Kansas Jayhawks: The Absolute Ridiculousness of the Streak


By now you have heard of this crazy little stat that the Kansas Jayhawks clinched at least a share of their 11th straight Big 12 Conference championship.

Life was a much different time when the Jayhawks gave way to Oklahoma St. in 2004, and finished tied for second place.

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The Virginia Cavaliers just clinched the ACC title for the second year in a row, and that is no easy task.

They are the first team not named Duke or North Carolina to do so since the early 70’s.

They’ve got nine more to go to catch the Jayhawks.

The Kansas City Star’s Rustin Dodd shared a chart with his Twitter followers Monday on where the Jayhawks’ streak stands in the history of the NCAA.

As you can see, Kansas is now tied for second with Gonzaga with 11 straight titles, and only two behind the UCLA teams that are the measuring stick for the greatest dynasty in the sport.

A few things to note:

  • Kansas is the only team on the list to have an active streak
  • The only team whose streak did not end 23-plus years ago is Gonzaga
  • Gonzaga plays in the West Coast Conference

No disrespect to BYU, St. Mary’s, or Pepperdine, but it’s not the Big 12.

What head coach Mark Few has done in Spokane is nothing short of Hall-of-Fame-esque, but it’s not the same as winning in an conference that is continually in the top three of the RPI — including number one this season.

Bill Self has been as consistent as they come during his 12 years in Lawrence, and now will need to size the latest ring to fit one of his big toes.

What might even be just as impressive as the 11 titles in a row, is the 58 overall they have won during their existence, including:

  • 15 in the Big 12
  • 13 in the Big 8
  • 13 in the Missouri Valley
  • 12 in the Big 6
  • 5 in the Big 7

That accomplishment ranks the Jayhawks first all-time in college basketball.

Now, they are three seasons away from setting the consecutive record as well.

There has been talk that the fact Kansas has won so much recently is an indictment on the Big 12 as a whole.

But that is nonsense.

Sure there have been no other champions comes out of the conference, but last time anyone checked it’s not like the SEC has been strong outside of Kentucky.

The Wildcats have been one of the top three teams the past decade, if not number one, and their conference title streak sits at a whopping one, counting this year.

The other Power 5 conferences all have good teams, but the Big 10 hasn’t had a champion since 2000 — and Wisconsin will move its Big 10 championship streak all the way up to one this season.

Virginia leads possibly the best top to bottom conference in the country, the ACC, with two, while Villanova will wrap up its second consecutive Big East Title this year.

Arizona will do the same in the Pac-12, a conference that has not produced a national champion since 1997 — and it was the Wildcats.

It’s a lame duck argument to say that any other team would accomplish this same feat in the Big 12, because it takes talent (No. 1 in consensus All-Americans), stability (only eight coaches in 100-plus years), and yes, a little bit of luck (Iowa St. vs. Oklahoma, March 2, 2015), but certainly more of the first two than the third.

It will be 2024 before any of those teams have a shot to catch the Jayhawks — if the Crimson and Blue don’t win again next year.

Kansas has a chance to win the title outright (which they have done six of the previous 10 years) tonight when it takes on West Virginia at home.

If you like a safe bet, put your money on the Jayhawks.

It’s been the right play the past 11 years.

Next: Kansas Jayhawks: Naming the All-Bill Self KU Teams

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