Final Four 2012: Kansas Won't Let Danny Manning's Departure Be A Distraction

The Kansas Jayhawks are preparing for their appearance in the Final Four and what they hope will be the penultimate step on their road to the national championship. When they meet up with the Ohio St. Buckeyes in New Orleans on Saturday, it will be the first time the two teams have ever met in the NCAA tournament.

On top of the preparation the team will have to go through for the game, they will also be dealing with the loss of a member of their coaching staff. Assistant coach Danny Manning -- a former Jayhawks star who holds all-time KU scoring and rebounding records, and helped lead the team to a national title in 1988 -- left the team this week to accept a head coaching job with the Tulsa Golden Hurricane.

According to David Steele at AOL FanHouse, the Jayhawks are not going to let Manning's departure distract the team from their goal of a national title. KU center Jeff Withey had nothing but praise for Manning.

"He's meant so much to me. He's an awesome coach and a great mentor," Withey said. "It's sad to see him go, but I'm happy for him. He deserves it. He's going to make Tulsa a lot better."

Kansas head coach Bill Self still has just one thing on his mind: winning the next two games.

For updates and perspective on the Kansas Jayhawks, head on over to Rock Chalk Talk. For all your 2012 March Madness needs, stay tuned to SB Nation's dedicated NCAA Tournament hub.

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