University of Kansas

Looking back at KU basketball’s record 14-year Big 12 title streak

How has the world changed since KU started its Big 12 title streak

The Kansas Jayhawks started a winning streak in 2005 that has continued into 2018. The men's basketball team has won 14 consecutive Big 12 Conference titles.
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The Kansas Jayhawks started a winning streak in 2005 that has continued into 2018. The men's basketball team has won 14 consecutive Big 12 Conference titles.

Here is The Kansas City Star’s coverage of each time the Kansas Jayhawks won the Big 12 basketball championship during their record 14-year streak from 2005-18.

Click or tap on each headline for a full version of that year’s story.

2005: The Streak begins as KU beats K-State on Senior Night

Wayne Simien scored 25 points and grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds in Kansas’ 72-65 victory over Kansas State — a win that gave Kansas a share of the Big 12 title. Then he grabbed a microphone and began the Senior Day speech he’d been rehearsing for years. “Get comfortable,” he said, “because I’ve been waiting for this my whole life.”

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On March 2, 2005, Kansas and K-State battled it out at Allen Fieldhouse where the Jayhawks defeated the Wildcats 72-65. Kansas’ Wayne Simien was surrounded by fellow seniors Michael Lee, left, Aaron Miles, rear, and Keith Langford, right, when he grabbed one of his 20 rebounds in the game. Rich Sugg rsugg@kcstar.com

2006: KU shares Big 12 crown for second straight season

In what was initially pegged as a “rebuilding” season, the Kansas Jayhawks have somehow emerged as Big 12 champions. “Everyone was jumping around and hugging and celebrating,” Julian Wright said of a jubilant KU locker room after a 66-52 victory over Kansas State. “It was the most fun we’ve had all year. You wouldn’t have thought we’d have that much energy after a game.”

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Feb. 5, 2006. Kansas’ Julian Wright and the Allen Fieldhouse crowd were pumped up after Wright dunked over the Sooners in the second half. Wright finished with 14 points and led the Jayhawks with eight rebounds in the 59-58 win over the Sooners. Rich Sugg rsugg@kcstar.com

2007: Jayhawks claim outright title after rallying past Texas, Durant

No one can say the Jayhawks didn’t earn their hardware. Not after Saturday, when Kansas staved off one of the more jaw-dropping efforts in recent Allen Fieldhouse memory. “This time,” guard Brandon Rush said, “we didn’t want to share it with anyone.”

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Kansas’ Julian Wright snags a rebound from teammate Mario Chalmers during the Jayhawks’ game against Texas in Lawrence, Kansas, Saturday, March 3, 2007. The Jayhawks defeated the Longhorns 90-86. Rich Sugg rsugg@kcstar.com

2008: Before first NCAA title in 20 years, KU stretched Big 12 streak to four

Truly, this was a blueprint for another Kansas road loss. The Jayhawks shot two of 11 from three-point range. Darrell Arthur and Darnell Jackson played through foul trouble and eventually fouled out. Only this time, those blunders would have cost KU at least a share of the Big 12 regular-season title, and Sherron Collins knew that. The sophomore from Chicago has picked up enough Jayhawk lore to understand that he couldn’t let KU’s seniors fall short of their fourth straight league crown.

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The Big 12 Conference title was more of a footnote when the Jayhawks’ season ended in 2008. The team not only got to hoist the conference title trophy, but the tournament title trophy and eventually the NCAA championship trophy when they beat Memphis for the title in San Antonio. The Kansas City Star File

2009: Jayhawks make league their own with comeback victory over Texas

Sherron Collins had everything to do with KU’s fifth straight regular-season title. On Saturday, he led the Jayhawks with 21 points and seven assists and didn’t allow his young teammates to panic under the heat of a 14-point first-half deficit. Now, he was wearing a blue Big 12 champions T-shirt, celebrating on the court with a bunch of guys he barely knew a year ago. Somewhere along the way, they became his “young fellas,” and they looked up to him. Collins believed all along that he had the ability to lead.

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KU’s Cole Aldrich came up big in the Jayhawks’ 85-74 win over K-State in Manhattan on Feb. 14, 2009. Aldrich stepped up to help lead Kansas to the 2009 conference title after several of the seniors who had helped secure a national title in 2008 moved on. Rich Sugg rsugg@kcstar.com

2010: Sherron Collins’ teammates make sure he leaves KU with another Big 12 title

Thirty seconds remained in Sherron Collins’ Allen Fieldhouse career when Cole Aldrich pulled Collins in for a hug, their last on that hallowed slab of wood. The crowd began to chant Collins’ name as flashbulbs from hundreds of cameras captured a moment he wasn’t ready to face. “I didn’t want to get off the court,” Collins said. “I just wished the game could keep going all night.”

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Always the first to give his players all the credit, Kansas coach Bill Self was the center of attention after the Jayhawks’ 73-59 win over Iowa State on Feb. 13, 2010. It was Self’s 400th career win and KU athletic director Lew Perkins presented him with an embossed ball as his players and the Jayhawk faithful gave him a rowdy round of applause. Rich Sugg rsugg@kcstar.com

2011: KU’s seventh straight Big 12 title didn’t follow the script

The second-ranked Jayhawks clinched the outright Big 12 regular-season championship on Saturday with a 70-66 victory over No. 22 Missouri at Mizzou Arena, but in the process, Bill Self’s team totally flipped the script. Yes, after seven in a row, the end result has become predictable. But the path to this ring had more twists and turns than any KU fan would care to stomach. “Three weeks ago, we had no chance,” Self said.

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Thomas Robinson came off the Jayhawks bench and gave the Allen Fieldhouse crowd something to shout about when Kansas played Nebraska on Jan. 15, 2011. Thomas scored all of his nine points after the break and had two monster slams that coach Bill Self remarked, “really got the crowd in the game.” Robinson also had five rebounds and three blocks, in only 15 minutes on the floor. KU came back to beat Nebraska, 63-60. Rich Sugg rsugg@kcstar.com

2012: KU makes it eight in a row before reaching Final Four in New Orleans

Before the year, Bill Self said he believed a 14-4 record would be good enough to win the Big 12. Kansas wound up finishing two victories better, after a regular-season-ending home victory over Texas. “It’s amazing,” Tyshawn Taylor said. “A lot of people didn’t think we would be this good. Our goal is to always win the Big 12 championship.” That goal has been reached eight straight years, and 2012 marks the fifth time in that stretch that KU won’t share the title.

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If you didn’t think the Border War game against archrival Missouri meant anything to Kansas coach Bill Self, think again. Self, who normally doesn’t show much emotion after games, let loose after his Jayhawks took down the Tigers 87-86 in overtime. Rich Sugg rsugg@kcstar.com

2013: KU shares title with K-State after blowout loss at Baylor

In the moments after Kansas’ 81-58 loss to Baylor on Saturday, Bears coach Scott Drew invited students down to the floor of the Ferrell Center for a delayed court-storming. The Jayhawks had left the floor, slowly walking back to the locker room. This was the scene from the Jayhawks’ ninth straight Big 12 regular-season title, perhaps the saddest and most conflicted celebration of KU’s astonishing streak.

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K-State’s Angel Rodriguez (13) found himself in a tough spot when he decided to drive inside on KU’s bigs during the first half of the Big 12 Tournament title game at the Sprint Center. Rich Sugg rsugg@kcstar.com

2014: On Senior Night, Jayhawks celebrate 10th straight Big 12 title

After the Jayhawks busted out the Big 12 championship T-shirts and displayed all 10 championship trophies on a long table at midcourt, Bill Self grabbed a microphone and started looking toward his team on the baseline. It was Senior Night, of course, but Self wanted to take a moment to look over toward freshmen Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid. “Wiggins!” Self shouted. “Stand up!” “Jo,” Self said, looking toward Embiid, hiding near the corner of the court. “Stand up!”

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Kansas players got to officially celebrate their 10th consecutive Big 12 Conference title on March 5, 2014 with a 82-57 thumping of Texas Tech at Allen Fieldhouse. Seniors Niko Roberts (left front) and Tarik Black (right) got to model special hats and T-shirts with teammates Jamari Traylor, Andrew Wiggins and Wayne Selden after the game. Rich Sugg rsugg@kcstar.com

2015: KU’s streak goes to 11 after furious comeback against West Virginia

The Jayhawks trailed by 18 points in the first half. It did not matter. They trailed by eight points with 2:32 remaining. It did not matter. Kansas was not losing to West Virginia on Tuesday, clinching the outright Big 12 title with an 76-69 overtime victory. Let’s take a breath. How did this happen? “Wow,” Kansas coach Bill Self said, grabbing a microphone on the floor after the game. “Are you guys tired?”

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KU’s Kelly Oubre put an exclamation point on his game-high 25 points with this two-handed throwdown late in the Jayhawks’ 64-59 win over TCU on March 12, 2015 at the Big 12 Tournament at the Sprint Center. Rich Sugg rsugg@kcstar.com

2016: For the third straight year, Jayhawks are outright Big 12 champs

Tony Romo, along with Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, made sure to get outside the locker room to congratulate No. 1 KU following its 86-56 basketball victory over 23rd-ranked Texas. “He was sitting right next to us courtside. I just told him, ‘You’re my boy!’ He pointed back at me,” Devonté Graham said with a smile. It also was a thrill for KU coach Bill Self, who also grew up a Cowboys fan while living in Oklahoma. Romo shook his hand outside the locker room, ribbing the coach in the process: “Did you need to play the starters with a minute and a half left?”

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KU’s Perry Ellis (34) sailed by OSU’s Chris Olivier for the reverse layup at Allen Fieldhouse on Feb. 15, 2016. KU beat Oklahoma State 94-67. Rich Sugg rsugg@kcstar.com

2017: KU ties UCLA for most consecutive league titles as Bill Walton calls the game

Bill Self had ESPN color analyst Bill Walton speak to the team at the shootaround. “I asked him if he led the league in assists ever. Twenty minutes later he was talking to our guys still,” Self joked. Later, Dwight Coleby was congratulated by Walton after scoring a career-high tying 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting as KU won its 13th Big 12 crown in a row, tying the NCAA record for consecutive Division I conference championships set by UCLA from 1967-79.

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KU senior point guard Frank Mason (left) fought back tears on Senior Night while leaving the game after the Jayhawks’ 73-63 come-from-behind win over OU on Feb. 27, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse. Rich Sugg rsugg@kcstar.com

2018: Self, players get emotional on Senior Night after KU secures 14th title outright

Kansas coach Bill Self’s voice cracked as he introduced point guard/team leader Devonté Graham to 16,300 fans who remained in their seats for Senior Night speeches after the Jayhawks’ 80-70 victory over Texas on Monday night at Allen Fieldhouse. “I knew he was going to be good,” Self said. “I didn’t know he’d probably be 2018 Big 12 player of the year, though.” “Coach Self … I don’t know where to start. Everybody talks how I’m such a good leader,” Graham said, his voice trailing off as he screamed, “Ahhhhhhhh” in breaking down, putting a towel over his face and looking skyward.

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For one last night, KU senior Devonte’ Graham got to bask in the glow of light at Allen Fieldhouse. After the Jayhawks beat Texas 80-70 on Senior Night, it was time to celebrate winning a 14th consecutive Big 12 Conference title. Graham was joined by teammates Lagerald Vick (left) and Udoka Azuibuike as a video highlight reel of the season played above them. Rich Sugg rsugg@kcstar.com


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