‘We got lucky’

Bought Jason King’s Kansas book last week and it showed up in yesterday’s mail.

Some Davidson-related items:

Russell Robinson: “We were lucky to survive against Davidson. But the way I saw it … I’d been watching UCLA play all year. They’d dodged some bullets and then played well after that. So we dodged ours against Davidson.”

Jeremy Case: “We’d made it to the Final Four, so the pressure was off and we could just go out and play.

“I think the bigger thing for Coach Self -- at least as far as stress -- was beating Davidson the week before and advancing to the Final Four. He got pretty emotional after that win. It was a side of him we weren’t used to seeing. The first round eliminations, the losses in the Elite Eight … all the struggles that we went through to get to the Final Four came down on him at once. His voice was cracking and his eyes were glazed over. It was a special moment.

“We all felt the tension that game. I talked to Russell and he was like, ‘Man, I couldn’t breathe out there.’ We were so nervous and so tight. It was understandable. We were one game away from the Final Four. The media and the hype had worn on us. Plus, Davidson was a really good team.”

Joe Posnanski: “The moment that will always stick with me from this remarkable Kansas team happened in Detroit, just after Kansas edged Davidson to go to the Final Four. The last strands of confetti were still falling, and coach Bill Self was being dragged from interview to interview while fans yelled, ‘Way to go, Coach!’ Self looked absolutely dazed.

“‘We got lucky,’ he told one coach, John Thompson, on his radio show, then he went across to the Kansas radio broadcast and said, ‘We got lucky,’ then he saw some fans from Lawrence that he knew, and he mouthed, ‘We got lucky.’

“They had gotten lucky, of course. The Jayhawks had not looked like themselves all game. They played scared, and anyone could understand. Davidson was this tournament’s charmed team, led by the nation’s charmed player, Stephen Curry. It was like shooting baskets against karma.”

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