LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas coach Bill Self said the student government at Iowa State sent him a letter this week apologizing for a pair of incidents that occurred in the aftermath of the Jayhawks’ overtime win over the Cyclones on Monday night.
The first incident occurred after Self gave a brief postgame TV interview. An Iowa State fan made his way down the court and charged after Self, and had to be held back by security.
The second incident occurred on Twitter, where at least two fans made racist and threatening comments directed toward the Jayhawks’ Elijah Johnson, who scored 39 points in the game.
“We talked about it this morning and I think that would bother anyone initially,” Self said Thursday.
“But the Iowa State student body has responded in a way that left no doubt where they stood on the things that were said and the issues and that is good enough for me.
“Unfortunately, there are idiots around in all different areas, and that should not take away from the people that were at the game that cheered their team on and did it wholeheartedly.”
Johnson scored eight points in the final 29 seconds of regulation, including two clutch 3-pointers and the two foul shots that forced overtime.
The senior guard then scored 12 more points in the 108-96 victory, the Jayhawks’ second overtime win over Iowa State this season.
Johnson certainly inflamed Iowa State fans when he got the ball in the open court in the waning seconds and, rather than run out the clock, threw down a celebratory dunk.
But he immediately apologized for getting caught up in the moment after the game.
“At the end of the day they’re fans, they care,” said Johnson, who credited his father for teaching him at an early age how to ignore the kind of negative comments made on Twitter.
“They apologized,” Johnson said. “I’m past it, and I think we all should be past it.”
The victory over the Cyclones allowed Kansas, the eight-time defending Big 12 champions, to remain tied with Kansas State for first place with three games remaining.
Self said the emotionally charged incidents following the Iowa State game won’t affect the way he views Cyclones fans, and that he’s looking forward to their next matchup, which could happen at the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City, Mo.
“I’ve always enjoyed going there,” Self said. “I’ll enjoy going there moving forward and these couple of idiots will not have anything to do with us enjoying that.”
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