Kevin Haskin TSN Contributor


Musings at the mid-month:

Watched KU in the Big 12 tournament and couldn’t help but wonder what the program would look like without Bill Self.

Like everyone else, I suppose.

Every elite basketball power has endured some kind of noteworthy dip in the timeframe the Jayhawks have enjoyed stellar consistency.

No KU coach has embraced and upheld the tradition quite like Self.

But the thumping by Texas in the Big 12 tournament final proved that KU is not just a plug-and-play coaching position.

That, and Texas is on a roll.

Good news: no three-game runs in three nights exist in the NCAA tournament. Depth is not as big an issue with the lengthy TV breaks.

During the Under-4 time-out, you can order a pizza and a Buick and have each delivered during a maddening 6-minute table review with 39 seconds left.

One thing about Self -- he’ll turn the furor created over the Jayhawks’ draw in the West Regional into a motivational ploy.

Be well, Bill.

Gotta feeling KU will have a lot of supporters in Las Vegas if it advances to the second weekend as expected.

Tough regional draw, though. Especially if KU is overly reliant on Jalen Wilson for offense.

Of course, Wilson is key to a deep run. What a season.

One plus to KU in the NCAAs: no more alternative, special occasion or let’s wear ‘em ‘cause Adidas made ‘em games.

Well, I guess there’s always a chance the Jayhawks wear gold or yellow.

Rather than wear replicas of a 1923 uniform representing a national champ crowned by a Los Angeles bread maker, put up a banner declaring the 2020 Covid team the national champ.

Makes every bit as much sense.

K-State is wobbling into the NCAA tournament. As a No. 3 seed, it probably rates as a quick out on many brackets.

All year when I’ve watched the Wildcats, I see three flaws – turnovers, missed layups and 3-point defense.

Some stats would indicate that K-State is good at guarding the arc, but good teams (TCU being the latest) can expose openings and drain shots.

When the Cats click offensively, though, they are lethal and fun to watch.

This first season under Jerome Tang, to lean on his messaging, has been joyful.

Keyontae Johnson and Markquis Nowell are incredible talents capable of busting the brackets of those who don’t believe in K-State.

Tang’s energy and passionate urge to plant himself among students – at games and on campus – is infectious.

Getting fans to exhort K-State rather than defile KU is as extraordinary as the one-year “elevation” of the program that Tang achieved.

A dropoff next season is possible, considering what talent the Cats lose.

Maybe they keep reloading.

What will attendance be at the Kansas City regional?

Keep seeing names linked to the Wichita State coaching job from conferences with far more resources than the American, home to the Pacer, Gremlin and Rambler if you’re a car enthusiast.

Keep in mind, WSU can tap huge, resourceful boosters in Wichita, where Shocker basketball has always been the top ticket in town.

But dang, WSU is paying big bucks to a lot of former coaches and administrators.

Critical hire, especially since now is the time for WSU to rule the American if it can overtake Memphis.

I understand the genesis of the line: It’s all about matchups. You hear it often at tourney time.

Dig deeper, though, and it’s also about how coaches and players influence or negate mismatches they indirectly reference.

It just means more is the line endorsed by the SEC and those connected to it.

Make what you want of that slogan following the hiring of Chris Beard by Ole Miss.

This is what you’re getting into, ye of burnt orange, and the SEC is not going to give in to any of your demands.

Drove into SEC country to visit Gatlinburg recently. On the trip, we stumbled upon a Buc-ee’s.

This means you turn off the interstate, go in and marvel at America’s greatest convenience store.

Drifting around, I bumped into and spoke at length with Dyshod Carter, a former K-State cornerback who went on to play in the NFL.

Random stuff is crazy, especially meeting up with a player I covered 20-plus years ago.

I was content to just relax with family on our Tennessee trip.

Took a pic with Dolly Parton’s likeness.

She sat there statuesque in front of the Sevier County Courthouse, sculpted in bronze.

I sat there lacking mobility in my authentic bones, living on Centrum Silver.