KUAD: Box Score
KC Star Photos
AUDIO: Highlights from Bob Davis and Greg Gurley
LJW Keegan Ratings: Tharpe top performer
10 straight...... DECADE of DOMINATION!!!!!We're not gonna share though#ontothenextone #kubball #WeAllFromAfrica
Happy Birthday to my boy who never fails me when I need him @evan_manning5
Congrats to my Jayhawks on 10 straight Big 12 titles. Proud of you guys. Keep the tradition going. #RockChalk
besides feeling older..I think about not winning it our junior year yr. If you count our 4 yrs its actually 12/13. #unreal
av memory was that it was the 1st Big12 title of the Self era & against his alma mater who beat us the yr before
10 in a row!!!! Kansas runs the big 12 and always will..... #teamfoe #jayhawknation
S/O to coach self and KU all the great players and coaches that's been apart of the decade of… instagram.com/p/k2iPK5DV_J/
Good win team #RCJH
Kansas just won its 10th straight Big 12 title. Seriously, every other team in the league should wear a dunce cap today.
Ten straight Big 12 titles for Kansas and Bill Self. Ridiculous success, and one of the game's remarkable achievements. Rock Chalk X
In first 9 years of Kansas B12 title streak, KU 22-8 in NCAA play/2008 nat title. Rest of B12 no slouch: 7 Elite 8s, 44-40 overall
So hard for perennial winners to get Coach of Year(Phill Jackson, Belichick, etc.) It's expected. This should be the year Bill Self gets it.
Three of KU's ten straight Big 12 titles were won without a single returning starter from the prior year. Wow.
It's Back to Back to Back to Back to Back to Back to Back to Back to Back to Back #Big12 titles for Kansas.
The ball swung to the wing and Andrew Wiggins set his feet. It was in the final minutes at Allen Fieldhouse on Monday night, and No. 5 Kansas was minutes away from clinching a share of its 10th straight Big 12 Championship.
Ten straight. It’s a dizzying feat in the modern era of college basketball. But in this moment, as the Jayhawks led by just five points and the anxiety began to grow, nobody was really thinking about the streak. Well, that’s not quite right. It’s safe to say probably everybody inside Allen Fieldhouse was thinking about the number 10.
In one sense, this was what this whole Andrew Wiggins-led experiment was all about. The Jayhawks had lost all five starters off last year’s team — four seniors and lottery pick. Kansas coach Bill Self had lost his five leading scorers for the first time. It was time for another turnover. So Self simply added the most heralded recruiting class in school history, and now his Jayhawks were going to win another conference title.
“I’m happy a bunch of young kids are growing up,” Self would say.
So here was Wiggins, lining up his feet, stepping into a three-pointer that could give the Jayhawks an eight-point lead and ice the victory with more than two minutes left. The shot went down, of course. Inside Allen Fieldhouse, they usually do.
No. 5 Kansas 83, Oklahoma 75.
"Just winning this whole championship," Wiggins said. "It was just a great feeling on the court.”
…The lane kept opening up, so Tharpe kept driving.
“The last 10 minutes,” Self said. “I think that’s as good as Naadir has played since he’s been here.”
In the moments after the game, Tharpe stood near half-court, waving his arms as the Kansas crowd began to chant. “10 straight! 10 straight!” The crowd stuck around for a party, and Self exited into the Allen Fieldhouse tunnel, flashing all 10 fingers.
"It's just a beautiful feeling," Tharpe said.
Since The Streak first emerged from its cave to ravage the Plains -- the winter of 2004-05 -- the 13 Big 12 men's basketball programs not named Kansas have changed coaches an average of 1.46 times per school.
Throw out Rick Barnes at Texas and Scott Drew at Baylor, it's 1.73 coaching changes over the past decade. Throw out Texas, Baylor and newbies TCU and West Virginia, and it's 2.1 changes.
Think about that.
Players come, players go. Coaches come, coaches go.
There's KU, at the top, year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year.
"To be the deepest league in the country," KU coach Bill Self said after his No. 8 Jayhawks outlasted Oklahoma late Monday night, 83-75, to clinch at least a share of a tenth straight Big 12 regular-season crown, "(and) to have a three-game lead with three up (next) is pretty special."
…No trophy presentation. No court-storming. No net-cutting.
The players -- point guard Naadir Tharpe especially -- went bonkers, but the restraint was remarkable, all things considered.
…"That's the standard here," freshman shooting guard Wayne Selden said after dropping 15 points, three rebounds and three treys on the Sooners.
"Really, the only comparable run you can look at is John Wooden at UCLA," Gettys said. "Now he took it a step further, as far as a run of national championships. As far as dominance, I'm not a historian of college basketball, but it's the most remarkable streak of domination that I could ever imagine."
When Self started this run at Kansas, it was the beginning of the end for Quin Snyder at Mizzou, Jim Wooldridge was treading water at K-State, and Colorado and Baylor were the league walkovers.
Over that span, The Streak has endured 20 coaching changes, four Big 12 defections and two league additions.
That's staying power.
That's a dynasty.
"It's a remarkable run of domination," Gettys said.
"And to think about how many (players) they turned over in 10 years. You're not talking about three groups of four-year players. You're talking about an enormous amount of guys coming in and going out early and replacing three and four at a time. I mean, two years ago, he replaces his top six.
"It's just unreal to have a run like that."
Fox Sports Keeler
The lyrics and notes change, but the song remains the same. High school All-Americans around whom their teams revolved come to Kansas University with little clue just how hard they must compete to maintain a winning tradition like few others in sports.
Bit by bit, the teenagers surrender to their coach because they’re tired of sitting or getting yelled at or being left behind by more driven athletes. Singled out for selfish play, embraced for making teammates look good, they quickly understand it’s cool to be unselfish. Dive on the floor or be called the dreaded ‘S’ word: "Soft."
Big men who run faster than the other team’s big men. Everybody feeding off the roar of the best home crowd in college basketball. Young athletes popping out of shells of self-doubt by mimicking their coach’s personality when competing. They learn not to waltz through open doors. They don't wait for doors to open, after having had so many opened for them in younger years because of their magnificent basketball talent. They bust them open with lowered shoulders. They start to talk like Bill Self, using the word “aggressive” liberally. And when all the wins and losses are counted, they grab at least a share of the Big 12 title, this time with three games remaining.
The song has played that way for 10 years in a row now and Monday's 83-75 victory against visiting Oklahoma that nailed down at least a share of the 10th conference title featured so many of the elements that have resonated throughout the decade of dominance.
…Explaining the decade of dominance, Self said, “You don’t win unless you have better guys than the other guys and we’ve had better guys.”
Truer words never have been spoken.
And those players have played for a better coach than any in Big 12 history. Truer words never have been written.
Five Jayhawks scored in double-figures on Monday night, including four others that will likely end up being first round picks by the time they leave Lawrence. Two of them, Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid, will likely end up going No. 1 and No. 2 in the NBA Draft in June. But with Kansas up 76-71 with just over a minute left in the game, Bill Self called a timeout to draw up a play for Tharpe.
A simple 1-4 high-set, allowing his junior point guard to go one-on-one. Tharpe repayed him with a driving lay-in that put the Jayhawks up seven and all-but iced the game.
Oh, and did I mention that Tharpe is this team’s question mark?
Tharpe has had an up-and-down career with Kansas, but he’s been tremendous for the Jayhawks during conference play. He still has some bouts of inconsistency — the end of the Texas Tech game, for example, where he had two unforced turnovers and airballed a three in the final minutes — but the bottom-line is that when he is playing well, Kansas is near-unbeatable this season.
And he’s been playing well more often than not of late.
Which is why Kansas became the first power conference team to lock up at least a share of their league’s regular season title, the 10th consecutive season that is the case.
I hope all of you appreciate just how difficult that is to do, especially in a power conference.
…In a day and age where early entry to the NBA Draft has forced programs at the highest level of the sport into a cycle of rebuilding that is faster than ever, Self has kept Kansas in control of the league for an entire decade. Think about this: three of these ten league titles have come without Kansas returning a single starter.
Including this season!
He’s locked up the toughest conference in the country in February with three regular season games left on the schedule.
And this was supposed to be the season that the streak ended.
NBC Sports Dauster
Whether it's Blake Griffin's Oklahoma teams, Acie Law's Texas A&M teams or the Texas teams that starred LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Durant or D.J. Augustin, the Big 12 has produced some worthy challengers for Kansas over the past decade.
All of them have one thing in common: None managed to dethrone the Jayhawks.
Kansas secured at least a share of its 10th consecutive Big 12 championship on Monday with an 83-75 victory over Oklahoma. The Jayhawks replaced all five starters from last season's Sweet 16 team yet lead arguably the nation's toughest conference by 3.5 games over Texas and Iowa State.
To put into perspective how remarkable an accomplishment Kansas' league title streak is, consider that no other college basketball program currently has won more than three straight conference championships. Below is a look at how the Jayhawks' domination of the Big 12 compares to some of the great runs in college basketball history and in other sports:
"Enjoy the clinch," the guy checking parking passes in Lot 90 says.
Inside, the whole thing played out a bit like that same movie you've watched, oh, 10 times now. Brain-rattling noise in the beginning, talented opponent plays well enough to stay close for a while, then, blammo, a three-pointer here and an alley-oop there and No. 8 Kansas is finishing off an 83-75 win over Oklahoma and another Big 12 championship to a Rock Chalk Chant soundtrack at Allen Fieldhouse.
"We talked about it," coach Bill Self said of a 10th straight title. "But we didn't make a big deal out of it."
Self has done this enough now that he has a few rules, one of which is that nobody can celebrate with the trophy until it's won outright, which means Saturday in Stillwater at the earliest. And even then, they only celebrate with the understanding that bigger things are ahead.
Which is another way of saying this had everything that drives fans at other schools furious about this place and the people here treating it like something just short of a religious experience.
…"Every year," point guard Naadir Tharpe says. "That's what we say when we bring it in at the start of summer, all the way through the conference season: 'Big 12 champs.' Past teams have done the same thing, so we're glad we were able to do it as well."
Sixty-eight players have been part of what might be the most incredible streak in college sports. Sixty-eight players over 10 years, against 13 different teams coached by 32 different men.
Rick Barnes and Scott Drew are the only coaches in the league when Kansas started this streak, way back in 2005 on Wayne Simien's senior night. Freshmen on that team who didn't play much ended up being the nucleus of the 2008 national championship team. That's how it's been for Self's teams. Stars play right away. Everyone else waits their turn.
…The streak is long enough that Mario Chalmers wasn't here for the beginning of it, but now has his jersey hanging in the rafters. The streak started when Andrew Wiggins was 10 years old, and Joel Embiid was some seven years from playing his first organized basketball game.
…In a college basketball world where success is typically judged on the NCAA Tournament, Self probably emphasizes the conference season more than most other coaches.
He's always seen the conference season as a test of toughness, and there is nothing that Self enjoys more than tests of toughness. Win the Big 12, Self likes to say, and you have a chance at winning the national championship.
KC Star Mellinger
What Kansas is doing is not a streak. It is a dynasty. The roster has turned over how many times in that period? Not many of the star players remained four full seasons. Sherron Collins, the most underrated player in KU history, he did. But Cole Aldrich, the Morris twins, Mario Chalmers and Brandon Rush — they all left early. Xavier Henry stayed one year. It might be that way for a player or two on this season’s team.
It is so easily forgotten now, as we enjoy the talents of freshmen Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid and appreciate the quiet consistency of power forward Perry Ellis, that KU lost all five starters from last year’s Sweet 16 team, which entered the NCAA Tournament as a No. 1 seed but fell to eventual national runner-up Michigan.
How good is Self? This is his 13th year as a high-major coach, starting in 2000-01 at Illinois. In the previous 12 years — since the NCAA selection committee shafted his last, brilliant Tulsa team with a No. 7 seed — he never has coached a team that earned an NCAA seed lower than No. 4. There have been five No. 1s, a No. 2, two No. 3s and four No. 4s. That’s ridiculous.
We expect performances such as this from Self and Kansas, though because it’s what they deliver, every year. That does not mean it is not extraordinary.
The Sporting News DeCourcy (VIDEO highlights at the link)
It doesn’t always work for Kansas. These young players aren’t always where they’re supposed to be. They take questionable shots at times, forget to box out their opponents and let what appear to be safe leads evaporate in minutes, sometimes seconds.
Then you look up at the end of the night and five Jayhawks have scored in double figures. Seven-footer Joel Embiid, as raw as your last order at the sushi bar, has 12 points, 13 rebounds, three blocks, three assists and four steals. And it feels like he should be doing more.
Point guard Naadir Tharpe idles for so long, then kicks into another gear and finishes with 19 points, five assists and 6-of-7 shooting.
Wayne Selden lifts the Jayhawks with 13 of his 15 points in the first half, then grabs a rhythm guitar and plays backup the rest of the night.
Then there’s Andrew Wiggins, who seemingly can do no wrong even when everything he’s doing seems to be wrong. KU coach Bill Self, though, sticks with Wiggins and he comes through with one of the game’s biggest baskets, a three-pointer — his only one of the game — with 2:40 remaining to give the Jayhawks a 74-66 lead in a game they would eventually win, 83-75, over Oklahoma.
And if you’re counting — and if you’re a Kansas fan you’d be a fool not to — that’s 10 Big 12 championships in a row for the Jayhawks.
…“It’s a phenomenal accomplishment,” Kruger said. “It’s not like they’re doing that in a bad league. They’re doing that in a very good league. Certainly it’s a tribute to Bill and the job he’s done with the program in every way.”
Wichita Eagle Lutz
In doing so the Jayhawks also unofficially served notice to the four potential No. 1 NCAA tournament seeds: Florida, Wichita State, Arizona and Syracuse -- all projected by ESPN’s Joe Lunardi as top seeds in Monday's Bracketology -- had better finish the regular season strong. KU is looking more and more like a top seed and already has constructed a resume strong enough to snatch one.
…It was Tharpe’s game-high 19 points that led Kansas, which had five players score in double figures. The Jayhawks have four players who average double figures scoring, led by Wiggins’ 16.4 points per game.
That kind of balance is what makes Kansas, which is also shooting more than 50 percent from the floor in conference play, so hard to defend.
…Rebounding is also a balanced affair for KU. Five players had at least four boards against the Sooners, and those same five players outrebounded Oklahoma 32-29.
Freshman center Joel Embiid grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds for KU. His continued development is another reason the Jayhawks look tournament-ready. The 7-footer entered Monday second in the Big 12 in blocks per game with 2.6 and collected six against the undersized Sooners.
If you aren't yet familiar with Embiid or any of the Jayhawks, you might want to learn their names. They look like a team that’s going to be playing for a while come tournament time.
Kansas' balance was on full display Monday night. Wiggins couldn't find his shot for most of the game, but the Jayhawks were able to overcome that because of the other options. Selden is capable of getting his own shot and knocking down jumpers from the perimeter; Perry Ellis a difficult matchup for most teams; Embiid is one of the best centers in the country; and then there's Tharpe.
Most people would say Tharpe being consistent is the biggest worry heading into the NCAA tournament, but he's been much improved this season. Before Monday, Tharpe had shot just 2-for-19 in his last three games, but he bounced back in a big way. And this isn't the first time he's come up big in a tight spot this season. He had 22 points at Baylor earlier this year, also going for 12 assists against Iowa State. Tharpe also went for back-to-back 20-point performances against Iowa State and Oklahoma State at the start of conference.
And he's the biggest personnel “concern” for Kansas in March. That's scary.
By the way, it's absolutely remarkable what Bill Self has done the past decade in Lawrence. Ten straight Big 12 titles is insane. As Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo! Sports pointed out on Twitter, no other program in the country has a current streak longer than three. And it's not like the conference has been mediocre – at least one other Big 12 team has received a four-seed in the NCAA tournament in each season. There have been 14 top-four seeds given to Big 12 teams besides Kansas during the past 10 seasons. The Jayhawks have had stiff competition.
Yet Self continues to churn out conference championships. And it's going to be impossible to pick against the Jayhawks until they lose one. Whenever that happens.
Title number ten wasn’t happening without number ten — that’s Tharpe, of course — who walked off the court smiling, holding up ten fingers.
“I think the last ten minutes of the game,” Self would say, “that’s as good as Naadir has played since he’s been here.”
No arguments here.
Because with the Sooners threatening to spoil the celebration and the Jayhawks’ offense gone stale, Tharpe took over — dropping in 14 of his game-high 19 points with the game on the line.
“At the end,” Perry Ellis said, “he didn’t let us lose.”
He wasn’t the only one, of course. The roar-inducing stretch where a Joel Embiid swat, a Wayne Selden dish and a high-arching Andrew Wiggins trey helped plenty, too.
But, with ten minutes left and on, there was plenty of Tharpe, who snapped out of a three-game shooting funk in a big way.
First came a deep, step-back jumper that ended a mini OU run and pull KU within 58-59. Next, after an assist and a steal that helped the Jayhawks regain the lead, Tharpe sunk two free throws to extend the margin. And then, a few trips later, a driving layup in transition that gave Kansas a 71-66 cushion.
Two possessions later, with the Sooners tightening their defense on the wings and the shot clock winding down, Tharpe dribbled the ball at the top of the key before dipping into the lane, stopping, popping and floating a short jumper in over Ryan Spangler with 1:49 to play.
“The lane was open,” Tharpe explained. “So I just tried to be aggressive and make plays.”
OU answered again — as Buddy Hield sunk a 3-pointer that cut KU’s lead to 76-71 with 1:33 left — but so did Tharpe.
After Self took a timeout, he kept the ball in his point guard’s hands, and Tharpe responded by shaking loose of his man and slashing in for another layup.
“He closed the game the way good players close games,” Self said. “The way good point guards close games.”
“I’m proud of the guys’ ability to fight back and get back into it, but we’ll just keep learning,” Sooners coach Lon Kruger said. “We’ll learn that every possession is too significant. I thought a couple times we didn’t complete a play, and they converted on the other end.
“We’ve got to learn to be just a little stronger in those moments.”
Two of those thwarted plays came back to bite the Sooners in the closing minutes.
After Ryan Spangler missed a free throw that could’ve cut the Kansas’ lead to two points, Naadir Tharpe came up with a steal and then converted a layup to put the Jayhawks up by five.
Then, after Joel Embiid blocked a 15-foot jumper by Spangler, Andrew Wiggins nailed a 3-pointer to give the Jayhawks a cushion.
Wiggins, one of Kansas’ touted freshmen, usually doesn’t show much emotion on the court. But he pumped his fist after hitting a shot that all but sealed the game.
“The main thing is that we didn’t take care of the ball in critical times,” OU’s Cam Clark said. “We have to learn from that, and we know we are still growing and it’s just errors that we can get better on.”
“Kansas is so tough here for a lot of reasons,” Kruger said. “Bill does a great job, they are very talented, the atmosphere is great and the difference is in the runs they make. That’s what you have to try to avoid. It’s easier said than done.
“I thought for the most part, we handled the ball well and made tough plays. But again, those two or three stretches is why KU is so tough.”
KU players Jamari Traylor, Joel Embiid and others, like Self, rejoiced with their arms stretched high, thanks in large part to junior Naadir Tharpe, who pretty much saved the day against a gritty (20-8, 9-6) OU team.
Tharpe, who finished with 19 points off 6-of-7 shooting with five assists and one turnover, scored 12 of the Jayhawks’ final 18 points. He hit a driving left-handed layup to give KU a 71-66 lead at 3:08. That clutch bucket was followed by a tip in by Andrew Wiggins (15 points) at 2:44.
Tharpe also scored to up a 74-68 lead to 76-68 and up a 76-71 lead to 78-71. He calmly cashed four straight free throws in the final 33 seconds.
“Naadir closed the game the way point guards are supposed to close,” Self said. “The last 10 minutes is as good as Naadir has played since he’s been at KU. All teams that have a chance at having a great season have guys that can close, when you don’t run offense and put the ball in his hands. It’s what great teams have.”
OK, four times KU shared the title – with Oklahoma in 2005, Texas in 2006 and ’08, and, technically, Kansas State last season, in spite of sweeping the Wildcats. (Count that one, K-Staters, and you cannot conveniently forget that the Cats’ 2012 football title was shared with Oklahoma.)
Sometime, somehow, some Big 12 team needs to step up and dethrone Kansas, or else the league will continue to look as if it is overpowered – and, it is – by one program.
For his part, Self always plays up the Big 12. He did so again after the Oklahoma win.
“In a league this competitive and thought by many to be the hardest league in the country, to have a three-game lead with three left is pretty special,’’ Self said.
Jeff Graves wasn’t about to miss this moment.
Sitting in the row behind Kansas’ bench, the former KU forward watched on as the fifth-ranked Jayhawks clinched a share of their 10th straight Big 12 championship with an 83-75 victory over Oklahoma.
“I wanted to be here for them tearing down the nets a week early,” Graves said with a smile.
The 32-year-old knows firsthand just how amazing this conference streak has been. He actually was a part of the last Jayhawks’ team that didn’t at least share the title — 2003-04, when KU tied for second in the conference with a 12-4 record, two games behind 14-2 Oklahoma State.
Every year since then, the Jayhawks have added to their banner for conference championships.
“That’s part of KU history. That’s part of tradition,” Graves said. “That’s why players that are recruited always come here.”
…"This is a game we would have lost in November or even January," Self said. "I thought OU played very well, and our guys just kind of figured out a way to do it."
As he walked out of the tunnel to leave the court, Self celebrated by holding up both hands with fingers extended, signifying the number of consecutive league titles his teams had accrued. The KU fans roared back in satisfaction.
"It means a lot, just to carry the tradition," KU sophomore forward Perry Ellis said. "It’s been happening before I got here. I wanted to come here and be a part of that and just try to continue to do the best I can to keep it going."
In the locker room, the Jayhawks didn't party with the Big 12 trophy — that's reserved for when they clinch it all to themselves — but they did get the joy of watching assistant coach Jerrance Howard do the "Nae Nae" dance.
The first-year assistant had only broken out the move once before: in KU's victory at Iowa State.
"He’s a helluva lot better dancer than I am," Self said. "We talked about (the title), but we didn’t make a big deal of it. Our deal is to try to go rest up a little bit and go try to win it outright in Stillwater."
KC Star Kerhoff: Breaking down Kansas’ amazing decade of Big 12 titles
University of Kansas alumni Kent and Missy McCarthy have donated the lead gift for the financing of Phase One of the Fieldhouse Apartments project at KU.
Kansas Athletics recognized the gift during Monday night's KU men's basketball game vs. Oklahoma. The McCarthys were joined in Allen Fieldhouse by Kent's father, Charles, and their children -- Molly, Annie and Charlie.
The apartments, which will house the men's basketball team and an equal number of distinguished non-student-athletes, will be built on Naismith Drive, just south of Allen Fieldhouse.
The apartments will be named for Kent's late mother, Marie S. McCarthy. Born in 1929, Marie grew up on a farm in central Kansas during the dust bowl days of the 1930's. She attended KU on a math scholarship – a rarity for women in that era.
"My mother loved everything about the University of Kansas and the State of Kansas," Kent McCarthy said. "She never missed watching a KU basketball game. My father Charles, who thankfully is still with us, and Marie were married for 62 years, and I think the only thing 'Grams' loved more than Kansas basketball was being a grandmother."
McCarthy said he and Missy appreciate the efforts of Kansas Athletics and KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little for their help getting the project off the ground. "We are honored to kick off the campaign for this project," he said. "We strongly believe this endeavor will help keep the Kansas Basketball brand among the strongest in the country, and will be an appropriate benefit for the student-athletes who do so much for the University and the State of Kansas."
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“Pay Heed. The game you love began here. Respect those who came before you. Make their legacy your own. Because destiny favors the dedicated. And rings don’t replace work. In this game you don’t get what you want. You get what you earn. We are Kansas. Together we rise. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!