NEW ORLEANS — The Border War continues in national coach of the year honors.
By BLAIR KERKHOFF
The Kansas City Star
This one goes to Kansas’ Bill Self, chosen the Naismith coach of the year by the Atlanta Tipoff Club on Sunday.
Earlier, Missouri’s Frank Haith won the Henry Iba Award as national coach of the year by the United States Basketball Writers Association, and the top honor from The Associated Press.
Self also has picked up the Rupp Award Trophy presented by the Commonwealth Athletic Club of Kentucky.
“It was great to win it,” Self said of the Naismith award. “But there’s a lot of coaches out there deserving of winning awards. All that is is a reflection of your team playing well.
“I appreciate it, but I don’t put a lot of stock into thinking that I’ve done something that others haven’t. There’s been a lot of coaches that coached their teams very, very well.”
For the Naismith Award, Self beat out Haith, Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim and Kentucky’s John Calipari.
Self and Calipari square off tonight in the national championship game.
Despite losing four starters from last year’s team, Kansas was the co-Big 12 favorite with Texas A&M and was ranked 13th nationally in the preseason.
The Jayhawks, 32-6, steadily climbed the ranks and won an eighth straight Big 12 championship. They’ve survived five NCAA Tournament games and are in the title game for the first time since winning the 2008 championship.