Kansas’ Streak By no means Made Sense

As Oklahoma was saying the final rites for Kansas’ 14-year streak of Massive 12 championships Tuesday evening, school basketball Twitter was busy considering of all of the methods wherein the world had modified since Kansas was final eradicated from Massive 12 rivalry.

The Streak was a mutant appendage that fed off some bizarre stew that had been brewing within the Heartland since earlier than anyone had ever grinded to “Sluggish Movement” by Juvenile on a sticky bar dance ground.

Pictured: How everybody wearing 2004.

The 14 consecutive titles are the NCAA report. However this system Kansas handed is what reveals how confounding Kansas basketball has been during the last 14 years. John Wood’s UCLA received 13 Pac-10 championships in a row. The primary distinction between Wood’s UCLA and Invoice Self’s Kansas, then, is that UCLA received 10 nationwide championships throughout that point, and Kansas has … one.

It appears not possible that there could be a blueblood program that wins its convention championship 14 years in a row, is a No. 1 or No. 2 seed 10 years in a row, is ranked within the high 5 within the preseason 10 occasions in 14 years, makes it to 9 Candy 16s and 6 Elite Eights — and comes away with one title.

Since 2004, Duke has received the ACC regular-season championship twice, has gone to 2 Closing Fours and has two nationwide championships.  Since 2004, Kentucky has received six convention championships. It has additionally been to seven Elite Eights, 4 Closing Fours, and has one title, which it received over Kansas in 2012.

North Carolina has received the ACC eight occasions since 2004, changing these Kansas-like common seasons into 5 Closing Fours and three nationwide championships.

UConn has as many nationwide championships since 2004 because it does convention championships (2).

You may’t go along with the “Invoice Self is a choker” factor anymore. Like all group that’s all the time a excessive seed, Kansas has had its heartbreaking losses.  However after back-to-back first-round losses in 2004 and 2005, the Jayhawks have been to extra Candy 16s than North Carolina, and extra Elite Eights than Duke.

It’s not that Kansas has under-performed within the NCAA Match. Even Tom Izzo will get bounced early sometimes. It’s simply that The Streak signifies a stage of dominance over school basketball that doesn’t bear itself out within the last outcomes.

You’d assume, once in a while, a group that’s nearly invariably a No. 1 or No. 2 seed would simply sort of journey right into a nationwide title. That’s how a few of these North Carolina championships really feel. You had a very good group that performed very well all yr and simply stored taking part in very well till any person handed it a pair of scissors. That’s precisely the sort of group Kansas had in 2008, when it received its solely championship since 1988. However even that required an epic collapse by Memphis and a miraculous shot by Mario Chalmers.

Kansas nearly got here out of nowhere to win one in 2012. A group led by Tyshawn Taylor and Thomas Robinson was ranked 13th within the preseason and regarded overmatched in an early sport in opposition to Anthony Davis and Kentucky. However the Jayhawks went 16-2 in Massive 12 play and made it to the nationwide championship sport, the place they regarded overmatched in opposition to Anthony Davis and Kentucky.

You’d have thought for positive the group with Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid would have carried the momentum from a Massive 12 championship proper via the NCAA Match. However Embiid damage his again.

Final yr an ideal and mature Kansas group beat Duke to go to the Closing 4. They Jayhawks performed the No. 2 general group, Villanova, and Villanova made 18 three-pointers.

That’s not fortunate, however you’ll be able to’t actually chalk it as much as unhealthy luck since making 18 three-pointers is simply the sort of factor Villanova does. It’s simply that making 18 was additionally the sort of factor Kansas did final yr, besides Kansas didn’t make 18 that evening. Kansas made 7.

That’s the best way issues go in single-elimination basketball tournaments. Kansas doesn’t actually have something to complain about, aside from the plain, which is that it looks like it could have greater than three nationwide championships by now.

We’re speaking a couple of program that hasn’t missed the NCAA Match since 1989. Since that yr, you understand how many 10-loss seasons Kansas has?

It’s 4.

You understand how many occasions Kansas has misplaced greater than 10 video games in a season since then?


KU hasn’t had a down yr in three a long time. North Carolina, Duke and Indiana all have dropping seasons in that span and Kentucky has missed the NCAA Match 3 times.

Within the 15 years Roy Williams was at Kansas, he received 80 % of his video games, coached 5 All-Individuals and went to 4 Closing Fours, however by no means bought a title. Then he goes to North Carolina and inside two years he’s bought his first championship, with two extra to comply with.

What’s that?

How do you clarify three consecutive a long time of unbroken excellence on the highest stage of faculty basketball leading to one nationwide championship?

One concept is that Kansas’ home-court benefit is so nice that KU groups wind up with higher data than they actually ought to. The purpose has some advantage. Kansas is sort of not possible to beat at Allen Fieldhouse, for causes that usually appear to have extra to do with Allen Fieldhouse than any explicit assortment of Jayhawks. So possibly there are years wherein the Jayhawks had been a No. 2 seed, however actually they had been extra like a No. three. There are undoubtedly years wherein Allen Fieldhouse was the distinction between profitable the Massive 12 and ending second or third.

However that doesn’t clarify away all of this. It’s not smoke and mirrors that’s been profitable these Massive 12 titles. Wayne Simien, Sherron Collins, Marcus Morris, Andrew Wiggins, Frank Mason — these guys had been recognized to stroll into visiting arenas and shut issues down too.

All people all the time figured for those who had been going to take down Kanas, you had been going to need to beat the Jayhawks in Lawrence. However no one did that this yr (KU hosts Baylor within the season finale on Saturday). Kansas went 2-6 on the highway in convention play, and that’s all it took. Half the time the Jayhawks had been on the ropes by the primary media timeout.

So the streak is over. I’m unsure what we discovered.

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