Bill Self Says Jerome Tang Avoided Handshake After Kansas’s Rout of Kansas State

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A rivalry wouldn’t be a rivalry without a bit of friction.

To Kansas men’s basketball coach Bill Self, that’s how his counterpart reacted after the Jayhawks’ 90—68 blowout win over visiting Kansas State on Tuesday night.

In the most recent matchup of the Sunflower Showdown, the No. 14 Jayhawks exacted revenge on the Wildcats for an earlier loss with a decisive victory that didn’t include much controversy—until after the game. 

When the teams lined up to shake hands, Self claimed that Kansas State coach Jerome Tang opted out of a firm handshake and did a “fly-by” instead.

“He just didn’t want to shake hands. He just did a fly-by—that’s fine,” Self said in Tuesday’s postgame press conference. “I will say this, when we got our a– kicked there, we shook everyone’s hands and did a handshake line. So I guess it was different here today.”

The ESPN game broadcast aired a highlight of Jayhawks star Hunter Dickinson during the handshake line and didn’t catch Self’s and Tang’s “fly-by” interaction.

Back when the two teams met in February for the first time this season, the Wildcats upset the visiting Jayhawks in a 75—70 overtime thriller. There didn’t appear to be any bad blood between the teams then as Self and the Jayhawks shook their opponents’ hands after the game in typical fashion. 

This time around, however, the Kansas coach seemed to imply that his rival on the other side of the court may have been feeling a little sore following the beatdown. 

“That’s what happens with rivalries,” continued Self. “If it didn’t stick with them, then they probably shouldn’t be playing here. You always want to beat your rival.”

Kansas (22—8, 10–7) currently sits in fourth place in the Big 12 and will face the first-place Houston Cougars (26–3, 13–3) next on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET. 

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