2008 NCAA Tournament
2007-08 April 4 Final Four Friday
- Brandon Rush talks about his outspoken nature in practice this week
- Cole Aldrich talks about his first trip to the Final Four coming as just a freshman
- Darnell Jackson talks about the physical upcoming battle with Tyler Hansbrough
- Darrell Arthur talks about the upcoming challenge against Tyler Hansbrough
- Jeremy Case talks about the effect of Rodrick Stewart's injury on the end of the bench and the team's psyche
- Mario Chalmers talks about the potential up-and-down pace of Saturday's semifinal
- Russell Robinson talks at the podium Friday morning about Saturday's semifinal showdown with North Carolina
- Sasha Kaun takes his turn at the podium Friday, answering plenty of questions about Tyler Hansbrough
- UNC's Danny Green talks about the game with KU, the overblown talk on Roy Williams and how Tyler Hansbrough helps everyone else on the team
Get your March Madness fix at KUSports.com.
San Antonio North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams wondered early Friday if he would have "37 people throw tomatoes at me" when he stepped on the court for the Tar Heels' open practice later in the day.
"That will bother me a little bit," he said.
Didn't happen. Williams was met with overwhelming cheers by UNC fans and no noticeable jeering by a few KU fans who stuck around to watch the practice at the Alamodome.
That was it for Williams' public encounters before his North Carolina squad takes on Kansas University - where he coached for 15 seasons - tonight in the Final Four. Williams seemed to take most of the questioning about the connection in stride this week, but admitted Friday he's glad the hype is about done.
"There's no question that I am tired of it," Williams said. ": I am glad that not only is that question over with, I'm glad that we can get to coaching and getting ready to play the game."
An interesting query then was posed: How will today's game against Kansas influence Williams' legacy among Jayhawk fans?
"Somebody said the other day that if Kansas wins, they're going to forgive you," Williams said with a smile. "Guys, I'd rather them not forgive me. That's the bottom line."
Williams isn't alone, of course. He's joined at North Carolina by former KU players Jerod Haase and C.B. McGrath, as well as former KU assistants Joe Holladay and Steve Robinson. All were asked about their links on Friday.
"This is our job," said Holladay, who was at KU from 1993-2003. "When the ball goes up, it'll be like playing anybody else."
Williams has said that, too, and he has experience in such games. While at Kansas, he played North Carolina three times - in the 1991 and '93 Final Fours and in the 2002 Preseason NIT.
UNC players said they didn't see any difference in Williams' approach this week, calling him as intense as ever.
"I think he's handled all the Kansas stuff real well," forward Deon Thompson said. "His focus is on the game, with his team playing Kansas. It's not coach Williams versus Kansas. He is more focused on the game and on his team playing well. He is not letting us lose our focus.
"He has had a lot of questions through the week, but that is what he expected."
Extra! Extra! Write the headline
So, just how would you capture the euphoria of victory - or, god forbid, the agony of defeat - in just a few words?
As the Jayhawks get ready for their big game against North Carolina in the Final Four, we're giving everyone a chance to submit their suggested headlines for Sunday morning's paper.
Some advice: Be clever, descriptive and, of course, concise. Remember: Your optimistic words just might end up being prophetic.
For now, we'll stick with taking ideas for the national semifinal, the one pitting Bill Self and the No. 1-seeded Jayhawks against Roy Williams and his No. 1-seeded Tar Heels.
Show off your headlines by going to www2.ljworld.com/headline and leaving your suggestion in the comments.
- Let's get it on (04-05-08)
- Countdown to tipoff (04-05-08)
- Jayhawks' Stewart suffers bad break (04-05-08)
- Keegan: Two KU seniors as tough as Tyler (04-05-08)
- Tar Heels' 'Psycho T' an intense competitor (04-05-08)
- Gary Bedore's KU basketball notebook (04-05-08)
- Ryan Wood's UNC notebook (04-05-08)
- KU-UNC Matchups (04-05-08)
- Court dates set for Brandon Rush (04-05-08)
- Commentary: Don't complain about No. 1 seeds (04-05-08)
- UCLA not slouching (04-05-08)
- Final Four capsule (04-05-08)
- Robinson puts himself last (04-05-08)
- Howland's Final Four run 'mind-boggling' (04-05-08)
- Calipari, Memphis prove doubters wrong (04-05-08)
- Kansas and the NCAA Tournament (04-05-08)
- KU has had stellar go-to guys (04-05-08)
- Memphis at a glance (04-05-08)
- North Carolina at a glance (04-05-08)
- UCLA at a glance (04-05-08)