Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self, who worked as a studio analyst for CBS last weekend in New York, has studied Final Four participants Butler, Michigan State, Duke and West Virginia extensively.
His expert opinion on the field after watching it perform in the Elite Eight?
“There’s four good teams in Indy,” Self, Kansas University’s seventh-year basketball coach, said.
“The more I watch, the more disappointed I am in that I think that could easily be us, but in this crazy game it could easily not be us,” he added, feeling a twinge of jealousy that MSU’s Tom Izzo, Butler’s Brad Stevens, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski and West Virginia’s Bob Huggins are coaching this weekend in Indianapolis and he’s not.
“You would have thought Syracuse and Kentucky for sure would get there, too,” Self noted. “To be honest with you, that didn’t happen because they picked a bad time not to play a good game, and their opponent picked a great time to play a great game. That’s certainly what happened to us.”
His top-seeded Jayhawks lost to Northern Iowa in the second round, while fellow top seeds Syracuse and Kentucky fell to Butler and West Virginia, respectively.
“It’s probably the strangest tournament many people have seen. People at CBS were commenting on that,” said Self, who has attended various meetings in Indy this week. “It’s weird because this particular year or particular tournament there have been more upsets or perceived upsets maybe in the history of it.”
So, without further ado, who did Self pick to win today’s Final Four semifinal matchups?
“Duke and Michigan State,” Self said, tapping the Spartans (28-8) to down Butler (32-4) in the 5:07 p.m. semifinal and the Blue Devils (34-5) to beat the Mountaineers (31-6) in the 7:50 p.m. game.
His pick to win it all in Indianapolis?
“Duke,” Self said.
Collins wins award
Kansas senior guard Sherron Collins on Friday was named the winner of the inaugural Lute Olson National Player of the Year Award, as presented by collegeinsider.com. The Olson Award will be presented annually to the country’s top Div. I player who has played at least two seasons with his respective team. The award is named in honor of former Arizona coach Olson.
Doron Lamb, a 6-foot-4 senior guard from Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., will meet with new St. John’s coach Steve Lavin after the Final Four, Zagsblog.net reports.
Lamb, Rivals.com’s No. 21-rated player, who is from Queens, N.Y., has had a firm list of Kansas, Kentucky, Arizona, UConn and West Virginia for many weeks.
“St. John’s is an option,” a source told Zagsblog.net.
Lamb will orally commit to a school at the Jordan Brand Classic, set for April 17, in New York’s Madison Square Garden.
Grant on radar
Jerami Grant, a 6-7 sophomore forward from DeMatha High in Hysattsville, Md., made an unofficial visit to KU earlier this week, Rivals.com reports. Grant is the brother of shooting guard Jerian Grant, who has signed with Notre Dame. Grant’s dad is former Oklahoma standout Harvey Grant.