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Jayhawks in the Final Four

Here's a recap of the Jayhawks' National Championships and trips to the Final Four.

1922
The Helms Foundation retroactively awarded National Championships in 1936. Looking back at the 1922 Kansas Jayhawks, they pointed to KU's 26-16 defeat of rival Missouri as the determining factor. Each school went 15-1 in the Missouri Valley Conference, but KU's victory in the latter of the schools' two meetings gave them the edge.

National Championships and Final Fours
Year
Location
Opponent
Score
1922
(16-2)
Helms Foundation National Champion
1923
(17-1)
Helms Foundation National Champion
1940
(19-6)
District Playoff
Okla. City, Okla.
Okla. State
W: 45-39
Western Region
K.C., Mo.
Rice
W: 50-44
Final Four
K.C., Mo.
USC
W: 43-42
Indiana
L: 42-60
1952
(28-3)
Midwest Region
K.C., Mo.
TCU
W: 68-64
St. Louis
W: 74-55
Final Four
Seattle, Wash.
Santa Clara
W: 74-55
St. John's
W: 80-63
1953
(19-6)
Midwest Region
Manhattan, Kan.
Okla. City
W: 73-65
Okla. State
W: 61-55
Final Four
K.C., Mo.
Washington
W: 79-53
Indiana
L: 68-69
1957
(24-3)
Midwest Region
Dallas, Tex.
SMU
W: 73-65
Okla. City
W: 81-61
Final Four
K.C., Mo.
San Francisco
W: 80-56
N. Carolina
L: 53-54
3OT
1971
(27-3)
Midwest Region
Wichita, Kan.
Houston
W: 78-77
Drake
W: 73-71
Final Four
Houston, Tex.
UCLA
L: 60-68
W. Kentucky
L: 75-77
1974
(23-7)
Midwest Region
Tulsa, Okla.
Creighton
W: 55-54
Oral Roberts
W: 93-90
Final Four
Greensboro, N.C.
Marquette
L: 51-64
UCLA
L: 61-78
1986
(35-4)
Midwest Region
Dayton, Ohio
N. C. A&T
W: 71-46
Temple
W: 65-43
Midwest Region
K.C., Mo.
Mich. State
W: 96-86
N.C. State
W: 75-67
Final Four
Dallas, Tex.
Duke
L: 67-71
1988
(27-11)
Midwest Region
Lincoln, Neb.
Xavier
W: 85-72
Murray State
W: 61-58
Midwest Region
Pontiac, Mich.
Vanderbilt
W: 77-64
Kansas State
W: 71-58
Final Four
K. C., Mo.
Duke
W: 66-59
Oklahoma
W: 83-79
1991
(27-8)
Southeast Region
Louisville, Ky.
New Orleans
W: 54-49
Pitt
W: 77-66
Southeast Region
Charlotte, N.C.
Indiana
W: 83-65
Arkansas
W: 93-81
Final Four
Indianapolis, Ind.
N. Carloina
W: 79-73
Duke
L: 65-72
1993
(29-7)
Midwest Region
Chicago, Ill.
Ball State
W: 94-72
BYU
W: 90-76
Midwest Region
St. Louis, Mo.
California
W: 93-76
Indiana
W: 83-77
Final Four
New Orleans, La.
N. Carolina
L: 78-68
2002
(33-4)
Midwest Region
St. Louis, Mo.
Holy Cross
W: 70-59
Stanford
W: 86-63
Midwest Region
Madison, Wisc.
Illinois
W: 73-69
Oregon
W: 104-86
Final Four
Atlanta, Ga.
Maryland
L: 88-97
2003
(30-8)
Midwest Region
Oklahoma City
Utah State
W: 64-61
Arizona State
W: 108-76
Midwest Region
Anaheim, Calif.
Duke
W: 69-65
Arizona
W: 78-75
Final Four
New Orleans
Marquette
W: 94-61
Syracuse
L: 81-78
2008
(37-3)
Midwest Region
Omaha, Neb.
Portland State
UNLV
Midwest Region
Detroit, Mich.
Villanova
Davidson
Final Four
San Antonio, Texas
North Carolina
Memphis
1922

Kansas went 16-2 overall that year, losing only once earlier to the Tigers, and also to the Kansas City Athletic Club.

1923

The following year was just as successful for Kansas. The Jayhawks swept the Tigers that year — and everyone else except for that pesky K.C. Athletic Club squad.

The Helms Foundation, in 1936, pointed to the 1923 Jayhawks as being the best in the nation for the second straight season.

1940

KU finished the regular season with a 19-6 record and tied Missouri and Oklahoma for first place in the Big Six at 8-2. In the Western Regional in Kansas City, the Jayhawks beat Rice and Southern Cal and made it to the NCAA final, where they lost to Indiana, 60-42.

KU had three all-conference players — Bob Allen, son of head coach Phog Allen; Ralph Miller, who went on to a long and distinguished coaching career at Wichita State and Oregon State; and Howard Engleman, who wound up as the top scorer in the NCAA tournament that year and who would become an All-American in 1941.

1952

Kansas claimed sole possession of the Big Seven crown with an 11-1 record. Under Allen — he was in his 32nd season as KU head coach — and led by Clyde Lovellette, the Jayhawks beat TCU and St. Louis in the Western Regionals in Kansas City and Santa Clara in the semifinals. KU then blasted St. John's, 80-63, in capturing the school's first NCAA championship.

Lovellette, who is still the only man to lead the nation in scoring and his team to the national championship in the same year, and Bob Kenney were named all-conference. KU finished with a 28-3 record.


1953

Phog Allen built a Big Seven champion around one returning starter, and after posting a 10-2 record in the league, the Jayhawks won the NCAA Midwest Regional in Manhattan with victories over Oklahoma City and Oklahoma State.

KU hammered Washington, 79-53, in the national semifinals, once again earning a chance to play Indiana for the title. This time, the Hoosiers won, 69-68. KU finished the season 19-6.

B.H. Born — the only player voted the most outstanding performer in the Final Four from a non-title team — led Kansas and the conference in scoring, averaging 22.6 a game. Born and Allen Kelley were all-Big Seven selections.

1957

Phog Allen retired as the Jayhawks' head coach following the 1955-56 season, and assistant Dick Harp inherited the job. Harp also inherited a 7-foot-1 sophomore named Wilt Chamberlain. The two led KU to the Big Seven title with an 11-1 record.

The NCAA tournament proved a tougher road. The Jayhawks were assigned to the Midwest Regional in Dallas, where KU beat Southern Methodist and Oklahoma City to make the Final Four. In Kansas City, KU cruised by San Francisco in the semifinal, but lost to North Carolina in three overtimes, 54-53, in the title contest.

The Jayhawks ended the season at 24-3. Pacing Kansas, along with Chamberlain, who was the Big Seven scoring champion and the NCAA tournament's outstanding performer, were Gene Elstun, Maurice King, Ron Loneski and John Parker. Chamberlain and Elstun were named all-Big Seven.

1971

In his seventh year as the Jayhawks' coach, Ted Owens guided his team to a perfect 14-0 Big Eight record, a feat not accomplished again until 1994, when Missouri became just the third team ever to skate through the conference unscathed.

The Jayhawks beat Houston and Drake in the Midwest Regional in Wichita. At the Final Four in the Astrodome in Houston, KU fell to John Wooden-coached UCLA, 68-60, in the semifinals, then fell to Western Kentucky, 77-75, in the third-place game.

Team leaders were Dave Robisch, Bud Stallworth, Roger Brown, Pierre Russell and Aubrey Nash. Robisch and Stallworth were all-Big Eighters.

1974

As usual, Kansas' trip to the Final Four was preceded by a conference championship, earned with a 13-1 record. KU entered the postseason 21-5 and downed Creighton and Oral Roberts in the Midwest Regional on the ORU campus.

The Jayhawks lost in the semifinals again, 64-51, to Marquette, then fell to Bill Walton and UCLA in the consolation game.

Five players — Danny Knight, Roger Morningstar, Dale Greenlee, Norm Cook and Rick Suttle — averaged double figures for Kansas. Point guard Tom Kivisto was selected all-Big Eight.

1986

A season that will be remembered for its school-record 35 wins, its Big Eight championship and its Final Four appearance will also be remembered for a 71-67 loss to Duke in the semifinals at Reunion Arena in Dallas.

KU, the top seed in the Midwest Regional and coached by Larry Brown, steamrolled North Carolina A&T and Temple, survived an overtime game against Michigan State and downed North Carolina State in the regional final.

Featured were three seniors — Ron Kellogg, Greg Dreiling and Calvin Thompson — each of whom scored over 1,000 points in his career. Cedric Hunter, a junior in 1985-86, went on to set the Big Eight assist record. Sophomore forward Danny Manning was voted Big Eight player of the year.

1988

Behind senior Danny Manning, the most decorated player in school history, Kansas won its first national title in 36 years.

Manning, the Big Eight's all-time leading scorer, led the Jayhawks through a rollercoaster year to the sixth seed in the Midwest Regional. Benefiting from a string of upsets, KU maneuvered past Xavier, Murray State, Vanderbilt and Kansas State to make it the Final Four at Kansas City's Kemper Arena. There, the Jayhawks beat Duke in the semis and outlasted Oklahoma, 83-79, in the national championship game.

Manning was named national college player of the year, NCAA tournament MVP and was a three-time Big Eight player of the year. He finished with NCAA records in games and double-figure scoring games and tournament scoring.



1991

KU won a share of the Big Eight title and tied for the fourth-highest win total in school history with 27.

After beating New Orleans and Pittsburgh, KU ran the gauntlet, beating No. 3 Indiana and No. 2 Arkansas to win the Southeast Regional in Charlotte, N.C., and toppling No. 4-ranked North Carolina to make the national championship game where KU lost to Duke, 72-65.

The Los Angeles Times named coach Roy Williams national coach of the year.

1993

Big Eight champions for a third straight year, the Jayhawks entered the NCAA tourney as the third seed in the Midwest Regional.

Their first stop was the Rosemont Horizon, where they downed Ball State and Brigham Young. Then it was on to St. Louis Arena, where KU advanced with wins over California and Indiana.

Another Final Four, another matchup with North Carolina and Williams' mentor, Dean Smith. The Tar Heels ended Kansas' tournament run in the semifinals, 78-68, at the Superdome in New Orleans.

2002

KU finished an unprecedented perfect 16-0 regular season, but a Big 12 Championship eluded them, thanks to Oklahoma in the Big 12 tournament finals. The Jayhawks still landed the top seed in the Midwest Regional.

Their first game was nearly their last, as the upstart Holy Cross Crusaders led at halftime. Kansas responded in the second half, though, and advanced to the next round, where the Jayhawks defeated Stanford and advanced to the Sweet 16.

KU's next foe was the team that knocked them out of the 2001 Tournament: Illinois. Revenge prooved sweet. Up next was a young Oregon Duck squad, who were taught a lesson by the Jayahawks to the tune of 104-86.

On to Atlanta and the Final Four, where it looked as though a repeat of the 1988 title game was in the making with Kansas and Oklahoma in the semifinals. However, the Sooners were upset by Indiana, and Kansas lost to eventual national champion Maryland.

2003

Even with a 3-3 start and missing Wayne Simien for more than half the season, the Jayhawks made an incredible run all the way to the national championship game after winning their second straight Big 12 Conference regular-season title.

Like in the 2002 season, KU nearly lost in the first round, but held off Utah State before cruising over Arizona State in the second round in Oklahoma City.

The Jayhawks had two tough contests in Anaheim, Calif., facing Duke in the Sweet 16 and No 1-seeded Arizona — who defeated KU at Allen Fieldhouse in the regular season. KU prevailed, though, earning a return trip to the Final Four.

KU toppled Marquette, 94-61, in the semifinals, the fourth-largest blowout in an NCAA Final Four game. KU couldn't ride the momentum to a national title, though, falling to Syracuse in the championship game.

2008

Kansas won its first 20 games before falling to Kansas State in Manhattan and ending up 28-3 in the regular season. The Jayhawks entered the NCAA Tournament with their third straight Big 12 regular season title. KU nabbed the Big 12 Tournament championship as well, finding redemption against Texas in the conference tournament after losing to the Longhorns in the regular season.

KU made its run to the Elite Eight look fairly easy, disposing of Portland State, UNLV and Villinova all by at least 15 points. The Jayhawks overcame a scare against a Davidson team led by Stephen Curry for their first Final Four appearance in five years.

That led to a match-up against former Kansas coach Roy Williams and his North Carolina Tar Heels. Kansas raced out to a 40-12 lead in the first half. UNC fought back in the second half, but it wasn't enough, as KU held on for the win and a trip to the championship game.

The national title game would go down as one of the best in history. Kansas came back from being down nine points to Memphis in the final 2:12 of the game. The comeback was capped by Mario Chalmers' now infamous Shot - a three with two seconds remaining to send it to overtime. The Jayhawks went on to win the game and National Championship.