's all give him a big group hug and wave goodbye. He's headed home today and the Jayhawks are staying in San Antonio to play in the title game Monday night.
I'll still keep that picture of me with Roy at the 2002 Final Four in Atlanta (one of those bitter disappointments -- how could you lose to Maryland with Nick Collison, Kirk Hinrich, and Drew Gooden on the same team?) on the bookshelf in the study with other memorabilia from Roy's days at KU, along with the "Oh Danny Boy" Sports Illustrated cover (from the 1988 Championship under Larry Brown) and the signed programs from the 70s (when Ted Owens was coach).
Roy is just another former Kansas coach in my book.
Bill Self is the KU coach now and he has earned the adoration of Kansas fans once reserved for Roy. Ever-humble Roy even admitted that he got outcoached last night. Self had his players better prepared, relaxed (for the first 15 minutes at least) and ready to go. He even did a better job of coaching down the stretch, calling timeouts when the Jayhawks looked rattled (something Roy always refused to do and didn't do in the first half last night).
I like our chances in the finals with Bill at the helm more than I ever did with Roy. I love all the talk about how KU might be too emotionally drained from last night's game to win on Monday night. Haven't the pundits paid attention to how Bill got his players ready to play Carolina? It wasn't by buying in to the emotion of KU fans who deperately wanted to beat Roy. It was by focusing on winning a basketball game. I'm confident he'll have them ready to play Monday night.
Bring on Memphis. May the best team win.