Jayhawks' history at Big 12 tournament second to none
It's Big 12 tournament time in Kansas City, Mo., and no program likes that news more than the Kansas men's basketball team, which has owned this event throughout the years.
Sure, Iowa State has made a name for itself with its tremendous fan support. And, yes, Kansas State, Texas, Baylor, Oklahoma State and even Missouri — remember them? — all have had bright moments and big runs at the Big 12 tournament.
But no program has put up the kind of consistent numbers as Kansas, which enters this year's event as the No. 3 seed and in a much different position than it has historically operated from.
While KU's run at the Big 12 tourney has made the Jayhawks the creme de la creme in the conference at its postseason showcase, Bill Self's squad is looking forward to getting over to Sprint Center for this year's event for more than just their history of success.
After finishing 16-0 at home this season but just 3-8 on the road, the Jayhawks are looking forward to playing in what will go down in history as a neutral site venue, even if Kansas fans figure to far outnumber all others, particularly in Thursday's night session, which will be missing both Kansas State and Iowa State.
KU is 3-0 this season in neutral-site games — more like 4-0 if you count the win over New Mexico State in Sprint Center as a neutral game instead of a home game — and even though the roster will be different than it was in those early-season wins, Self is looking forward to the challenge of playing in a new building close to home.
"We've played really well in neutral-site venue (games) this season," Self said this week. "We've been probably better in those than we have been at home. If you really look at it, some of the best games we played were to start the season in Barclays in Brooklyn or in Indy. I think we should have some confidence going over there from a neutral-site standpoint. If it was a road game, maybe we wouldn't have as much confidence, just because we haven't fared nearly as well on the road this year as we have in years past. But from a neutral-site standpoint, we should approach that like it being a home game for us."
With that in mind, here's a quick look back at KU's overall success in the Big 12 tournament throughout the years...
• The Jayhawks’ 11 Big 12 tournament titles to date are more than the next three programs can boast combined.Iowa State ranks second, with four, Oklahoma third, with three, and Oklahoma State fourth, with two. No other current Big 12 programs have ever won a Big 12 tournament title.
• The Jayhawks are 11-2 all-time in championship games, with the only losses coming to Oklahoma in 2002 and Iowa State in 2015.
• Eight of KU’s 11 tournament titles have come as the No. 1 seed. KU also won two titles as the No. 2 seed and one more as a No. 3 seed. No. 4 seed, Iowa State, in 2017, stands as the lowest-seeded Big 12 team to win the conference’s postseason tournament title.
• KU’s all-time Big 12 tournament record of 44-11 puts the Jayhawks 18 games ahead of second-place Texas, which has a 26-22 all-time record at the event. Oklahoma State (23-19) and Oklahoma (22-19) are the only other current Big 12 teams above .500 in Big 12 tournament play.
• This year’s run as the No. 3 seed in the tournament puts Kansas in a rare position and ends a 10-year stretch by the Jayhawks of playing as the Big 12’s No. 1 seed. KU has been the conference’s top seed 15 times and played as the No. 2 seed four times (2001, 2005, 2006, 2008), the No. 3 seed three times (1999, 2004 and 2019) and the No. 5 seed once, in 2000.
• The Jayhawks own a 20-2 record in opening games at the Big 12 tourney, with the lone losses coming to Baylor in 2009 and TCU in 2017. That TCU game was played without starter Josh Jackson.
• KU has reached the semifinals in 19 of the 22 Big 12 tournaments, missing out in 2000, 2009 and 2017.
• In all, 46 different Jayhawks have earned all-tournament honors during the history of KU basketball. That includes 29 who were named to various Big 12 all-tournament teams.