The Bill Self Watch continues, with candlelight vigils headquartered in Stillwater, and while I still say it's a longshot for Self to hop on Pistol Pete's buckboard, don't rule it out. Like Self's lawyer said the other day, never say never. Kansas' NCAA championship, earned on a wild and memorable Monday night in San Antone, makes it more likely that Self will listen to Mike Holder's siren song about home and family. More likely that Self will wonder just how much cash is in Boone Pickens' satchels. Here's why. KU's comeback on the mighty Memphises crossed off one big item from Self's bucket list. He's won an NCAA championship. Call him a Self made man. Of course, that's incentive to stay, too. One of the bounties of a national title is strolling the campus which houses the trophy. Self is the Kansas king. What Dick Harp with Wilt Chamberlain, Ted Owens with JoJo White and Roy Williams with Paul Pierce failed to do, Self did, with a wonderful throwback team comprised of several ballplayers who could have made all-conference, though none of them actually did. Self now is legend in Kansas, ringmaster of one of the great moments in the history of one of America's great sporting traditions. The school where grand old Phog Allen Fieldhouse sits on James Naismith Drive treasures its hoops like few others. If KU decides to chisel the likenesses of its greatest hardwood heroes on the face of Lawrence's Mount Oread, Self will be there along with Phog, Wilt and Danny Manning. Unless Self high-tails it to Stillwater. I know Self looks up to Larry Brown, but I wonder if he ever pities his old boss. Brown is the best basketball mind on Planet Earth, but Brown walked away from KU two months after beating OU in that memorable 1988 title game, taking the San Antonio Spurs job. Twenty years later, Brown remains a vagabond, searching for roots. Not to say Self is a high-gains drifter, but at some point he needs to check out of the Holiday Inn Express. Four years at Oral Roberts, three at Tulsa, three at Illinois and now five years at Kansas. If Self leaves for OSU, he's Larry Brown Junior, alma mater or not. When people have told me they believe Self will jump, I say, OK. Just show me anyone in history who has done such a thing. A coach who, in his prime, has left one of the flagship schools of NCAA football or basketball for a lesser program. No one has provided an answer. But I looked it up. It has happened, on rare occasion. Bill Foster, two years after reviving Duke basketball with a trip to the 1978 NCAA finals and on the heels of the ACC title, jumped to South Carolina. He was in his late 40s. Didn't really work out. But Gene Bartow, two years into replacing John Wooden at UCLA, fled that pressure to start the athletic program at Alabama-Birmingham and built a solid legacy at UAB. In football, both Dennis Franchione and Bill Curry left Alabama, Fran for Texas A&M and Curry for Kentucky, the former because Bama was hammered with NCAA probation and the latter because Curry had his fill of the Crimson Tide crockpot. And Self wouldn't break new ground in bolting from a national championship for another school. Johnny Majors left Pitt football fresh off the 1976 national championship for a fat contract at his alma mater, Tennessee. Either way, Self will break the bank. Talk about your perfect storms. Self wins an NCAA championship in the same week that OSU will knock on his door with a blank Boone check. Some say Self might one day coach the Oklahoma City Sonics. Heck, after these negotiations, he might be able to buy an NBA franchise. The Kansas City Star dubbed KU's rally against Memphis "Miracle II.” Manning's 1988 title — Danny and the Miracles — was the original version. Kansas already won one NCAA championship and lost its coach before the next tipoff. KU athletic director Lew Perkins doesn't want a repeat. Kansas basketball is bigger than one coach (a charge that, frankly, OSU has yet to disprove). Every KU coach since 1919 has made a Final Four. KU will let Self walk if need be. But the Jayhawks will pony up big bucks, if not Boone bucks, to keep Self and will counter with something money can't buy. The crown and the castle to the kingdom of Kansas hoops.