Breaking Wooden

  • No program has suffered more heart breaking losses in championship games than the Kansas Jayhawks. Just getting there is an accomplishment that many programs in Division 1 have never been able to do. It’s an incredibly difficult task to win a title but I can think of one thing that by many would have seemed impossible. This year we actually have a chance to beat an all time record set by the great John Wooden. Something that other programs will never be able to claim. By winning a 14th conference championship our program will set in stone a record that will quite possibly never be broken. While other programs chase John Wooden in titles, a feat they will never get to, we actually beat him at something else. Would you, fellow Jayhawk fans trade this feat for a title? And if so how many? DEBATE!

  • @SkinnyKansasDude

    The streak at UCLA was accomplished under 3 different coaches so Wooden does not have that record; Coach Self already owns that one and Mark Few is second with 11.

  • I love the streak as it sets us apart from the other Blue Blood programs that have had down years on occasion. KU has been the model of consistent excellence during the regular season while UNC and Kentucky have found themselves as 8 seeds and even in the NIT. It’s truly amazing.

    That said, what would I trade for another National Title during the last decade plus? A lot of those league titles. Sad but true…college basketball greatness is measured by Final 4s and NC’s. I didn’t make these rules and I wish it wasn’t the case but it is a fact. Another NC for Bill would solidify his position as one of the All Time greats. I am afraid that having 1 will be looked at as a chink in the armor if that is the number he has when he hangs it up.

    So, personally I think we aim for both as fans since in reality there is no way to trade away league titles for Final 4 runs and National Titles. I am hoping to raise two banners at the end of this year!

  • @joeloveshawks I don’t really care about Final 4s if there isn’t an NC at the end. Just another week of anxiety and heartbreak if you lose. (I realize for players it is different.)

    But until there is a time machine with an operator crooked enough to rig the past, this is a worry without enough substance to keep me awake.

  • Playing devils advocate, would KU have won 14 straight in the ACC or former Big East?

    I don’t see why not. Big 12 has been one of the strongest basketball conferences in the past 14 years. Not having other blue bloods in the program helps, too.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Ooh very informative thank you I hadn’t realized that

  • @BucknellJayhawk3 I don’t think there is anyone that would suggest that KU would have won 14 straight in the ACC, former Big East, Pac-12 (with Arizona), or the SEC (with Kentucky).

    @mayjay I suspect you are one of the few KU fans that doesn’t care about Final Fours. Meaning, I don’t think I’ve really heard anyone say that. A Final Four is a major prestige point for any program, and lack of such an appearance is a point of embarrassment … for … you know … those undesirable programs (say, like, MU?).

    It’s exactly like saying that you don’t care about getting to the World Series, or getting to the Super Bowl. But if you don’t care, you don’t care. Personal preference. But the measure of greatness includes consideration of FF appearance. And you gotta ring the national title bell, though, too, as you referenced. More than twice in 30 years would be preferable.

  • @HighEliteMajor I knew that would get you!

  • Both the streak and national championships mean a lot to me. But right at this moment, when we can separate ourselves from the Dukes in the world… I want that streak to be owned strictly by Kansas. We are seeing just how much publicity it is giving us… plenty… and I feel MORE than if we traded 14 league titles for a single NC.

    Just my opinion. Doesn’t make it right or wrong. Just how I feel about it.

    I want BOTH this year! Why do we have to settle for one or the other?

    More than anything… I want Kansas to win every single game we play in. I hate losing!

  • @HighEliteMajor On a more serious note, I was only talking about experiencing F4 losses as a fan (especially in the semis), and obviously it is different for the program and the players and those things you mention, as well as fans who attend.

    There have been enough of them for us that I know that feeling. Repeatedly. The WS for the Royal in '14 was different because it had occurred so seldom. The feeling, despite losing, was exhiliarating. And presaged a lot of good feelings about '15.

    Remember, I was talking about would I have wanted a couple more NON-championship F4s rather than the Streak looking back on it. I don’t think two more would have resulted in anything other than more “Self choked” talk in the historical perspective. The Streak if it gets to14 would be unique. Three teams lose in the F4 every year. That is nice but doing it twice in 14 years (even 4 if we are adding two to the existing ones) is not something that will probably never be done.

    But do not confuse this with not wanting to get to the F4 this and every year. Gotta get there to win it!

  • The streak is a school record!

  • I want to win our next game. Always. Do that, and the streaks and championships take care of themselves. There’s no trading. Just win.

  • In a single elimination tournament, it’s hard to convince me that the best college basketball team has won every year.

  • @mayjay @HighEliteMajor

    I can see both point both I would have to agree more with @mayjay .

    Comparing a Final Four with the World Series is not the same since in the World Series you are playing for the title while in the Final Four, you may or may not play for the title depending on the result of the first game. If you lose the first game the appearance is pretty forgettable and few remember. It might be more comparable to the Division title and who remember the losers other than a few fans?

    As far as records that transcend time go, some are remembered more than others by some or all fans. Only very dedicated fans other than UCLA’s fans remember how many titles UCLA won other than there were several while back. A lot of fans remember their 13 year title streak and most everybody knows about the 88 game winning streak that started and ended with loses to Notre Dame…even those that were too young to live it.

    If KU wins title #14, it will be record remember by all basketball fans since it will likely never be broken and it was done in an era with a heck of a lot more parity than when UCLA won 13. I bet it will be chosen as the sports event of the year by all publications. Keep in mind that the Big 12 was the #1 ranked conference for the last 5 years and other years before as well. I don’t care what the ACC, SEC or other conference fans and apologists say, the numbers compiled by objective computer models don’t play favorites.

    Years from now, we will all marvel at the consistent excellence of the program under Coach Self and what a pleasure was to have been witnesses to the entire process.

  • @JayHawkFanToo @mayjay I have to admit that this is the first and only year I would concede that a conference title may be more important than a final four. Breaking the record and setting one that won’t be broken.

    The FF, though, like the World Series and Super Bowl, are considered the destination, the big event. You know, the road to the final four. While one may quibble details, it’s the main event for CBB.

    @welladjustedhawk Best? The road championships in every sport is littered with the supposed “best” team. The tourney determines THE one and only champion.

  • @HighEliteMajor I agree about the final four. I think tourney chokes have caused many to be defensive and give in to lowered expectations from Self, citing that the tournament is a “crapshoot”. We are a blue blood school, so final fours and titles are expected. Thats not being spoiled or selfish – its just a fact of reality that people have to accept.

  • @HawkChamp That is in the PHOF category, for truth and brevity. And the path isn’t really an ominous as it is made out to be. As a one or two seed, but for a lightning strike, you have one win under the belt. You only need three more to get there, and except in the case where a 2 has to play a 1 in the elite 8, your are always the better seeded team. That is all tempered against the fact that CBB is an emotional deal, where pressure, streaks, runs, environment, and many other factors make top teams susceptible to upset. it’s not as volatile as baseball in a one game deal, to be sure. Not close. But when you assess it over time, meaning multiple years in comparison to other programs, it gives us better perspective. We’ve just underachieved in the tourney. Simple as that. But we’ve overachieved in the regular season – to a pretty astounding level.

  • Do recruits outside of Kansas really care about the streak? seriously…when has any recruit said i want to go and win big 12 ship and extend streak? nada…all recruits say is they want to win championships. This is why Duke constantly keeps on getting top recruits. As much as i hate to say it, Coach K is considered the gold standard in college bball and he doesn’t have close to the conf streak we do. Again - national titles. that’s what stands out! As much as we like to downplay the tourney as a crapshoot, it is the official measure of the ncaa greatness.

    The streak is something we propelled to exponential importance because as KU fans, we don’t have anything else to cling to. we feel it keeps us relevant when in reality it is nothing more than a “dick size” contest with other teams in the big 12. Yea, we can brag to KSU, ISU, WVU, etc. but that’s about it.

    I know a lot of you disagree with this thinking, but the same bunch also say the big 12 is the toughest conference when in reality it is not.

  • elpoyo said:

    Do recruits outside of Kansas really care about the streak? seriously…when has any recruit said i want to go and win big 12 ship and extend streak? nada…

    LOL. To quote a recent recuit:

    “I want to break Kansas’ [Big 12 title] streak,” Young said. “It’s not going to be easy, by any means, but that’s something that I’m going to be hard on all year. If I would have went to Kansas, I would have been a little bit different, but I wanted to break that streak. That’s my goal. We’re gonna do it. I have all faith in God that that’s what his plan is.”


  • @DanR nailed it

  • I still have two 88 championship t shirts and one 08 t shirt plus a FF tshirt. I don’t have any conference championship t shirts. That shows my priority!

    Let me ask this question: How many more consecutive titles do we have to win without a an accompanying NC before the streak becomes a burden?

    Let me ask another question. Would you mind losing the streak this year (could happen) if we went on and won the NC? I would in a half a heartbeat!

    Good discussion, you all have valid points.

  • wissox said:

    I still have two 88 championship t shirts and one 08 t shirt plus a FF tshirt. I don’t have any conference championship t shirts. That shows my priority!

    Let me ask this question: How many more consecutive titles do we have to win without a an accompanying NC before the streak becomes a burden?

    Let me ask another question. Would you mind losing the streak this year (could happen) if we went on and won the NC? I would in a half a heartbeat!

    Good discussion, you all have valid points.

    I posted this question on a post earlier this month or the end of January and while we were struggling the board basically said the streak was more important than winning a NC. Several said that stating they didn’t think we could win it anyway. The measurement of b-ball success is NC’s. Then final fours and this is only hype for tv and conversations. If anything less than NC was important there would still be a 3rd place game.

  • Ok - the conf streak is what it is - an AMAZING achievement. It stands alone and apart, and is historic, and speaks to so much about what is good about our program, and our coach and his system. Will it be broken by another program?? Possibly, but looks now to be unlikely. This may be one of those DiMaggio-esque records. And We are not in a lesser weak division, we are now in one of the strongest current divisions in the NCAA. Those in the know understand the true awesome nature of this singular achievement. For the vast majority of average college b-ball fans, it’s probably nothing more than a side-note stat.

    Would I personally trade a NC for the record? Nope I wouldn’t.

    That being said, I really don’t have an answer as to why we seem to be snake-bit when it comes to our supposed prowess and our recent Big dance results lately. We have the players ( Mostly), and we have a great coach, but we can’t seem to put together the needed 5 or 6 games in a row. Duke and NC do get there more often at least fairly recently. What are they doing that is different? Do Roy and Coach K have the secret to getting their guys thru the gauntlet? The combination of team chemistry, health, the right players stepping up at crucial moments, luck, and consistent play which a team needs to win the tourney seems to elude us. The real question is, is this anyone’s real fault? or is it the nature of the tourney ultimately? And yes, Self and KU will ultimately be judged by NC’s and final four appearances. That of course is the nature of all sport. Win the big one, or be an afterthought.

    Everyone here would love a National championship, and I suspect 99% here would gladly trade the conf streak for that.

    As d-slayer said above, let’s root for both to happen, but I honestly won’t lose too much sleep this year if we flame out early, especially with this particular talented but rebound-challenged, intermittent-D-playing squad. Will lose a lot more sleep if we fumble away the streak when right now we have it easily within reach.

  • Not that other teams haven’t, we have had injuries to key players at tournament time.

  • Perhaps the perceived insignificance of the streak by other current players/teams lies in the fact that they will never, ever in their college basketball lifetimes, achieve such a record for their team/school. March Madness, on the other hand, is by design hope filled…how many years has a Cinderella team risen and been cheered along (before finally being thwarted by a blue blood or major)? League championships are blue collar – the result of hard work and consistency which endears a faithful fan base. By contrast, March Madness captivates and bedazzles, drawing in throngs of ‘bracket filling-out’ neophytes in office pools. Yet there is little argument that the pursuit of a NC is the apex of achievement in college basketball. Interestingly, it is also the one regret NBA stars (who avoided college hoops) often voice.

  • First off as stated the UCLA streak was under several coaches and the parity in CBB wasn’t in the same galaxy that it is today. @elpoyo Look up how Dook has done vs how Kansas has done since Self arrived. Kansas has more wins, conference regular season titles, conference tournament titles, more Sweet 16s, more elite 8s and less first weekend exits. Coach K has 3 FFs and 2 national championships to Selfs 2 FFs and 1 NC. If the conference or actually winning games means anything or coach Ks early exits, I’d say they are slightly, slightly ahead of us. The sad thing to me about winning the national championships is we are so close to having more than NCAA titles. We lost by 1 point to Indiana in 1953, lost to UNC in 3 overtimes by 1 in 57, lost to Duke by 7 in 91 and Syracuse by 3 in 03. We are 16 points from having 4 more titles and mere 8 points from having 3 more (added one point for a winning score, didn’t even count 2012). Until 08 I honestly wondered if we’d ever win one again, we should’ve several times and for what ever reason even when we got there we just couldn’t finish it. The streak is great if it’s able to continue this season something that most likely will never happen again, isn’t that what being a blue blood is about in a sense. Doing stuff that never has been done before like winning 14 in a row or 61 total.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    The NCAA tournament is indeed in many ways a crap shoot. It is all about momentum, favorable match ups and a lot of luck; of course you have to have talents as well. College basketball is the only major sport not called football that is single elimination. If starting with the Sweet 16 or even the Elite 8 switches to double elimination, KU probably does not win in '88 but likely wins 2 or 3 others when it had great teams that had one bad game.

    I am all for reducing the tournament to the true top 32 teams and going double elimination the whole way.

  • We all have our individual ways of enjoying basketball. For me, the Streak symbolizes our program as a whole. Unlike the Atlanta Braves who won 14 division titles in a row with a core of players and a couple of HOF pitchers, the Jayhawks have been represented by over 100 players throughout these years, with no one at KU longer than 5 years, and with the best often gone in 3 or less.

    The Streak enhances my appreciation of all those kids who have kept up the standard of excellence with just their connection of Jawhawk heritage in common (plus a brilliant coach and a staff par excellence, of course).

  • @mayjay Thats what makes KU great, we don’t have down years compared to others. We are the most consistent program in the country and have been for quite sometime now. Honestly think I’d rather be us than Indiana and UCLA, both haven’t been relevant most of the last 30 plus years and aren’t considered national powers anymore. That and let’s be real winning the tournament after it’s expaned to what it is now is a whole lot harder than what it was when UCLA was doing their thing.

  • @kjayhawks

    Amen to that. We could be like Uconn with 3 recent National Titles and fading into irrelevance.

  • I want both. Honestly, I think the question is a bit silly. If you’re the best team in your conference, you probably have a better shot at the national championship than if you aren’t.

    Would we play differently if our goal was ONLY to win the national championship and didn’t care about the conference championship? I don’t think so.

    If we didn’t try to be great every single year, might we be even better in one given year? I don’t see how.

  • @JayHawkFanToo UCONN has 4 national titles in recent years if you count 99 as recent.

  • @wissox And they are now just as he said, irrelevant, and not much hope for resurrection barring a slam dunk coaching hire. So, would we want those 3 extra titles if we knew we would become irrelevant thereafter?

  • @mayjay That is a puzzling one. What is the statute of limitations on championship afterglow? The Sox 05 championship is starting to fade in my thrillometer, I’m ready for another. The KU 08 win is also fading leaving me wanting more, especially as our blue blood rivals have won multiple times since then. The Bears 86 Super Bowl was sufficient for quite a number of years, but goodness, we need another one!

  • I could be wrong of course. But I just don’t see UConn staying irrelevant very long. I don’t think they’ll tolerate that. I believe they will get rid of Ollie and upgrade. It’s terrific discussion though. Interesting to think about. But would I personally take a few down years in order to have 2 or 3 more banners hanging in the last 15 years? I certainly would. Especially if I know the program overall will simply not tolerate irrelevance.

    But I agree with those that say why can’t we have both? Certainly seems as though being competitive and at the top of the conference on an annual basis gives a better chance of winning at the national level also. We’re not all that far away from having those couple more titles as is… If a few things would have happened. They didn’t… but who is to say they won’t in the next 5-10? Coach Self is at the top of his game and growing daily in my opinion. Adapting, innovating… He’s far too competitive to not get there again. We just all want it now. Myself included. But I believe it’s coming. I firmly do believe that

  • @cragarhawk And somehow Self has done everything at KU with only one POY, and having to defeat three of them (2 consensus–Durant, Griffin, 1 who got most–Hield). With another one possible this year, but fading (Trae). And despite winning the conference for 13 years, Self has had only 4 Big 12 POYs. We could get another this year if voters wake up.

    Say, what is the story with all those OU POYs, anyway?

  • @JayHawkFanToo would it be fair to have taken away the chance of teams lower than an 8 seed a chance to dance? How many of them have had upsets? I have no idea but would be curious.

    The March Carney is the greatest spectacle in American sports. The first weekend is magical and I love hearing about the smaller teams that made it. I think we would lose a lot of the magic if we restricted to 32 (or 36) teams.

  • @JayHawkFanToo “True top 32”? I wanna listen to that debate!

  • @mayjay true story. But isn’t it just further evidence that basketball is a team sport? Not that having a POY doesn’t help. But look at some of the teams that have stacks. Managing too many egos? Things like that. How often do those teams actually cut down the nets? Seems like not often. Not sure how OU gets POY type players. Perhaps it’s like this year. Trae Young wanted to be THE MAN rather then 1/5 of the outfit. Idk

    @approxinfinity I’m with you. The tournament is fantastic as is. Less teams would maybe give the best team a better chance to win it all but would also take away from the overall experience and prestige that goes with it. I’m not for expansion either honestly.

  • @cragarhawk In fact, we already have de facto expansion way beyond the 68 set out on Selection Sunday. All those 30 or more conference tournaments are open to their teams, good and bad, to qualify for the Dance.

  • @approxinfinity

    You have to limit the number in order to have double elimination.

    Has a team ranked lower than 32 ever won the tournament?

    Several ways of doing it.

    • 64 teams - Have first round at campuses and the winners move to the actual tournament.
    • 48 teams - Top 16 get a bye, bottom 32 have a play in game.
    • 80 teams - Top 16 get a bye, bottom 64 have a 2 game play in.

    Can you imagine a 3 game KU - UK or KU - Duke finals series?

  • Banned


    I understand your lack of confidence in the Big 12 being a strong basketball conference. I understand that you put a lot of weight on tourney success. Nothing wrong with any of these perceptions.

    However when you say KU couldn’t or wouldn’t win 14 straight in another power conference. Well we just don’t know. You might say it’s on likely, Yet that doesn’t make it a fact or a point to peddle as a fact.

    You see I’m one those that does indeed KU could dominate another power conference. Coach has one of the best regular season win/loss records in the history of the game. Now if he can just translate that to the tourney? People would say UCLA who?

  • The other conferences don’t all play each team twice like the Big XII and some teams 3 times when including the Conference Tournament. The Big XII is worn down come NCAA time. KU may have to play WVU and or TTU a third time and then start the NCAA Tournament. Then again, OU, TCU, KSU, ISU, UT, and Baylor may have to face KU a third time. In other words, its rough out here!

  • @DoubleDD I am sure he is correct that it probably wouldn’t have happened in the ACC or SEC. But why let that fact bother anybody? It is a meaningless statement, concentrating on nonexistent events in order to make some really bizarre point. UCLA’s championship streak likely would not have happened had they been in the ACC. DiMaggio’s streak might not have happened if he had to bat against Yankee pitching. Tom Brady would not have been as successful playing for the Browns. The Civil War might have ended differently if Stuart had scouted more conservatively at Gettysburg. If that petri dish with the penicillin bacteria had not been seen… If Stalin had not purged his generals in the 30’s…

    History is chock full of stuff that happened that might have happened differently. The fact is, regardless of whether the Big 12 lived up to its rankings during the streak, it is and always has been a Power 5 conference, and KU has had to play and win against numerous HOF coaches, several College POYs and All Americans, and numerous pro draft picks.

    This is no Sierra Nevada Directonal School Conference that KU has been winning. Opponents merely needed to win a couple more games in any given year. KU has put together a feat of statistically almost impossible accomplishment. Anyone trying to diminish it by talking about post-season play has missed the point and is just trying to bitch about something. “If Wilt was so good, why not more rings?”

  • @mayjay

    The list of NBA players KU had to compete against is pretty impressive. No one can tell me the Big 12 has had no talent:

    Player College Draft Yr

    Naz Long Iowa State 2017

    Johnathan Motley Baylor 2017

    Monte Morris Iowa State 2017

    Jarrett Allen Texas 2017

    Jawun Evans Oklahoma State 2017

    Wesley Iwundu Kansas State 2017

    Buddy Hield Oklahoma 2016

    Abdel Nader Iowa State 2016

    Isaiah Taylor Texas 2016

    Georges Niang Iowa State 2016

    Taurean Prince Baylor 2016

    Bryce Dejean-Jones Iowa State 2015

    Royce O’Neale Baylor 2015

    Myles Turner Texas 2015

    Cory Jefferson Baylor 2014

    Markel Brown Oklahoma State 2014

    Marcus Smart Oklahoma State 2014

    Rodney McGruder Kansas State 2013

    Chris Babb Iowa State 2013

    Pierre Jackson Baylor 2013

    Phil Pressey Missouri 2013

    Andre Roberson Colorado 2013

    Perry Jones Baylor 2012

    Quincy Miller Baylor 2012

    Khris Middleton Texas A&M 2012

    Quincy Acy Baylor 2012

    Kim English Missouri 2012

    Royce White Iowa State 2012

    Alec Burks Colorado 2011

    Cory Joseph Texas 2011

    Tristan Thompson Texas 2011

    Jordan Hamilton Texas 2011

    Cory Higgins Colorado 2011

    Diante Garrett Iowa State 2011

    Jacob Pullen Kansas State 2011

    Dexter Pittman Texas 2010

    Avery Bradley Texas 2010

    Craig Brackins Iowa State 2010

    Damion James Texas 2010

    Donald Sloan Texas A&M 2010

    James Anderson Okla State 2010

    Willie Warren Oklahoma 2010

    Ekpe Udoh Baylor 2010

    Terrel Harris Oklahoma State 2009

    DeMarre Carroll Missouri 2009

    Taylor Griffin Oklahoma 2009

    Blake Griffin Oklahoma 2009

    Henry Walker Kansas State 2008

    Mike Taylor Iowa State 2008

    D.J. Augustin Texas 2008

    DeAndre Jordan Texas A&M 2008

    Michael Beasley Kansas State 2008

    Cartier Martin Kansas State 2007

    Kevin Durant Texas 2007

    Acie Law Texas A&M 2007

    JamesOn Curry OklaState 2007

    P.J. Tucker Texas 2006

    Daniel Gibson Texas 2006

    Thomas Gardner Missouri 2006

    Will Blalock Iowa State 2006

    Chris Copeland Colorado 2006

    LaMarcus Aldridge Texas 2006

    Linas Kleiza Missouri 2005

    Ivan McFarlin Oklahoma State 2005

    John Lucas Oklahoma State 2005

    Stephen Graham Okla State 2005

    Joey Graham Okla State 2005

    Transfers out during Streak:

    Sheldon Mac 2016

    Joshiah Grey 2016

    Justin Hamilton 2012

    Xavier Silas 2011

    Wesley Johnson 2010

    And that doesn’t even project to this year.


    I have taken out KU players. That is impressive, too.

  • @mayjay I don’t think we actually ever played against Blake Griffith, though. I think he was injured, and was a DNP.

  • @KUSTEVE Changed it to “compete against.” The rest of the conference had to play him, and that is the point. He played 5 mins against us his first year before his injury, and sat out his game as a soph as a precaution (concussion, I think). Those years are when we only played Tex, OSt, A&M, Baylor, TTech, and Okla ( B12 south) once each year. Fortunately when you see how stacked Tex and O State were.

  • @mayjay True, true.

  • 0_1519578091864_DW11XLgVQAAgXYY.jpg

  • Early in the season, i said that it would be an overachievement ( a miracle really) if we won the league again. I thought that would be the ceiling and any wins in the tourney would be cherry on top.

    Now at this point, I still think that this team can lose in the first round on a bad day or get to the final four. There is still no margin of error for this team. It could happen that they ride a hot streak all the way to the end, but it can also end very quickly for us.

    I am in the camp that would trade in all the league titles for a NC in 2011 and either of 2016/2017 (Frank’s teams). However, for this year only I was rooting more for a B12 title than anything else because I thought that was a more achievable target instead of a NC.
    Here’s hoping, I’m proven wrong and Devonte pulls a Kemba Walker and takes us all the way!

    Rock Chalk!!

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