By Rustin Dodd
ARLINGTON, Texas — Here we are, Cowboys Stadium, the NCAA regional site with a video board longer than the basketball court. The No. 1 seed Kansas Jayhawks will take the floor here against No. 4 seed Michigan at 6:37 p.m. Friday in the first Sweet 16 matchup (No. 3 Florida vs. No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast will follow.), and KU coach Bill Self will make his 10 appearance in the Sweet 16.
It’s been a pretty good round for Self, who is 7-2 all-time in Sweet 16 matchups — a record that spans 13 seasons and three schools. Self is also 6-0 when his team is the better seed. By comparison, Self is just 2-5 in the Elite Eight. With Kansas preparing for Michigan, let’s take a look back at Self’s previous nine Sweet 16 matchups.
2000: No. 7 Tulsa 80, No. 6 Miami 71 (Austin, Texas)
In his first Sweet 16 appearance, Self’s Tulsa squad kept its unlikely run going with a turbo-charged victory over No. 6 seed Miami. The Golden Hurricane outscored Miami 49-46 in the second half.
2001: No. 1 Illinois 80, No. 4 Kansas 64 (San Antonio)
In Self’s first season in Champaign, his veteran Illini squad outmuscled a KU rotation that included sophomores Drew Gooden, Nick Collison and Kirk Hinrich.
2002: No. 1 Kansas 73, No. 4 Illinois 69 (Madison, Wis.)
One year later, Roy Williams and Kansas gained a measure of revenge, taking down Illinois on the way to the KU program’s first Final Four since 1993.
2004: No. 4 Kansas 100, No. 9 UAB (St. Louis)
After winning two games in Kansas City, KU faced an upstart (and frenetic) UAB squad that had taken down No. 1 seed Kentucky. The fast tempo suited Kansas just fine, and the Jayhawks advanced rolled to the Elite Eight in Self’s first season at KU. They would lose in overtime to No. 3 seed Georgia Tech.)
2007: No. 1 Kansas 61, No. 4 Southern Illinois 58 (San Jose, Calif.)
In an ugly, defensive-oriented showdown, Kansas sophomore Brandon Rush finished six of six while leading KU with 12 points. The run would end with a loss to UCLA in the regional final.
2008: No. 1 Kansas 72, No. 12 Villanova 57 (Detroit)
On their way to the NCAA championship, the Jayhawks made a stop in Detroit, pounding a Villanova squad that featured Scottie Reynolds and not much else.
2009: No. 2 Michigan State 67, No. 3 Kansas 62 (Indianapolis)
Self’s second loss in the Sweet 16. Kansas led the Spartans 36-29 at halftime, but Michigan State point guard Kalin Lucas made more plays down the stretch as the Jayhawks ran out of gas.
2011: No. 1 Kansas 77, No. 12 Richmond 57 (San Antonio)
The shocker would come in the next round, when KU would fall to another school from Richmond, Va. But first, the top-seeded Jayhawks throttled another double-digit seed in the Sweet 16.
2012: No. 2 Kansas 60, No. 11 North Carolina State 57 (St. Louis)
On a run that defined winning ugly, junior center Jeff Withey had eight points and 10 blocks while KU survived a woeful shooting night (one for 14 from three) and advanced to play North Carolina in the Elite Eight.