Kansas basketball: Bill Self continues to show why he should never be doubted

The Hall of Famer showed why he is one of the greatest to ever do it on Saturday.
Jan 13, 2024; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Kansas Jayhawks head coach Bill Self reacts during the first half
Jan 13, 2024; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Kansas Jayhawks head coach Bill Self reacts during the first half / Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

For the second time since being hired as Kansas basketball head coach in 2003, Bill Self and the Jayhawks entered a game in Allen Fieldhouse as underdogs. The team responded the same way it did when they were favored to lose against Baylor in 2021 — coming away with a convincing 13-point victory.

There always seems to be a point in the season where individuals from other fanbases — even some Jayhawk supporters — claim, "This isn't KU's year." But despite disappointing losses to UCF and West Virginia on the road, Kansas sits atop the Big 12 alongside the Cougars with a 6-3 conference record.

Kansas didn't just beat Houston. Bill Self dismantled Kelvin Sampson in the coaching battle. Somehow, the Jayhawks won by double digits despite losing the turnover battle 18 to three. If Self's group could have taken care of the ball slightly better, they'd have come close to the century mark against the best defensive team in the country.

We all know this by now, but college basketball is unpredictable and ultimately makes no sense. There is no reason Georgia Tech should have a 3-8 record in conference play with wins over Duke and North Carolina, but that is just the reality of NCAA basketball. Even the best teams in the nation lose on the road to the bottom feeders in their respective leagues.

Could Kansas follow up its huge win with a disappointing loss at Bramlage Coliseum today? Sure. But at the end of the day, the teams that win it all are those that have been beaten, bruised, and battle-tested all year. And if there is any coach in the nation who can lead his players through adverse times in the regular season to gear them up for the tournament, it is the legendary Bill Self.