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Kansas continues tradition of winning

No coach in basketball right now has created a dynasty in a major conference like Bill Self has. On Tuesday, his Jayhawks one their 11th-straight Big 12 regular season title.

No coach in basketball right now has created a dynasty in a major conference like Bill Self has. On Tuesday, his Jayhawks one their 11th-straight Big 12 regular season title.

All the talk is about 30-0. It’s an impressive record put up by the Kentucky Wildcats. It should be honored. This team hasn’t tried to go undefeated, but the way they answer the call when the games get tough ever single time they step out on the floor is just incredible.

It’s nothing you don’t know: Kentucky is deep and athletic and big and long and above all, really, really talented. Can anybody beat them? Who knows? So far, no team has gotten the job done.

But if there is one number that is one streak more impressive than Kentucky’s 30-straight wins, it’s Kansas’ 11-straight regular season Big 12 titles.

The Big 12 is the toughest conference in basketball this year. In in and year out it’s one of the best. But no team has be better than them. The last time they didn’t win the regular season championship was 2004 when Oklahoma State claimed both that and the tournament championship. But they won the prior two before that and have claimed 15 of the 19 regular season titles since the inception of the Big 12 in the 1996-1997 season.

During this run, Kansas has beaten teams with elite players. He beat a loaded Texas team with LaMarcus Aldridge, P.J. tucker and Daniel Gibson. Kevin Durant couldn’t even get the job done. Neither could D.J. Augustin.

He beat JamesOn Curry’s Cowboys team. And Michael Beasley and Bill Walker’s Kansas State. Blake Griffin wouldn’t dethrone the Jayhawks. James Anderson, Avery Bradley, Jordan Hamilton, Tristan Thompson, didn’t get the job done. That Baylor squad loaded with talent like Perry Jones, Quincy Acy, Quincy Miller, Pierre Jackson and Cory Jefferson didn’t win the Big 12 title.

Royce White’s Cyclones didn’t win. Marcus Smart never won a Big 12 title.

Kansas’ dynasty has been better than the best player in college basketball and that’s because the Jayhawks don’t re-build, they re-load and get better.

Kansas has lost incredible players since the start of their run. Wayne Simien, Brandon Rush, Mario Chalmers, Darrell Arthur, Julian Wright, Sherron Collins, Cole Aldrich, Marcus and Markieff Morris, Xavier Henry, Thomas Robinson, Ben McLemore, Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid…the list of All-Americans seems endless.

The simple fact that the Jayhawks lost two of the top three picks in last year’s NBA draft and haven’t even been phases is incredible. Instead of the team crumbling it just got handed over to Perry Ellis with no problem. And it’s especially impressive considering all the money invested in programs now and the demand for success and the exposure that teams have now. In the 70s and even 80s when top recruits only heard of the big schools it was one thing but how Kansas has done this in today’s game, it’s hard to explain other than Bill Self is really, really good at what he does.

Self, who started his college coaching career as an assistant in Kansas, has been in Lawrence for all of it. Maybe it started with a handful of Roy Williams’ recruits, but it’s been Self’s team for a long time.

He’s won an NCAA Championship, he’s been Coach of the Year. He’s dominated the league. He may not get the recognition of other top of the line coaches might but he’s clearly one of the best around and until somebody actually does win the Big 12 instead of Kansas, it’s hard to imagine their dynasty will ever end as long as he’s around.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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