For the first time in 15 years, Kansas will not earn a share of the Big 12 regular-season title.
The Jayhawks suffered an 81-68 loss to Oklahoma on Tuesday, which will officially prevent them from earning a share of the conference's regular-season championship. The team had at least tied for first place in each of the last 14 seasons dating back to 2004-05.
The loss dropped Kansas to 11-6 on the season in Big 12 play with one game against Baylor still to go.
Texas Tech and Kansas State are currently tied for first place with 13-4 conference records. Texas Tech will travel Iowa State for its regular-season finale on Saturday, while Kansas State will try to clinch a title at home against Oklahoma.
While Kansas couldn't keep its streak going, it was a remarkable accomplishment:
Jason King @JasonKingBR
@JayBilas said in my book, “Beyond the Streak” (shameless plug, sorry) that Kansas’ run of 14 straight Big 12 titles is “one of the most impressive accomplishments in the history of sport.” Let’s not forget that. This is a steak that will never be broken. https://t.co/L3R57VYRUV
Head coach Bill Self took over the program in 2003-04, and he was able to tie Oklahoma for the Big 12 title in his second season. He kept it going for an incredible stretch, which also featured eight conference tournament titles, three Final Four appearances and one NCAA title.
Unfortunately, things haven't gone quite as smoothly this season.
The team lost a lot of production to the NBA last year and struggled with depth after the NCAA ruled Silvio De Sousa ineligible. The squad then suffered a major setback when senior center Udoka Azubuike suffered a season-ending hand injury in early January, while Lagerald Vick's recent leave of absence was seemingly the final straw.
Kansas can still be dangerous in the NCAA tournament thanks to Dedric Lawson and plenty of young talent, but this group couldn't quite live up to the level of past Jayhawks squads.