College Basketball

The Phog 40: Bill Self’s Top 40 Wins at Kansas

Wins 29 through 20…

29. November 15, 2016 vs. No. 1 Duke, 77-75

After losing their season-opener for the first time under Bill Self in Honolulu, Kansas traveled across the country (literally) to face the number one team in the country. Wanting to avoid an unfavorable 0-2 start to the season, Frank Mason III entered his name in the early balloting for National Player of the Year. Mason scored 21 points, which included hitting an 18-foot jumper with 1.8 seconds left, giving his team a 77-75 lead and ultimately their first win of the year.

28. November 25, 2006 vs. No. 1 Florida, 82-80

Ten days after losing at home to Oral Roberts, Bill Self’s crew visited Sin City to face the defending champion, number one ranked Florida Gators. Featuring a slew of future lottery picks, many saw Billy Donovan’s team invincible. However, Florida just did not have an answer for Julian Wright. After scoring 17 points in the first half, Wright finished with 21 and played a big part in handing Florida their first loss since February 26, 2006.

27. March 3, 2015 vs. No. 20 West Virginia, 76-69

Remember that game where Kansas was losing late against West Virginia at home and about to be swept by a Big 12 opponent for the first time under Bill Self? No no, not that time…the one before that. Down 57-49 with just under two minutes left, Kansas finished regulation on a 10-2 run, pushing the game to overtime before ultimately stealing a win from the Mountaineers and clinching the outright Big 12 title, earning at least a share of the crown for the 11th straight year.

26. January 9, 2005 at No. 8 Kentucky, 65-59

In the second year of Self’s tenure at Kansas, the Jayhawks were ranked second in the country and visited Rupp Arena to face the eighth-ranked Wildcats in their first true road game of the season. In a game without their All-American, Wayne Simien, four different Jayhawks scored in double-figures and with the help of a late Michael Lee three, the Jayhawks continued their undefeated start to the year.

25. January 30, 2016 vs. No. 20 Kentucky, 90-84 OT

This game did not have conference title implications on the line. This game was not an NCAA Tournament game. However, it was a game against a Blue Blood. The featured game of the SEC Big XII Challenge was a memorable one. Unable to stop Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray in the first half, Self brought out his infamous Triangle and 2 defense in the second half and Kentucky could not figure it out, which led the Jayhawks to victory.

24. February 25, 2013 at Iowa State, 108-96 OT

Georges Niang hit a three for the Cyclones to give them the lead, 87-82, with 44.5 seconds left. Then, Elijah Johnson delivered arguably the most memorable five minutes of 35 seconds in Kansas basketball history, scoring 20 points in that span. Johnson kept the Jayhawks alive by hitting a three via “Chop.” Then, after two Iowa State free throws and Kansas still down four, Johnson hit another three with 12.1 seconds to go. After two Johnson free throws (and a questionable charge non-call) tied the game and sent it to overtime, the game was history. Elijah Johnson had caught fire. The Jayhawks left Ames with a 108-96 win.

23. March 24, 2013 vs. No. 8 North Carolina, 70-58

For the second consecutive season, Bill Self found himself in the NCAA Tournament faced off against his team’s former coach. Down by nine points at halftime, seniors Travis Releford and Jeff Withey knew they did not want to go home from the tournament this early. The Jayhawks blitzed Roy Williams’ club to start the second half, going on a 29-7 and taking a 50-38 lead. Kansas never looked back, defeating the Tar Heels for their final win of the 2012-13 season.

22. March 12, 2006 vs. No. 8 Texas, 80-68

Three weeks after losing in Austin by 25, Bill Self’s club found themselves in Dallas, in the Big 12 Championship Game, playing Texas. Up 65-63 with just under six minutes to go, Julian Wright helped the Jayhawks find their spark to finish strong. Wright pick-pocketed A.J. Abrams, took two dribbles from mid-court and finished a highlight dunk to give KU a four-point cushion. Kansas would go on to win by twelve with Mario Chalmers taking home the Tournament MVP.

21. March 11, 2007 vs. No 15 Texas, 88-84 OT

At one point it was 21-6, then at another point it was 32-10. Kevin Durant and Texas came out with guns blazing to take a large lead over the Big XII Champs. However, Kansas was eventually able to cut the lead to only five at the half, 39-34. Kansas received a balanced attack from Julian Wright, Sherron Collins, Brandon Rush and Mario Chalmers, who all scored over 17 points, leading the Hawks to their second straight Big XII Tournament Title.

20. March 16, 2008 vs. No. 6 Texas, 84-74

One year after the 2007 Big 12 Tournament was one of the best college basketball games in recent memory, the 2008 game one-up’d it. The teams went back and forth all day long in a game in which it seemed no team could pull away from the other all day, until the final minute. A Brandon Rush three would be answered with a D.J. Augustine three which would be answered with a Darrell Arthur fade-away jumper, which would be answered with an A.J. Abrams three. While Brandon Rush was awarded with Tournament MVP, Mario Chalmers scored 30 points while making eight threes. The Jayhawks run was only starting at this point.

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