K-State tops Kansas, fans storm court, get physical with Self, players
When in-state rivals meet up, it’s usually pride which is most on the line after the actual result of the game.
But when Bill Self takes his Kansas Jayhawks to Manhattan to play Kansas State, it’s increasingly becoming a matter of physical safety, as well. And on Monday, the coach finished on the losing end — in scoreboard, pride, and health.
For the second straight season, the Wildcats sent their fans into a frenzy by beating a Jayhawks squad ranked in the top 10, this time taking down No. 8 Kansas, 70-63. And for the second straight season, the fans in Manhattan stormed the court to revel in their February glory.
But as you can see in the Vines below, things quickly got ugly, with one fan appearing to throw a running shoulder check into Kansas’ Jamari Traylor, someone in a suit appearing to come off the Kansas bench and put a fan in a headlock, and bodies colliding all over the floor.
— Mr. Charles (@charliestroble) February 24, 2015
But it was Self who perhaps got the worst of it, getting pinned against the scorer’s table as he attempted to shake Kansas State coach Bruce Weber’s hand at midcourt. Ultimately, Weber ended up having to shield Self to protect the Kansas coach.
A closer picture of Bill Self getting crushed. That was a tidal wave of humanity that hit him. pic.twitter.com/yEeiF0zqsF
— Rob Dauster (@RobDauster) February 24, 2015
Here, Weber even rips into the fans … his fans.
After the game, Self took aim at the Kansas State fans, and held little back.
"I wasn’t nervous for me, but there were several students that hit our players — not saying with fists, but you storm the court, you run in, you bump people," Self said. "Somebody is going to hit a player, the player is going to retaliate, you’re going to have lawsuits — it’s not right. At least (celebrate) around center court."
To his credit, Self admitted the situation could be avoided if his Jayhawks would simply win in Manhattan.
"That’s disappointing that happened again, but we also allowed it to happen again."
Here are more of his comments:
After some of the dust had settled, Weber reportedly apologized to Self and the Kansas administration.
Bruce Weber says he apologized to Bill Self and KU for the unsafe conditions of K-State's court-storming. pic.twitter.com/kQspP7FeRb
— Kellis Robinett (@KellisRobinett) February 24, 2015
According to ESPN, Weber also said: "I love the students, and it’s a cool thing to be part of that, but you also have to be careful of making sure no one gets hurt."
Kenny Lannou, Kansas State assistant athletic director for communications, told FOX Sports Kansas City’s Sean Keeler after the game: "Per Big 12 policy, we will review the end-of-the-game situation and report on our security procedures.
This is hardly the first time fans and opposing players and coaches had run-ins, and Self isn’t the biggest-name coach caught up in the mess.
In March 2013, after Virginia upset then-No. 3 Duke 73-68 in Charlottesville, several Blue Devils players and coaches had to fight their way through the crowd on the floor, prompting Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski to scream an F-bomb at a fan and some of his players to exchange profanities at fans.
At the postgame news conference, Krzyzewski called for improved postgame security, and said that fans should be allowed to storm the court, but only after the players and coaches have been cleared from the floor.
"They should have fun and burn benches and do all the stuff … I’m all for that," Coach K said. "[Virginia is] a great school, great kids, but get us off the court, and that’s the bottom line."
In an unrelated incident in Monday night’s game, a member of the Kansas State student section was taken from the crowd on a stretcher during a late timeout. A school official said the fan suffered a seizure and was taken to the hospital, where he was resting comfortably.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report