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NEW ORLEANS, La. — Kansas Hall of Fame head coach Bill Self will lead his team into the Superdome Monday night in hopes of winning his second NCAA National Championship Title.

A lot of things have changed since he won his first with the Jayhawks in 2008.

There have been a sea of different players, changes in coaches, and of course, the COVID-19 pandemic and all of the rules and protocols that came with it.

One other thing has also changed since one of Self’s teams played in the NCAA National Championship Game in 2012.

He lost his father.

Bill Self, Sr. died on Jan. 20 at the age of 82.

This is the first post season Self, Sr. hasn’t been around to watch or support his son, or the Jayhawks.

But just because he won’t be in a seat inside the Superdome doesn’t mean he won’t have a presence there.

“I actually have probably talked to him more in the last couple months than I probably did when he was still living,” Self said.

Self has said multiple times following games that he talks to his late father. It’s usually when things are getting tough for the team.

“I know when we get in a bind, ‘Alright, what do you think? What do we need to do here?’ You know, stuff like that,” Self said.

With the Jayhawks playing for the title, it seems like Self is getting some pretty good advice in return.

Coach Self also said that since his dad isn’t in around he’s appreciating the NCAA Tournament more this time.

“I’d probably taken more pride in this than I have ever before. That maybe times I’ve taken for granted because I know exactly how much he’d be enjoying this right now,” Self said.

You can bet that Self will be talking to his dad sometime during Monday’s game against North Carolina. Tipoff is at 8:20 p.m. on TBS.

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