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14: A Nostalgic Look Back at the Kansas Jayhawks Historic Big 12 Streak (part 2)

Updated: Mar 17, 2020

By: Chris O'Brien

This is a historical look back at the 14-year streak of Big 12 conference titles. The format bounces back and forth from closely monitoring the 2017-18 season (the final year of the streak) to chronicling all of the seasons and players that came before and made the streak what it was. The streak in total may have been perfect, but every season had its share of ups and downs. I highly recommend starting with Part 1 before diving here into Part 2.


The Sprint Center isn't technically our homecourt. But it's pretty damn close.

Any game KU plays in Kansas City is in front of a crowd consisting of around 90-95 percent KU fans. And, as we know from decades of experience, Kansas doesn't lose at home.

And yet there we were losing again in the Sprint Center. Let's run through the recent list. Oregon in the Elite Eight the year before. TCU in the first round of the Big 12 tournament. Now Washington this year. Washington??

An unranked Washington team who wasn't even predicted to finish Top Five in the Pac 12. Their zone defense shut down our three-point shooting, holding our guys to 5-of-20 from behind the arc. Graham finished with just three points, Svi with eight.

Maybe the Sprint Center should be viewed like a road game. Especially Graham, that place is his kryptonite.

I tried to justify it. I remember in high school there was one gym that I played horribly in, every single time. It turned me into the guys in Space Jam after the aliens took their talent. And, honestly, it wasn’t a bad thing because I could superstitiously rationalize, “Well, as long as I’m not playing in that gym, I’ll be fine.” Maybe Graham could do the same with the Sprint Center?

All I know is we need this Preston situation worked out. Fast. Without him, I don't know if we can keep this streak alive.

2008-09: Rebuilding, Bill Self style

This was an unfamiliar feeling as a KU fan. A season with no pressure. Playing with house money.

I mean, come on, Mario Chalmers, Brandon Rush, Sasha Kaun, Darnell Jackson, Darrell Arthur, Russell Robinson were all gone. We lost five NBA players. Plus it took 20 years in between banners the last time, winning back-to-back wasn't even on the mind. This would be a rebuild. Get to the tourney, maybe a Sweet 16 berth, that's good enough for me.

Sherron Collins (junior) and Cole Aldrich (sophomore) were now the veterans of the team. They were joined by a powerful recruiting class: Marcus Morris, Markieff Morris, Travis Releford, Tyshawn Taylor.