REASON #3: BILL SELF
The head coach for Kansas basketball is probably the biggest advantage the Jayhawks have over all other teams in the conference. There are several terrific coaches in the Big 12, but only one Hall of Fame coach.
Of those 21 regular season championships Kansas has won, Bill Self has 17 of those in 20 seasons. Probably the most incredible stat in the long list of unbelievable stats that Self has accumulated is that Self has the same number of Allen Fieldhouse losses as he has Big 12 championships — 17.
Self knows how to maneuver his teams through the minefield that is conference play. He's done it over and over, and he is very good at getting his teams to hit their stride as the end of the season approaches.
This season, Self has an incredible starting five, but his bench is perceived as shallow and having a huge dropoff in talent. Look for these backups to start embracing their roles and providing big moments when needed. Good coaches figure out ways for all their players to contribute when needed, and Self will coax the most of his four who come off the bench.
The conference portion of the schedule is only a third done so there is a lot of basketball yet to be played. At this point, no one should be surprised if Kansas isn't sitting atop the standings when the season comes to a close.