Campus Corner

Ranking each of KU’s 12 straight Big 12 championship teams

From 1922 through 1927, Kansas won the Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association basketball championship, a stretch of six straight. As the conferences assumed new identities — Big Six, Big Seven and Big Eight — no program could match the feat.

Add more teams for the Big 12, and the math for consecutive titles became even more difficult. For 15 years, the league operated with 12 teams, and for the previous five, a 10-team league meant complete round-robin scheduling — 18 games.

But no matter the membership, structure or format, Kansas has found a way to finish first — for 12 straight seasons.

The Jayhawks’ 67-58 victory over Texas Tech on Saturday means KU will finish the 2015-16 season no worse than tied for first. Win one of the final two games and Kansas wins the championship outright.

The streak is the most amazing in college basketball and stands one short of the 13-year standard established by UCLA in the Pac-8 and Pac-10 in the 1960s and 1970s.

When Kansas scuffled through a 2-3 stretch in January, losing all three games by double digits, the streak looked doomed.

But the Jayhawks haven’t lost since, Saturday’s victory was their ninth straight, and the other contenders couldn’t keep up.

So, give another title to Kansas. That’s 12 straight, 14 out of 15 and 16 in the 20-year history of the Big 12, including first-place ties.

Stunning.

Here’s our ranking of KU’s 12 straight Big 12 championship teams from best to 12th-best, keeping in mind the final rating of this year’s Jayhawks could improve with a strong postseason.

2007-08

1. Texas, 13-3

(tie) Kansas, 13-3

3. Kansas State, 10-6

It’s easy to forget, but the best Kansas team during the streak wasn’t even the top seed in the Big 12 Tournament. Texas was because it beat the Jayhawks in their regular-season meeting. But Kansas beat the Longhorns for the third straight year in the conference tournament title game and went on to win it all.

League MVP: Michael Beasley, Kansas State

KU NCAA result: National champion

2011-12

1. Kansas, 16-2

2. Missouri, 14-4

3. Iowa State, 12-6

(tie) Baylor, 12-6

For the final scheduled Border War game, Missouri arrived at Allen Fieldhouse on Feb. 25 with three league losses and Kansas two. The Tigers had already beaten KU in Columbia, and a sweep would not only likely lead to at least a piece of the title but a final-statement triumph. But the Jayhawks prevailed in overtime, an outcome that brought an arm’s-raised triumph from Self.

League MVP: Thomas Robinson, Kansas

KU NCAA result: National runner-up

2009-10

1. Kansas, 15-1

2. Kansas State, 11-5

(tie) Baylor, 11-5

(tie) Texas A&M, 11-5

KU dominated the regular season, losing at Tennessee and Oklahoma State before the NCAA Tournament. Against the three teams that finished tied for second, and including the Big 12 Tournament, the Jayhawks went 7-0.

League MVP: James Anderson, Oklahoma State

KU NCAA result: Lost in second round

2010-11

1. Kansas, 14-2

2. Texas, 13-3

3. Texas A&M, 10-6

(tie) Kansas State, 10-6

For only the third time in the conference-title streak, Kansas lost a Big 12 game in Allen Fieldhouse. This loss came to Texas, the day after Thomas Robinson’s mother died. But the Jayhawks never fell behind the Longhorns in the polls and once again defeated Texas for the Big 12 Tournament title.

League MVP: Marcus Morris, Kansas

KU NCAA result: Lost in Elite Eight

2006-07

1. Kansas, 14-2

2. Texas A&M, 13-3

3. Texas, 12-4

Self’s Jayhawks claimed their first outright title, but it was close. Kansas and Texas A&M were tied when the Aggies won at Allen Fieldhouse (the Acie Law IV shot) and took the league lead with eight games remaining. But Kansas won them all, and the Aggies lost twice down the stretch, including a double-overtime setback at Texas, led by Kevin Durant.

League MVP: Kevin Durant

KU NCAA result: Lost in Elite Eight

2012-13

1. Kansas, 14-4

(tie) Kansas State, 14-4

3. Oklahoma State, 13-5

The Jayhawks swept the regular season from Kansas State, with no victory bigger than the one logged as Kansas was coming off a three-game losing streak that included a home loss to Oklahoma State.

League MVP: Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State

KU NCAA result: Lost in Sweet 16

2015-16

1. Kansas, 12-3

2. Oklahoma, 10-5 (entering Saturday)

(tie) West Virginia, 10-5 (entering Saturday)

On Jan. 25, Kansas surrendered a seven-point halftime lead and fell at Iowa State 85-72, falling to 5-3 in Big 12 play. By midweek, the Jayhawks were tied for fourth. Bill Self solildfied the lineup by keeping Landen Lucas in the middle, and the improved inside presence seemed to have an impact throughout the lineup. Kansas defeated Texas Tech on Saturday for its ninth straight victory and at least a share of its 12th straight title.

League MVP: TBA

KU NCAA result: TBA

2004-05

1. Oklahoma, 12-4

(tie) Kansas, 12-4

3. Oklahoma State, 11-5

Oklahoma took a share of its first league title since 1989, and the Jayhawks won the game of the year, beating Oklahoma State 81-79 in a game that helped Wayne Simien win league player-of-the-year honors over Joey Graham. The Cowboys returned the favor in the Big 12 Tournament, and made the deepest NCAA run. Oklahoma beat Kansas in their only regular-season meeting.

League MVP: Wayne Simien

KU NCAA result: Lost in first round

2014-15

1. Kansas, 13-5

2. Iowa State, 12-6

(tie) Oklahoma, 12-6

The Jayhawks, who finished 11-2 in the nonconference season, began the Big 12 season with a 9-1 mark, notching pivotal road wins at Baylor and Texas. A title seemed assured, but the Jayhawks dropped three of their next four on the road and would finish with a losing record in Big 12 games (4-5) for the first time. But Kansas was the only league team to go undefeated at home and that was enough for a one-game margin over Iowa State and Oklahoma.

League MVP: Buddy Hield, Oklahoma

KU NCAA result: Lost in second round

2013-14

1. Kansas, 14-4

2. Oklahoma, 12-6

3. Texas, 11-7

(tie) Iowa State, 11-7

After losing five starters, Self reloaded with a freshmen class that included No. 1 overall recruit Andrew Wiggins and future lottery pick center Joel Embiid. There were growing pains during the nonconference season — the Jayhawks lost four times, including a rare home setback against San Diego State. But the Jayhawks set the tone in Big 12 play with an opening victory at Oklahoma. Kansas would start 7-0 in Big 12 play, shake off road losses at Texas and K-State and clinch a share of the Big 12 title in a home victory over Oklahoma on Feb. 24th.

League MVP: Melvin Ejim, Iowa State

KU NCAA result: Lost in second round

2008-09

1. Kansas, 14-2

2. Oklahoma, 13-3

3. Missouri, 12-4

This season earned Self national coach-of-the-year honors. With five new starters — although Sherron Collins had played starters minutes during the national title year — Kansas stunningly won its fifth straight Big 12 title. Oklahoma jumped to an 11-0 start, leading Kansas by one game. But Sooners star Blake Griffin suffered a concussion in the team’s first loss, to Texas. Next up was Kansas, and Griffin couldn’t play. Collins and Tyshawn Taylor had huge games as KU won in Norman. In their next game, Kansas took care of its other challenger, Missouri. A healthy Griffin could have ended the streak.

League MVP: Blake Griffin

KU NCAA result: Lost in Sweet 16

2005-06

1. Texas, 13-3

(tie) Kansas, 13-3

3. Oklahoma, 11-5

One of Bill Self’s best coaching jobs. Kansas, with three freshman starters, opened 3-4 and lost back-to-back games to K-State and Missouri. (Sorry, Christian Moody). The Jayhawks, though, rolled through their Big 12 schedule until taking a 25-point whipping at Texas. But the Longhorns lost their next game at Texas A&M, allowing Kansas to share the title. KU avenged its loss at Austin by beating Texas in the Big 12 title game in Dallas.

League MVP: P.J. Tucker, Texas

KU NCAA result: Lost in first round

Blair Kerkhoff: 816-234-4730, @BlairKerkhoff

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