And now, the latest gravity-defying, mind-boggling milestone from Kansas.
The Jayhawks won their conference opener Thursday against Texas Tech, 58-57, on an Ochai Agbaji layup with 13 seconds left. That was the 30th year in a row they had taken their first league game, a streak older than Twitter, Facebook, 53 current Division I programs and the Big 12 itself.
“We’ve got a lot of numbers like that,” Bill Self mentioned afterward.
Ain’t that the truth? Nobody does other-worldly stats quite like Kansas. In honor of 30 conference opening victories in 30 years, here are 19 more.
1. Of those 30 wins, 18 were on the road. So that’s 18 road openers in a row. “That’s something that I don’t know if anybody in America can say they have a stat like that,” Self said.
2. Kansas has been invited to 30 consecutive NCAA tournaments. In those 30, the Jayhawks have been No. 1 seed 13 times, and lower than No. 4 only twice. That was 21 years ago.
3. Kansas has been included in 224 consecutive Associated Press rankings, going back to the 2008-09 season. An all-time NCAA record.
4. Kansas has won 10 conference road games in a row, which is second on the Big 12 all-time list. For that matter, the Jayhawks own the seven longest such streaks in league history.
5. Kansas has won 48 home openers in row, going back to the Nixon administration.
6. Kansas has won at least a share of its conference title 62 times. Kentucky is second in the nation with 55. Penn is way back in third at 38.
7. In the past 17 years, Kansas has 15 regular season league titles. Nobody else in the country has more than seven.
8. The lowest Jayhawks’ season victory total in the past 31 years is 23.
9. There hasn’t been a losing record in 37 years.
10. Bill Self is 41-22 against opponents ranked in the top-10. That includes 21-4 in the past 25. He once had a 13-game winning streak against the top-10.
11. In Self’s first 17 seasons, Kansas has won 15 Big 12 season titles — or one more than home games he has lost.
12. Since 2009, Kansas has held opponents to under 50 percent shooting in 415 of 444 games.
13. In the past 632 games, Kansas has allowed a team to score 100 points in regulation only twice. This will tell you something about Gonzaga: The Zags went for 102 against the Jayhawks in November.
14. This year’s senior class has 92 wins. And counting. Every senior class at Kansas since 1987 has reached 100.
15. In the past 17 years, Kansas has played 120 home-and-home series with Big 12 opponents in a season. The Jayhawks have been swept once. That was Oklahoma State in 2018.
16. The four other Big 12 teams in the top-25 this week are Baylor, West Virginia, Texas and Texas Tech. Kansas’ all-time record against those four is 120-26.
17. The last Kansas coach not to lead a team to the Final Four was William O. Hamilton. His final season was 1919. Kansas has had only six head basketball coaches in the 100 years since, five of whom had the Jayhawks in the national championship game. During the same time span in their posh neighborhood of tradition, North Carolina has had 15 coaches, UCLA 14, Duke and Indiana 13 and Kentucky 12. Also, the Jayhawks have had 23 football coaches.
18. Kansas has had two coaches in 33 years, and together, Self and Roy Williams are 926-211 for a winning percentage of 81.4.
19. Only one coach has a career losing record at Kansas, and he left the job in 1907. You might have heard of him. Dr. James Naismith. He invented the game of basketball, but a handful of other guys made Kansas a stat monster. Except maybe in national championships. There have been three of those for the Jayhawks; certainly a commendable total, but — unusual for Kansas — a little back in the numerical line.