Don't focus on just one storyline
College basketball fans have been transfixed on Saturday's Kansas-North Carolina matchup in the Final Four for a week now.The focus of only about five percent of the coverage hasn't been on things like Sasha Kaun's impact play late in the season or Brandon Rush's clutch performances.About 10 percent of the focus has been on Tyler Hansbrough and his National Player of the Year honors.The other 85 percent has been on North Carolina coach Roy Williams facing his former Kansas team. From the folks at ESPN, to national columnists and [lame bloggers,] we've been captivated by this story.It's tough to kick an addiction, but we should try.Although so many people want this to be the story, it shouldn't be. Don't buy [this] trite shirt. Buy [this one].If Roy Williams sinks a three-pointer, then I'll stand corrected on this. But I don't think that's going to happen. So let's separate the man from the matchup. Let's focus on the game: Kansas vs. North Carolina.Sure, we'll talk a bit about Roy Williams, but let's focus on the other storylines, too. They merit equal attention.Don't overlook Kaun and the way the Kansas senior has finally embraced his role off the bench, and in doing so has been an impact player during the last month. If not for Kaun, Kansas wouldn't be playing on Saturday.It took Rush nearly three years to fully buy into KU coach Bill Self's demand that Rush be more aggressive on offense. With "same old Brandon," KU likely would not have won the Big 12 Tournament and earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament - thus setting up the eventual clash with North Carolina. And don't forget the way Rush ran himself ragged while guarding Stephen Curry during the second half of the regional final.Don't overlook the way Sherron Collins continues to be a spark plug for the Jayhawks despite rarely being more than 80 percent healthy.And give Bill Self credit for bringing Kansas a tougher breed of basketball that still can play the same up-tempo offense KU fans have always loved. Self demanded that some things change when he came to Lawrence, and there were plenty of potholes along the way. But the Jayhawks lost the "soft" label that routinely had been thrown on them. They proved they could win a slow, slug-fest against teams afraid to run. They proved they could win a wind sprint.Most important, Self rebuilt the Jayhawks in his image and then proved that Kansas still is basketball royalty.Here's the point: Let's make the Final Four chatter about giving credit where credit's due rather than regurgitating the same drivel about disliking some guy who only had 418 wins and four Final Four appearances in his 15 years coaching KU.So while you're pre-partying at 9 a.m. or while you're slamming beers at a bar on Mass. St. during the game, try to move beyond Roy Williams. I know it'll be tough, but try. If you haven't forgiven him, try. And if you never held ill-will, good for you. Roy Williams will be the talk, but do what you can to change the conversation. There are a lot of other great storylines that shouldn't be forgotten. : http://www2.kusports.com/blogs/all_wrist/2008/mar/30/033008wrist/ : http://www.joe-college.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=428 : http://www.joe-college.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=427
OtherJoel 14 years, 11 months ago
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