It was a loaded question and Bill Self tap danced adroitly when giving his answer.
Kansas is the No. 1 seed and faces No. 16 seed Western Kentucky in the South Regional of the NCAA Tournament in Kansas City. When the game tips off around 8:50 p.m. Friday night, the Sprint Center will sound like Allen Fieldhouse East. Most are expecting the Rock Chalk chant, celebrating a blowout victory, early in the second half.
During Thursday’s news conference, Self was asked “how great a reward it would be” if the players on the roster who don’t get a lot of playing time “were able to get in a game in the NCAA Tournament?” In other words, when KU is leading by 30 with two minutes remaining, walk ons like Tyler Self (the coach’s son) and Evan Manning (son of current Tulsa coach Danny Manning) would be able to play.
“I'm not even thinking of it like that at all,” Self said. “Coaches want everybody to play. “The teams are so good in the NCAA tournament that very rarely do you have a chance to put guys in that are walk‑ons and that kind of stuff. “
A No. 16 has yet to beat a No. 1 seed; it’s 0-114 and counting. Self had no desire to tempt the basketball gods with an answer that would lead anyone to think the Jayhawks expect a free pass and a lopsided victory.