Bill Self’s 200th home win came with some undeniable doubt in the early going of its 76-67 victory over Texas on Saturday.
The Longhorns, in their first year under Shaka Smart, started with a 19-7 lead. And it led by as many as seven (40-33) in the second half. KU did not take its first lead of the game until the 12:34 mark of the second half, when a Perry Ellis jumper put the Jayhawks up 44-42.
From there, Kansas had the juice and had done for the 200th time what it was able to do in 199 previous successful outcomes under Bill Self. Get the win. Self is now 200-9 as Kansas’ coach when the Jayhawks play at Allen Fieldhouse. The number is insane, even by college basketball standards. Men’s college basketball has the greatest homecourt advantage of any major American sport, but to own a .957 win percentage at home is something well beyond the adjectives of outstanding, remarkable, supreme and implausible. It is dominance defined.
Self’s victory on Saturday means he joins Ted Owens and Roy Williams as the only Kansas coaches to win that many games in the house named after Kansas’ most renowned coach of all, Phog Allen. The Jayhawks’ rally over UT also moved Kansas to a 56-9 record under Self after a loss. KU is now 17-3 and is tied atop the Big 12 standings with Oklahoma, West Virginia and Baylor.
And this is why Self has ownership over 11 consecutive Big 12 regular season championships. Kansas now had 34 consecutive home wins. It’s won four straight against UT.
It’s a huge victory, considering it keeps Kansas in contention — way down the way — for a No. 1 seed. KU had dropped two of its past three. And now comes two more huge games. On Monday, a roadie against Iowa State. Then next Saturday, a home game against Kentucky, one of the premier nonconference tilts this season in college hoops.
Ellis is coming on strong. He had a game-high 26 points. Kansas doesn’t truly have a strong nominee for national player of the year, but Ellis will join that conversation very soon if he keeps going the way he has been. He’s averaging better than 24 points in his last three games.