Jayhawk Dispatch

A year-by-year look at Kansas’ 11 straight Big 12 regular-season titles

The 2006-07 Jayhawks were all smiles while watching a video tribute to their championship season after a win over Texas on March 3, 2007, at Allen Fieldhouse.
The 2006-07 Jayhawks were all smiles while watching a video tribute to their championship season after a win over Texas on March 3, 2007, at Allen Fieldhouse. The Kansas City Star

The streak began — officially — during the first week of March 2005. It was Bill Self’s second year at Kansas, and the Jayhawks clinched the Big 12 title, their third in four years, on senior night.

Ten years later, the streak lives on — the Jayhawks clinched a share of title No. 11 on Monday night after Iowa State defeated Oklahoma.

By any measure, it’s a remarkable achievement.

Depending on how this season finishes, Kansas’ worst Big 12 record during the streak is 12-4. Every other league team, including former and new members, logged at least one losing Big 12 record in that span.

The Jayhawks have won three Big 12 championships, including 2014, with total lineup makeovers. It also happened in 2006 and 2009.

Self’s 11th title came in his 12th year at Kansas. His predecessor, Roy Williams, won nine in 15 years.

Early in the streak, Kansas was aided by the Big 12’s unbalanced schedule. In most years, teams in the South were stronger, and the Jayhawks played them only once. (Conversely, of course, those south teams only had to play Kansas once, sometimes avoiding a trip to Allen Fieldhouse.) Meanwhile, twice a year, Kansas whipped up on the likes of Nebraska and Colorado, sweeping both in every year of the streak while they were members of the Big 12.

The Big 12 dominance hasn’t always translated into NCAA Tournament success. Four times in 10 years, the Jayhawks didn’t escape the first weekend. But the Jayhawks are the only Big 12 team to reach the Final Four, winning in 2008 and finishing second in 2012, during their title run.

As the Jayhawks enjoy title No. 11 — and go for the outright title against West Virginia on Tuesday — here’s a breakdown of the 11 championships:

2004-05

1. Oklahoma (12-4)

(tie) Kansas (12-4)

3. Oklahoma State (11-5)

Oklahoma took a share of its first league title since 1989, and the Jayhawks won the game of the year, beating Oklahoma State 81-79 in a game that helped Wayne Simien win league player-of-the-year honors over Joey Graham. The Cowboys returned the favor in the Big 12 Tournament, and made the deepest NCAA run. Oklahoma beat Kansas in their only regular-season meeting.

League MVP: Wayne Simien

KU NCAA result: Lost in round of 64

2005-06

1. Texas (13-3)

(tie) Kansas (13-3)

3. Oklahoma (11-5)

One of Bill Self’s best coaching jobs. Kansas, with three freshman starters, opened 3-4 and lost back-to-back games to K-State and Missouri. (Sorry, Christian Moody). The Jayhawks, though, rolled through their Big 12 schedule until taking a 25-point whipping at Texas. But the Longhorns lost their next game at Texas A&M, allowing Kansas to share the title. KU avenged its loss at Austin by beating Texas in the Big 12 title game in Dallas.

League MVP: P.J. Tucker, Texas

KU NCAA result: Lost in round of 64

2006-07

1. Kansas (14-2)

2. Texas A&M (13-3)

3. Texas (12-4)

Self’s Jayhawks claimed their first outright title, but it was close. Kansas and Texas A&M were tied when the Aggies won at Allen Fieldhouse (the Acie Law IV shot) and took the league lead with eight games remaining.

  

But Kansas won them all, and the Aggies lost twice down the stretch, including a double-overtime setback at Texas, led by Kevin Durant.

League MVP: Kevin Durant

KU NCAA result: Lost in Elite Eight

2007-08

1. Texas (13-3)

(tie) Kansas (13-3)

3. Kansas State (10-6)

It’s easy to forget, but Kansas wasn’t the top seed in the Big 12 Tournament. Texas was because it beat the Jayhawks in their regular-season meeting. But Kansas beat the Longhorns for the third straight year in the conference tournament title game and went on to win it all.

League MVP:

Michael Beasley, Kansas State

KU NCAA result: Won NCAA title

2008-09

1. Kansas (14-2)

2. Oklahoma (13-3)

3. Missouri (12-4)

This season earned Self national coach-of-the-year honors. With five new starters — although Sherron Collins had played starters minutes during the national title year — Kansas stunningly won its fifth straight Big 12 title. Oklahoma jumped to an 11-0 start, leading Kansas by one game. But Sooners star Blake Griffin suffered a concussion in the team’s first loss, to Texas. Next up was Kansas, and Griffin couldn’t play. Collins and Tyshawn Taylor had huge games as KU won in Norman. In their next game, Kansas took care of its other challenger, Missouri. A healthy Griffin could have ended the streak.

League MVP: Blake Griffin

KU NCAA result: Lost in Sweet 16

2009-10

1. Kansas (15-1)

2. Kansas State (11-5)

(tie) Baylor (11-5)

(tie) Texas A (11-5)

KU dominated the regular season, losing at Tennessee and Oklahoma State before the NCAA Tournament. Against the three teams that finished tied for second, and including the Big 12 Tournament, the Jayhawks went 7-0.

League MVP: James Anderson, Oklahoma State

KU NCAA result: Lost in round of 32

2010-11

1. Kansas (14-2)

2. Texas (13-3)

3. Texas A (10-6)

(tie) Kansas State (10-6)

For only the third time in the conference-title streak, Kansas lost a Big 12 game in Allen Fieldhouse. This loss came to Texas, the day after Thomas Robinson’s mother died. But the Jayhawks never fell behind the Longhorns in the polls and once again defeated Texas for the Big 12 Tournament title.

League MVP: Marcus Morris, Kansas

KU NCAA result: Lost in Elite Eight

2011-12

1. Kansas (16-2)

2. Missouri (14-4)

3. Iowa State (12-6)

(tie) Baylor (12-6)

For the final scheduled Border War game, Missouri arrived at Allen Fieldhouse on Feb. 25 with three league losses and Kansas two. The Tigers had already beaten KU in Columbia, and a sweep would not only likely lead to at least a piece of the title but a final-statement triumph. But the Jayhawks prevailed in overtime, an outcome that brought an arm’s-raised triumph from Self.

League MVP: Thomas Robinson, Kansas

KU NCAA result: NCAA runner-up

2012-13

1. Kansas (14-4)

(tie) Kansas State (14-4)

3. Oklahoma State (13-5)

The Jayhawks swept the regular season from Kansas State, with no victory bigger than the one logged as Kansas was coming off a three-game losing streak that included a home loss to Oklahoma State.

League MVP: Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State

KU NCAA result: Lost in Sweet 16

2013-14

1 Kansas (14-4)

2 Oklahoma (12-6)

3 Iowa State (11-7)

4 Texas (11-7)

After losing five starters, Self reloaded with a freshmen class that included No. 1 overall recruit Andrew Wiggins and future lottery pick center Joel Embiid. There were growing pains during the nonconference season — the Jayhawks lost four times, including a rare home setback against San Diego State. But the Jayhawks set the tone in Big 12 play with an opening victory at Oklahoma. Kansas would start 7-0 in Big 12 play, shake off road losses at Texas and K-State and clinch a share of the Big 12 title in a home victory over Oklahoma on Feb. 24th.

League MVP: Melvin Ejim, Iowa State

2014-15

With two games remaining, Kansas clinched No. 11 on Monday night, after No. 17 Iowa State erased a 21-point deficit against No. 15 Oklahoma. The Jayhawks, who finished 11-2 in the nonconference season, began the Big 12 season with a 9-1 mark, notching pivotal road wins at Baylor and Texas. A title seemed assured, but the Jayhawks would drop three of their next four on the road, and the streak was in mild jeopardy after a loss at K-State on Feb. 23. But Iowa State, which could have pulled even in the race, dropped a home game to Baylor, lost at K-State and then rallied to beat Oklahoma, clinching a share for KU. The Jayhawks can win the title outright with one victory in their final two games, starting on Tuesday night against West Virginia.

The longest conference title streaks in NCAA history

Number

Team

Conference

Seasons

13

UCLA

Pac-8/10

1967-79

11

Gonzaga

West Coast

2001-11

11

Kansas

Big 12

2005-present

10

UNLV

Big West

1983-92

10

UConn

Yankee

1951-60

9

Idaho State

Rocky Mountain

1953-61

9

Kentucky

Southeastern

1944-52

The Streak by the Numbers

Overall Record in Big 12: 151-31

Home: 86-5

Road: 65-26

vs. Kansas State: 17-5

vs. Iowa State: 19-3

vs. Missouri: 12-4

vs. Nebraska: 14-0

vs. Colorado: 14-0

vs. Texas: 11-4

vs. Oklahoma: 12-2 (1 game remaining)

vs. Oklahoma State: 9-4

vs. Baylor: 14-1

vs. Texas Tech: 10-3

vs. Texas A&M: 8-1

vs. TCU: 5-1

vs. West Virginia: 3-2 (1 game remaining)

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