On the 27th day of December, 1962, Billy Eugene Self was born in Okmulgee, Okla., which means he celebrates his 54th birthday today.
Here’s a 1-through-54 look at how each number has a connection to Self, via this year’s teams and others he has coached:
1 — National title, achieved in 2008, the only Final Four featuring all No. 1 seeds.
2 — Final Four appearances (2008, 2012).
3 — Game-winning shots hit for Edmond High in the three-game Bishop McGuinness tournament his senior year.
4 — Available scholarship post players on roster: Carlton Bragg Jr., Dwight Coleby, Mitch Lightfoot, Landen Lucas.
5 — Available scholarship perimeter players on roster: Devonté Graham, Josh Jackson, Frank Mason III, Svi Mykhailiuk, Lagerald Vick.
6 — Times in the past 10 years that Kansas has earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
7 —Active coaches rank ahead of Self on the all-time Div. I (or equivalent) victory list (victories, age): Mike Krzyzewski (1,055, 69), Jim Boeheim (990, 72), Roy Williams (794, 66), Rick Pitino (754, 64), Bob Huggins (730, 63), John Calipari (672, 57), Rick Barnes (626, 62).
8 — Elite Eight appearances, including one apiece at Tulsa and Illinois.
9 — Losses in Allen Fieldhouse in 13-plus seasons. In chronological order: Richmond, Iowa State, Nevada, Kansas State, Oral Roberts, Texas A&M;, Texas, Oklahoma State and San Diego State.
10 — Most losses in one season at Kansas, 2013-14.
11 — First-round draft choices he recruited to and coached at Kansas.
12 — Associated Press All-Americans he has coached at Kansas. First-team: Wayne Simien, Thomas Robinson; Second-team: Sherron Collins, Marcus Morris, Ben McLemore, Andrew Wiggins, Perry Ellis. Third-team: Simien, Collins, Cole Aldrich, Tyshawn Taylor, Jeff Withey.
13 — Number of consecutive Big 12 titles he hopes to have won by end of this season.
14 — Seasons as Kansas basketball coach.
15 — Total of 3-pointers hit by Kansas in 2008 Big 12 title game, an 84-74 victory.
16 — Times his teams at Tulsa, Illinois and Kansas finished first outright or tied for first in 22 completed seasons at the three schools. Oral Roberts was an independent.
17 — McDonald’s All-Americans who were both recruited to and play or played for him at KU.
18 — Losing streak at Oral Roberts, 15 coming at the end of his first season, three at the beginning of his second. He left the school with a winning record (55-54).
19 —Size of Missouri’s lead with 17 minutes remaining in regulation of most recent installment of the Border War (Feb. 25, 2012), a game Kansas went on to win in overtime, 87-86.
20 — Rebounds by Cole Aldrich on the day he recorded KU’s first official triple-double against Dayton.
21 — Date this month that Self was nominated for the Hall of Fame.
22 — Points by which Texas led 12 minutes into 2007 Big 12 title game won by Kansas, 88-84 in overtime.
23 — Victories needed to pass Roy Williams and settle into second place behind Phog Allen on the all-time KU list.
24 — Age when he became full-time assistant coach on Leonard Hamilton’s staff.
25 — Worn by fan favorites Brandon Rush and Tarik Black.
26 — Made 3-pointers by Frank Mason III in 52 attempts this season; not half bad.
27 — Thomas Robinson double-doubles, a single-season school record, in 2011-12. The record books for the stat don’t stretch back to the days of Wilt Chamberlain.
28 — Career Perry Ellis 20-point games, most by any player under Self.
29 — Free throws attempted by Udoka Azubuike, an average of 8.2 per 40 minutes, highest among scholarship players.
30 — Career-high point total for Mario Chalmers in the Big 12 tournament title game victory vs. Texas.
31 — Years Self has been recruiting Div. I basketball players, starting with seven seasons as assistant at Oklahoma State.
32 —Dartmouth point total in 51-point loss in Allen Fieldhouse during 2006-07 season.
33 — Size of KU’s lead with inside of three minutes remaining in the first half in Lincoln in 2007, by which time Nebraska had scored all of six points. A 27-0 run was largely responsible for the 39-6 lead.
34 — Victories for him at Kansas in home games vs. teams ranked in Associated Press top 25 with just four losses.
35 — Jersey number for Udoka Azubuike, lost for the season (wrist surgery) after attempting 35 field goals, making 22 (.629), and gathering 35 defensive rebounds.
36 — Self’s age when he coached first NCAA tournament game, a 62-53 victory against College of Charleston.
37 — Career-best victory total, accomplished in 2007-08 in 40 games.
38 — Self’s age when he coached Illinois into the Elite Eight one year after doing the same at Tulsa.
39 — Losses in 13 Big 12 seasons.
40 — Points scored by KU in first 13:11 of 2008 national semifinal game vs. North Carolina when Jayhawks stormed to a 28-point lead.
41 — Points scored by Andrew Wiggins, highest output by a Kansas player under Self, in loss at West Virginia.
42 — NCAA tournament games Self has coached at Kansas, 30 of them victories, a .714 winning percentage.
43 — Points Dayton scored when Cole Aldrich blocked 10 shots on way to triple-double in second-round NCAA tournament game.
44 —Jersey number for freshman Mitch Lightfoot, more of a factor since Udoka Azubuike was lost for season.
45 — Worn by Cole Aldrich.
46 — Points scored by three different KU victims in 2005-06: Yale, Kentucky, Missouri.
47 — Points Jeremy Case scored for national-title team, nine coming in 12 minutes of memorable Senior Day.
48 — Udoka Azubuike rebounds in 142 minutes, which calculates to 13.5 rebounds per 40 minutes, ranking behind only Carlton Bragg Jr. (14.0 per 40).
49 — Longest-in-nation active home-court winning streak, including three games in Sprint Center.
50 — Team-high defensive rebound total for Josh Jackson, who also leads squad with 28 offensive boards.
51 — Points Texas Tech scored against KU national-title team in a 58-point loss, a regular-season finale.
52 — Free throws made this season by Frank Mason III, which is higher total than any two teammates combined.
53 — Total, times a million, of dollars Self has coming to him in his 10-year contract if he stays at Kansas through the 10th year (2021-22 season) of the deal.
54 — Candles on Self’s cake today.