A former high school basketball all-stater from Edmond, Okla., Bill Self knows full well he'll be a popular figure at this weekend's NCAA Tournament in Oklahoma City.
"I know a lot of people I haven't talked to in six, seven years will say, 'Hey, Bill, oh, buddy, I need tickets.' They might as well not call unless they are just wishing us well. I don't think we'll have many tickets for that," Self, Kansas University's second-year coach, said of the sold-out Ford Center.
Self is hoping his No. 3-seeded Jayhawks (23-6) will be able to beat No. 14-seed Bucknell in Friday's 8:50 p.m. contest and then stop either No. 11 Northern Iowa or No. 6 Wisconsin at 3:50 p.m. Sunday and advance to the Sweet 16 in Syracuse, N.Y.
Nothing is guaranteed this time of year, however.
Bucknell (22-9) of the Patriot League has Self's full attention.
"The majority of tapes got in at 2 p.m. today. I'll watch them along with our assistants tonight," Self said Monday night on his Hawk Talk radio show.
"We've got to break them down between now and tomorrow. They start 6-11 (Chris McNaughton) and 6-9 (Darren Mastropaolo). They're bigger than we are. They play great defense, have a great zone which I don't know in and out yet. They play great man-to-man and can shoot it."
Self wasn't finished praising the Bison.
"To win at Pitt and St. Joe's when St. Joe's was healthy and to win at Holy Cross in their last game on Holy Cross' home floor ... they've got a very capable ballclub," Self said.
Self on Monday hadn't changed his opinion about the difficulty of the Syracuse regional.
"On paper, I can't remember seeing a tougher region," Self said. "Villanova had us down 32, and they are a 5-seed, so if that tells anybody anything.
"You look at Connecticut, Carolina, Villanova, Wisconsin, Florida, and I'm not even naming them all, that's a pretty strong field."