Kansas basketball coach Bill Self will miss today’s Big 12 tournament game as he recovers from illness

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Kansas head coach Bill Self watches a replay during the second half of an NCAA basketball game against Texas in Austin, Texas, Saturday, March 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Kansas City, Mo. – Kansas men’s basketball coach Bill Self has been admitted to the University of Kansas Hospital to recover from an illness.

According to a Kansas Athletics statement, “Self is doing well and receiving good care at the University of Kansas Health System.”

The Hall of Fame coach and two-time national champion will not be with the team during the Big 12 tournament today as the Jayhawks face West Virginia at 2 p.m. at the T-Mobile Center. It is currently unclear when he will be able to rejoin the team.

A source with knowledge of Self’s condition told the Journal-World that the long-term prognosis was positive.

Self-assistant Norm Roberts, who led the team for the first three games of the regular season while Self served a university-imposed suspension, will take over as interim head coach of the Jayhawks.

Roberts, who was previously the head coach at St. John’s from 2004-10 and also at his alma mater, Queens College, from 1991-95, led Kansas to three wins in three attempts earlier this season, including a Champions Classic victory over Duke in Indianapolis.

Self was with the Jayhawks at the team’s open practice Wednesday afternoon at T-Mobile Center, meeting with the media about 15 minutes after the practice session ended.

He appeared to be in normal shape and was excited about the start of the postseason and KU’s willingness to capture another national title later this month.

“We talked about it a lot,” Self said Wednesday at the start of the Jayhawks’ postseason run. “We talked about going to Kansas City to try and put ourselves in a position to win this thing, but knowing that we better look at it one game at a time. But I didn’t put the emphasis on winning it. I emphasized let’s do our best. What the (Big 12) tournament does can confirm what your regular season has been. And this is an opportunity to validate it.”

The Jayhawks (25-6) won the Big 12 regular season title by one game over Texas and came in as the top seed in Kansas City this week, well positioned to be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament next week.

However, all of that probably put the health of the Jayhawks’ head coach on the backburner.

Self is 581-130 in his 20 seasons in charge of the Jayhawks and 788-235 in his 30 seasons as head coach, including stops at Oral Roberts, Tulsa and Illinois for Kansas.

He has long been regarded as one of the best coaches in the game, with one of the best winning percentages in NCAA basketball history, and more recently seen as the best active coach in basketball with the recent retirement of Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, Roy Williams of North Carolina and Jay Wright of Villanova.


Top-seeded Kansas will take on No. 8 seed West Virginia in the Big 12 quarterfinals on Thursday


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Written by Matt Tait

A native of Colorado, Matt moved to Lawrence in 1988 and has been in the city ever since. He graduated from Lawrence High in 1996 and the University of Kansas in 2000 with a degree in journalism. After covering KU sports for the University Daily Kansan and Rivals.com, Matt joined the World Company (and later Ogden Publications) in 2001 and held various positions at the newspaper and KUsports over the past 20+ years. com. He became the Journal-World Sports Editor in 2018. Throughout his career, Matt has won several local and national awards from both the Associated Press Sports Editors and the Kansas Press Association. In 2021, he was named Kansas Sportswriter of the Year by the National Sports Media Association. Matt lives in Lawrence with his wife, Allison, and two daughters, Kate and Molly. When not covering KU sports, he enjoys spending his time playing basketball and golf, listening to music and writing, and traveling the world with friends and family.

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