JACK'S SMACK | What bothers me the most is the fact I missed on how much of an impact Bill Self really has on the KU team. He’s a great coach and a brutally honest man. That's a rare combination in coaching circles.
Kansas Head coach Bill Self and players celebrate with the Midwest regional championship trophy after Kansas won 80-67 against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Midwest Regional Final on March 25, 2012 in St Louis.
It's about time I do some explaining to KU fans.
First of all, I can live with the prediction I made three months ago that Kansas would not be successful in defending its Big 12 championship.
That should not be considered a bold or wreckless call by any means.
Not when this team had four new starters.
Where I really screwed up in all of this -- what bothers me the most -- is the fact I missed on how much of an impact Bill Self really has on this basketball team.
It goes without saying, he's a great coach.
What sets him apart from most, Bill Self is a brutally honest man.
That's a rare combination in coaching circles.
After a December loss to Davidson, Self admitted his team wasn't very good.
He also wondered out loud if this bunch would even make the tournament.
Self then pulled no punches, wondering if his players even liked one another back in December.
This was all coming down only two weeks before the conference season was to begin.
I'm convinced Self was not using those words as some kind of psychological ploy to goose or fire up his troops.
He doesn't operate that way.
Now, three months later, these Jayhawks are two wins away from another national championship.
Still, there have been red flags along the way, as recently last week in this tournament.
The close call against Purdue, then barely surviving against North Carolina State and the shootout against Carolina -- there's one common theme here.
This is one resilient and tough basketball team because of its leader.
How can Bill Self not be the national coach of the year?
Regardless of what happens in New Orleans, this KU team has turned out to be one of the great over-achieving stories in college basketball.
It is a story that I badly whiffed on back in December.
That's Jack's Smack.