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Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Kansas basketball finishes 2019-20 season ranked No. 1 in both major polls

Kansas' Devon Dotson (1) celebrates after an NCAA college basketball game against Texas Tech, Saturday, March 7, 2020, in Lubbock, Texas. (AP Photo/Brad Tollefson)

Kansas' Devon Dotson (1) celebrates after an NCAA college basketball game against Texas Tech, Saturday, March 7, 2020, in Lubbock, Texas. (AP Photo/Brad Tollefson)

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The Kansas men’s basketball team officially has finished the season as the No. 1-ranked team in college basketball.

The 28-3 Jayhawks, by a comfortable margin, held onto their top spot in the final Associated Press Top 25 poll of 2019-20 and will enter the 2020-21 season on the brink of another record.

This week’s poll, which was released late Wednesday morning, marked the 220th consecutive week that Kansas had been ranked in the AP Top 25.

That streak is just one week shy of UCLA’s all-time record of 221 consecutive weeks, meaning, that if the Jayhawks open next season’s poll ranked anywhere in the Top 25 they will tie the Bruins for poll longevity and add another NCAA record to the record books.

Several of those “way-too-early” 2020-21 polls from national college basketball analysts already have been released and almost all of them have KU in the preseason Top 10.

Bill Self’s Jayhawks, which entered the final week of the regular season as the unanimous No. 1 team in the country, received 63 of 65 first-place votes in this week’s poll. No. 2 Gonzaga and No. 3 Dayton each picked up one first-place vote in the final poll.

Florida State and Baylor rounded out the final Top 5 and the top nine spots in the final AP poll were unchanged from a week ago.

That fact led many to believe that the Jayhawks were headed toward the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament before concerns over the spread of the coronavirus led to NCAA officials calling off March Madness.

KU coach Bill Self said earlier this week that, “nobody in America had a better season than we did,” and added that both he and his players believed the Jayhawks were poised for a “special” run in the postseason.

“I think this team thought (it was ready), from a toughness standpoint, from having to deal with the pressure of you can’t lose again in an unbelievably difficult league after Baylor beat us and then (from) dealing with the distractions,” Self said. “I think that most people that follow our team would agree they could not have handled more maturely or better than what they did.”

Wednesday marked the fourth time since the inception of the men’s AP poll for the 1946-47 season that Kansas finished on top. The Jayhawks, who earlier in the week were ranked No. 1 in the final USA Today coaches poll, finished 8-3 this season against teams either in or receiving votes in the final AP poll.

The AP said Wednesday it does not declare a national champion in the sport because of the NCAA Tournament.

Here’s a look at the final AP poll of 2019-20:

1 – Kansas, 28-3, 1,623 (63)

2 – Gonzaga, 31-2, 1,547 (1)

3 – Dayton, 29-2, 1,505 (1)

4 – Florida State, 26-5, 1,381

5 – Baylor, 26-4, 1,337

6 – San Diego State, 30-2, 1,279

7 – Creighton, 24-7, 1,154

8 – Kentucky, 25-6, 1,118

9 – Michigan State, 22-9, 1,023

10 – Villanova, 24-7, 1,011

11 – Duke, 25-6, 990

12 – Maryland, 24-7, 924

13 – Oregon, 24-7, 892

14 – Louisville, 24-7, 768

15 – Seton Hall, 21-9, 272

16 – Virginia, 23-7, 586

17 – Wisconsin, 21-10, 539

18 – BYU, 24-8, 537

19 – Ohio State, 21-10, 459

20 – Auburn, 25-6, 453

21 – Illinois, 21-10, 263

22 – Houston, 23-8, 179

23 – Butler, 22-9, 165

24 – West Virginia, 159

25 – Iowa, 20-11, 109

Others receiving votes: Stephen F. Austin 78, East Tennessee State 66, Providence 63, Michigan 62, Utah State 36, Saint Mary's 33, Penn State 21, Arizona 7, Rutgers 6, Richmond 6, USC 4, New Mexico State 4, Texas Tech 3, UCLA 2, Vermont 2, Purdue 1, Belmont 1, Liberty 1, Utah 1.

Comments

Spencer Goff 2 months, 2 weeks ago

My gut reaction is that the NCAA would award something IF it weren’t us. But it also keeps them from rewarding South Carolina too. I find it unprofessional in such crazy times for the NCAA to do nothing. But such is the Emmert regime. If it were Duke or UNC they would already be sizing their rings for them.

Jeff Coffman 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Hang the 6th banner. I'm hoping that the NCAA is waiting until the date of when the national championship game would have been played to announce that KU will be named as the NCAA 2020 Basketball champion.

If companies and people are asked to do the right thing, wouldn't it be socially acceptable for the NCAA to do the right thing.

Barry Weiss 2 months, 2 weeks ago

National Champs, Hang the Banner in the Phog!

Noel Graham 2 months, 2 weeks ago

We were unanimous in both polls at the end of the regular season and then we're not? What changed? Gonzaga played two games in a crappy conference tournament and Dayton did nothing? I would like to ask the voters who changed the votes why they did so. Or I could go worry about less petty things like a pandemic.

Joe Joseph 2 months, 2 weeks ago

didn't mean to reply to this, so i edited my comment. Can't delete...?

Tony Bandle 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Question: Actually, how was the Helms awarded back in the day before any NCAA?

Answer: Heck, this Bill Schroeder guy picked someone for 40 years or so, so there's precedence. Hell, Helms was a baker, for Christ's sake, who sponsored it...so let's get one of our rich alum to sponsor a campaign for KU as NC for 2020!!!!!!

Daniel Cummings 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Three losses all season to #'s 4, 10 & 11 with wins over #'s 3, 4 and 24 plus winning the toughest conference title in the land by 2 full games. I'd say no one had a better season that our Jayhawks emphatically!

Dirk Medema 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Daniel - We play in the Big12 not the Big10.

Dane Pratt 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Unlikely but the National Association of Basketball Coaches could decide to give KU a championship. Even if they don’t hang a banner, it would be great to get some sort of recognition for this season.

Ryan Shelton 2 months, 2 weeks ago

There's no doubt we had a great chance of winning the NCAA tournament, and hence being crowned champion, but how many teams have we had going into the tournament that to our minds was superior, only to have them fail in the tournament to an inferior team that got hot/lucky?

Maybe we need to have an NCAA Regular Season Champion and a Tourney Champion like what we do with the conferences. Then we can go back and retroactively crown some of those amazing Jayhawks teams from the past that fell short in the tournament. Hang the banners. By my estimation might reach double digit championships!

Of course I'm speaking tongue-in-cheek. Suggesting we should be declared champions this year smacks of the type of desperation I'm used to seeing in K-State fans.

Jeff Coffman 2 months, 2 weeks ago

The entire season and all possible games have been played. There is only 1 team with the claim to number one. No asterisk, no caveats...KU is the national champion.

You put asterisks by people that do something wrong, not right.

Keith Gellar 2 months, 2 weeks ago

"You put asterisks by people that do something wrong, not right" - probably not the best time to be calling this out given the scandal.

Armen Kurdian 2 months, 2 weeks ago

The two #1 votes that went to Gonzaga and Dayton are total cop outs. There is no reason, as good as those teams are, to have received a #1 vote after we were at the top of the polls for a few weeks with no other changes. I think that was deliberate such that we could not say we were the unanimous #1.

I still don't like the idea of calling ourselves champs. But, I'm happy to ignore the other 2 votes and call ourselves the unanimous #1.

If this were 1997, you'd know why I don't agree calling ourselves national champs.. It's not fair to everyone else.

Keith Gellar 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Virginia is it. They won last year and are the defending champs. You have to dethrone the champion before you can take their spot. Any other outcome just doesn't make sense.

Edward Daub 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Kansas Basketball just won the 2019-20 NCAA Regular Season Championship! Start Printing the T-Shirts, Please! Rock Chalk!

Humpy Helsel 2 months, 2 weeks ago

This team will, ironically, never be forgotten, because of what they accomplished and what they were not given opportunity to finish. They will always be talked about as one of the best KU teams fate took away in the midst of an historical, infamous moment in history.

Bryan Barton 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Keith, I get your point but the investigation has NOTHING to do with the 2019-2020 team. It’s already been said that this year’s team would not have to worry about having a potential title vacated. It was about the 2017-2018 season only.

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