That makes it a dozen straight — and counting.
Kansas beat Texas Tech 67-58 at Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday and in the process secured at least a share of its 12th consecutive Big 12 title. The Jayhawks need to win just one of their final two games — either Monday at Texas or next Saturday vs. Iowa State — to take the Big 12 outright. But the streak will continue, regardless. And if Kansas wins the Big 12 again next year, it will tie UCLA’s record of 13 straight league titles won from 1967 to 1979.
There’s a difference between those two streaks, though.
The most obvious difference is that the streaks were created in completely different eras, this era being the more competitive by far. But the other difference is that three coaches (John Wooden, Gene Bartow, Gary Cunningham) were responsible for UCLA’s run of league titles whereas the Jayhawks’ streak has all happened under one man: Bill Self.
Speaking of Self, here’s something interesting …
There are six active Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame coaches — namely Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim, SMU’s Larry Brown, Kentucky’s John Calipari, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, Louisville’s Rick Pitino and North Carolina’s Roy Williams — and none have ever won more than five straight league titles. Again, Self has won 12 straight. Which is why he’ll someday join those men in the Hall of Fame, and he’d join them even if he retired tonight.
Larry Brown has never won consecutive league titles. Jim Boeheim and Rick Pitino have never won more than two consecutive league titles. Roy Williams has never won more than four consecutive league titles. John Calipari and Mike Krzyzewski have never won more than five consecutive league titles. And yet Bill Self has now won 12 straight league titles.
Simply put, that’s amazing. And, barring a surprise, Kansas will now be ranked No. 1 in Monday’s Associated Press poll. So this win over Texas Tech was big on multiple levels.