Well, the tournament of 65 is set, as always, there are some teams who probably deserved to make it and others not so much. I watched a bunch of coach interviews on CBS and ESPN today and this one with Coach Bill Self of Kansas really stands out. The reporter asks Coach Self, "when did you start enjoying to coach this team?" It was a very astute question and a very revealing answer. I watched Kansas earlier in November and December, and they weren't very good. I wrote earlier in the month how it was remarkable that Coach Self was able to get the team to adapt. Anyways, here is the short interview (question comes around 0:51 left),

Coach Self's answer is very interesting. Because as a coach, especially a successful one that has just won the national championship, there is an expectation of yourself, of your players to maintain that level of play. But his point is very well taken, every year is a different situation. Players graduate, go on to the pros, etc... Is it realistic to expect the same from different players year over year?

I contrast this philosophy with coach Billy Donovan at Florida. After the Gators missed the NCAA's last year, Donovan blasted the team saying he was "not excited about these guys being sophomores." He also locked the players out of the practice facility and banned them from wearing any Florida gear, saying they lacked the willingness to do the grunt work that defined the team that won two championships.

Now that Florida has missed the NCAA's for the 2nd year in a row after their back-to-back championships, and Kansas has secured a #3 seed with all their freshmen, it makes you wonder. Similarly, Memphis, after making that mid-season change with Tyreke Evans at point-guard, is back with a #2 seed (some say should have been #1) also having lost almost all their players.

I guess it comes down to whether or not as a coach you should have the same standard year in and year out. Or whether you should adjust your expectations every year? The answer would seem to be obvious, but it appears more difficult to do than it is to say.

If you like Kansas and Coach Self, take a look at Bill Self's DVD on Better Practices. Discuss this and the rest of your favorite basketball topics at the X's and O's Basketball Forum.