As of right this second, Bill Self has 620 of them. 413 of them have come while he has been the head coach at The University of Kansas. From National Championship Games, to games that were in the first week of a season, he has had memorable, significant, monumental and “major-league” wins in his 14 years as the Jayhawks’ coach.
However, if one were to take a step back and analyze them, which ones were bigger than others? Which wins were more meaningful and momentous than others? Which W will top the list? (Stop reading here, Memphis fans.)
Wins 40 through 30…
40. March 24, 2016 vs. No. 5 Maryland, 79-63
Former Kansas Jayhawk, Mark Turgeon, found himself coaching against his alma mater in the 2016 Sweet 16. The 5th seeded Terrapins faced the number one overall seed Jayhawks in Louisville with a roster which was one of the best in the nation. However, Perry Ellis was too much for Maryland, scoring 27 and pushing Kansas to the Elite Eight.
39. February 18, 2017 at No. 4 Baylor, 67-65
With Kansas leading the Big 12 race by two games over the Bears, a win in Waco would all but guarantee the 13th straight Big XII Title for the Jayhawks. Trailing 65-59 in the final minutes, KU finished the game on a 8-0 run, winning the game on a pair of Landen Lucas free throws.
38. January 16, 2012 vs. No. 3 Baylor, 92-74
Rarely does a team come into Allen Fieldhouse ranked higher than the Jayhawks. On this certain night, that was the case. The Baylor Bears came to Lawrence undefeated on the season and ranked third in the country. However, Thomas Robinson’s monster-slam brought down the house in the first half while Robinson was on his was to a 27-point, 14-rebound performance.
37. February 8, 2012 at No. 6 Baylor, 68-54
With both teams tied atop the league at 8-2, this game was sure to give the winner an upper hand for the remainder of the conference season. This time, in Waco, another KU big man was too much for the Bears. Jeff Withey tallied a career-high 25 points and was the man who helped give KU the victory as well as the top spot in the Big 12 race.
36. December 22, 2012 at No. 7 Ohio State, 74-66
Playing them for the third time in about twelve months, the outcome of the game in Columbus right before Christmas was the same as the two prior — a Kansas win. Freshman Ben McLemore was the star with a game-high 22 points in 36 minutes.
35. January 22, 2013 at No. 11 Kansas State, 59-55
With both teams undefeated and tied atop the conference standings, Kansas pulled out a win in an ugly game in Manhattan. Travis Releford and Ben McLemore led the Jayhawks to the W, scoring 12 and 11 points, respectively. A sign of how things have changed in the last four years? This game was not nationally televised.
34. January 7, 2006 vs. No. 19 Kentucky, 73-46
After starting the season 3-4, Self’s team was in need of a signature win. When the #19 ranked Wildcats came to Lawrence, they ran into a buzzsaw. The game was never a contest.
33. February 8, 2010 at No. 14 Texas, 80-68
The top-ranked Jayhawks visited Austin undefeated in conference play, playing against a team which was ranked number one in the country just two weeks prior. Self’s crew continued their dominance in the conference on the shoulders of Marcus Morris, who scored 18 points and added eight rebounds.
32. March 5, 2011 at No. 22 Missouri, 70-66
Up by four points with 1:16 remaining in Columbia, Bill Self called a timeout and drew up a play to go to his best three-point shooter, Tyrel Reed. As close followers of Self have learned, scoring points coming out of a timeout is something that becomes repetitive for Kansas due to Self’s ability to develop open looks. Nothing changed here. Tyrel Reed hit a three to go up by seven, screaming at the Mizzou crowd as it went in and sealed not only a victory, but ensured the Jayhawks’ seventh-straight Big 12 Title would be undisputed.
31. February 11, 2013 vs. No. 10 Kansas State, 83-62
Kansas had lost three in a row. Something that has only happened once under Bill Self. Returning back to The Phog after two road losses was just what the Jayhawks needed. Kansas State found themselves inside an angry Allen Fieldhouse and never stood a chance. Ben McLemore scored 30 points and helped Kansas move into first place in the conference race.
30. November 12, 2013 vs. No. 4 Duke, 94-83
The Jayhawks found themselves inside the World’s Most Famous Arena for the Champions Classic against one of the best basketball programs of all-time. Similar to Duke and Jabari Parker, Kansas featured a sure to be one-and-done player in Andrew Wiggins, who ended up stealing the show in second half. After Parker started hot for the Blue Devils, Wiggins got the last laugh, scoring 22 points and helping the Jayhawks get their first win in the event.