There are a lot of numbers you could associate with Kansas basketball.
Six – the number of national championships the program has in its illustrious history. Eight –the number of head coaches who have led the Jayhawks. 32 –the number of consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances the team has made.
But lately, the number that appears most often with the Kansas Jayhawks is one.
The program is currently No. 1 in all-time wins in college basketball history. KU is almost unanimously ranked as the preseason No. 1 team heading into the 2023-24 season. And they were recently voted as the No. 1 program of the 21st century.
In a list of the top 10 programs of the 2000s era, recruiting analyst Jamie Shaw of On3.com picked the Jayhawks as the best program since the turn of the century.
Shaw noted the following as reasoning for his selection:
– KU is 697-152 since the 1999-00 season.
– KU has won two national championships.
– KU has appeared in six Final Fours and 14 Sweet Sixteens.
– KU has won 19 regular season Big 12 championships.
– KU has produced 35 NBA Draft picks.
– KU has had three National Players of the Year and 10 Big 12 Players of the Year.
In addition to the accolades mentioned by Shaw, since 2000 KU has also never missed the NCAA Tournament, they’ve won nine Big 12 Tournament championships, and they’ve had nine players named First Team All-American.
It’s pretty hard to argue with that kind of success.
Duke was picked second in Shaw’s list with a pretty close resume. Since 2000, Duke is 685-163, they have three national championships, five Final Fours, and have produced 54 NBA Draft picks and four National Players of the Year.
It’s pretty remarkable that Bill Self was not only able to sustain but build upon the success Roy Williams had when he left for North Carolina in the spring of 2003.
Winning an NCAA-record 14 conference championships and securing two national titles along with everything else in between is a testament to Self, his staff, and the talent they’ve been able to bring to Lawrence.
Self has a chance to build even further onto his legacy with the team he has this season. Self is also poised to pass the legendary Phog Allen on the all-time KU head coaching wins list.
He’s already the most accomplished coach in KU history, but I imagine Jayhawk fans wouldn’t be mad if he stuck around for another 20 years and helped further cement KU’s spot as the No. 1 program in the country.
While no one knows exactly how long Self will continue to coach for, one thing remains clear … he’s not done yet.
On3 is a leader in college sports and NIL, delivering trusted news, analysis, data, and insights to fans, athletes, schools, and brands. On3 was launched in August 2021 by founder and CEO Shannon Terry, co-founder of Rivals in 2000 and founder of 247Sports in 2010.