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KU's first-round NCAA Tournament win moves Jayhawks within 1 win of tying Kentucky in all-time wins race

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Kansas head coach Bill Self calls out a play during the first half on Thursday, March 17, 2022 at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.

Kansas head coach Bill Self calls out a play during the first half on Thursday, March 17, 2022 at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas. by Nick Krug

Fort Worth, Texas — Kansas fans have been known to keep a close eye on the wins race at the top of the college basketball period between their Jayhawks and the Kentucky Wildcats.

But after 2nd-seeded Kentucky lost in overtime to No. 15 seed St. Peter’s on Thursday — a couple of hours before top-seeded KU polished off Texas Southern with ease — their tracking of the standings reached a fevered pitch.

Understandably so.

Kansas, with 2,352 all-time wins, is now just one win shy of Kentucky at the top of the list.

North Carolina, which is also still alive in this year’s NCAA Tournament, — as a No. 8 seed that will play top-seeded Baylor in the early game in Fort Worth on Saturday — is third on the list with 2,319 all-time victories.

As the Dickies Arena video board showed the final seconds of UK's overtime loss on Thursday, hundreds of Kansas fans awaiting their team's tipoff inside the building let out a huge and approving roar to celebrate UK's loss.

Different conferences, different schedules, sometimes different planets even. Doesn't matter. KU fans always seem to know what's going on with Kentucky and Big Blue Nation always seems to have its eyes on the Rock Chalkers, as well.

Kansas has made up a closed the gap at the top by a whopping 18 games in the past three seasons.

The 29-6 Jayhawks will get an opportunity to tie the Wildcats at 1:40 p.m. Saturday in a second-round matchup with No. 9 seed Creighton at Dickies Arena.

A win there would give KU the opportunity to really rub some salt in the wound of taking over the top spot. Not only would another win in the Sweet 16 do it, but every win from there on would move KU further ahead of the Wildcats while also advancing the Jayhawks deeper in this year’s NCAA Tournament.

Fans of both blue blood programs have shown that they love tracking the wins race, another way the two rivals can measure up against one another. Kentucky’s athletic department boasts of their position on top on the front page of all of their men’s basketball game notes, pointing out both the total number of wins and that it’s the most all-time in big, bold letters and numbers.

Perhaps Kansas will do the same if it moves into the top spot. Maybe not.

The reality of this thing is that it figures to change hands a few times — back and forth, back and forth, back and forth — over the next several years. The margin is that close and these two programs are both that good year in and year out.

But as of today, it’s the Jayhawks who have a golden opportunity to take over the top spot. And if they do, they’ll hold onto it for the next several months, as the Wildcats’ season is over and they will not be able to add to their win total until November.

College basketball’s all-time wins race standings: (as of March 18, 2022)

1 – Kentucky – 2,353-720

2 – Kansas – 2,352-877

3 – North Carolina – 2,319-827

———

Here’s a quick look at the season-by-season breakdown of Kansas and Kentucky victories since Bill Self took the reins in Lawrence for the 2003-04 season.

2003-04: UK +3 (27-24)

2004-05: UK +5 (28-23)

2005-06: KU +4 (25-22)

2006-07: KU +11 (33-22)

2007-08: KU +19 (37-18)

2008-09: KU +5 (27-22)

2009-10: UK +2 (35-33)

2010-11: KU +6 (35-29)

2011-12: UK +6 (38-32)

2012-13: KU +10 (31-21)

2013-14: UK +4 (29-25)

2014-15: UK +11 (38-27)

2015-16: KU +6 (33-27)

2016-17: UK +1 (32-31)

2017-18: KU +5 (31-26)

2018-19: UK +4 (30-26)

2019-20: KU +3 (28-25)

2020-21: KU +12 (21-9)

2021-22: KU +3 (29-26)… so far

Comments

Matt Gauntt 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Since John Calipari got to Kentucky for the 2009-2010 season, Self has won 382 games while Calipari has won 365.

I'll take HC Bill Self any day.

Dale Rogers 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Kansas under Bill Self has also been very consistent year to year. Nineteen consecutive years with at least one win in the tournament. In the tournament every year since 1990. Calipari took his team to a first-round blowout loss in the NIT not too long ago. Etc.

David Kelley-Wood 4 months, 3 weeks ago

I'll take Coach Self, too. So, +17 and counting vs Calipari, and even more than that vs Kentucky since taking over at KU. I'm too lazy to check, but am thinking it's in the 40-50 range.

David Kelley-Wood 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Actually, it's right there in the piece above (looks like +48).

Rodney Crain 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Kansas is also clearly in the lead over Kentucky by 157 games in the loss column.

Proving once again that futility should be rewarded.

If we hold the most wins record outright, we will lead Kentucky in not one category but three. Most games lost, most wins and most games played between the two Bluebloods to beat them to the top.

Don't forget to celebrate all 3 out there. Remember we could not have reached the top of Candyland without losing 157 more games to do it. Think of it as just a few more chutes to get to the top. More bites of the apple, a few extra swings. Its not cheating if you win right?

Wear all 3 crowns proudly, not just the 1. We have earned them all.

Gary Wirsig 4 months, 3 weeks ago

I'll let you wear the other two crowns for the rest of us Rodney. You wear them so consistently and well. (Typed with a smile, not malice!)

Brett McCabe 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Ummmm, why would you celebrate losses?

Once again, it took Hank more seasons, Dickerson more games, Maris more games, and on and on. It’s a simple, singular stat, just like all stats. Absolutely worth celebrating. Certainly not as ridiculous as the nimrods who wanted to fly a Championship banner two years ago.

Kevin Boone 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Hot Rod, I bet you are a blast at parties! :)

Rodney Crain 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Kevin someday if I can I will let you in on what is happening everytime you call me Hot Rod. You have made our weekend, please keep it up man.

Kevin Boone 4 months, 3 weeks ago

That's awesome, I'm glad he likes your new nickname! Anything that keeps the fire raging, Hot Rod! I'll use it from now on...forever and ever....but please, you can save the details, I'm good!

Rodney Crain 4 months, 3 weeks ago

You know I get so many laughs from you clowns.

Gary is it, if you are going in for crowns you have to do all 3. Sorry, but as you woefully point out, if you are going to acknowledge one, you have to claim the other two. No, well you just proved my point if the other two don't matter, than neither does the one you want to keep. All or nothing buddy.

Brett I am going let you pass. Just having you with the most wins crowd is more than enough support for me. So Thank you.

Kevin I stay away from parties seen enough of red cups and puke, I am a close friends, in warm places kind of guy. I get enough of fools on this place without having to talk about their favorite tik tok videos. You guys are laugh out loud funny. Really I mean very very amusing.

Hot Rod is great, please please please keep it up. If you only knew if you only knew, this is pure gold. Especially during the tourney. Thank you Kevin.

Garry Wright 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Perhaps we should add a fourth category as well -- games vacated or forfeited, seasons canceled, etc. UK would surely come out on top of that as well. 😎

Rodney Crain 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Garry you bring up an interesting point. I like it. When Larry left did we lose any games though?

Garry Wright 4 months, 3 weeks ago

No, there were no games forfeited when Larry left. Actually, overall, we look pretty good concerning games lost. We rank # 3 in the least number of games lost. UK is # 1 with 736 losses, UNC # 2 with 838 losses, and KU # 3 with 877 losses. That's as of 03/18/2022. That's looking at the records of the top 50 winningest teams. UNC & KU are still playing this season. UK's season has ended with a thud being a # 2 seed getting beat by a # 15 seed! 😆

Pius Waldman 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Well if more than one record report how about % wins of games played. Another one for those wanting to create comparisons.

David Kelley-Wood 4 months, 3 weeks ago

We should do "coaching tree" wins. That one wouldn't even be close.

Tim Orel 4 months, 3 weeks ago

It would get confusing with someone like Calipari - do wins as an assistant (at KU) count the same as wins as a head coach (at UK)?

Peter Miles 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Matt, could you provide a link to such a Kentucky publication that shows them touting their win totals?

Rodney Crain 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Matt, Let's say they do care for argument's sake.

If they claim most wins, why would anyone there care that they had done it in less games and with less losses?

And

When we achieve most wins, don't you think they will post about how we needed 150+ more games and have lost more games to get it?

We cannot claim most wins without the reference that we played longer 4 years, 157 more games and have lost more.

If you gave them 157 more games to catch up to us, how many wins would we really be behind them? At least 100.

Phil Leister 4 months, 3 weeks ago

I suspect Matt didn't write this article for the people who care about the win total stuff. I suspect he wrote it to piss off the few people who can't help but get their panties in a twist about it.

I'm kidding of course, Matt always takes the high road. That said, thanks Matt for needling the people who tend to get needled over everything. It's fun.

Rodney Crain 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Thanks Matt I love this. I expect a celebration article when we get to the top of Candyland.

Rodney Crain 4 months, 3 weeks ago

All of you I love this. I can't wait for the next round.

Let's win tomorrow and start all over again about being tied with UK for most wins. lol!!!

Can't wait.

Jeff Coffman 4 months, 3 weeks ago

To really put it in perspective, since Calipari was hired in at Kentucky in 2007, KU is +38.

UK has had 6 Conference Championships, 4 Final Fours, and 1 Championship (against KU).

KU has had 14 Conference Championships, 3 Final Fours, and 1 Championship.

Dirk Medema 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Brett - Some people might look at a loss as a negative. Others just see it as part of reality and therefore worthy of being celebrated. Sorta like Seinfeld’s Bizarro world. It’s not a reality most people live in, but we all need to be accepting of others.

David Robinett 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Speak speaking of consistency do y’all realize that before this year Duke had not won the ACC regular conference championship since 2009? …and North Carolina only five times in that span. Whereas, Coach Self has won our conference almost every year.

Garry Wright 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Speaking of consistency, the Big 12 is 6 - 0 in the first round in the Big Dance this year.

Garry Wright 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Here's a meaningless but interesting record -- The Most Basketball Games Played as of 03/18/2022:

Team . . . . Year started . . Total games played KU . . . . . . . . . . 1898 . . . . . . . . 3240 . . . Tied for most wins Oregon St. . . . .1901. . . . . . . . .3190 . . . 23rd most wins UNC . . . . . . . . .1910 . . . . . . . . 3158 . . . 3rd most wins Duke. . . . . . . . .1905. . . . . . . . .3153 . . . 4th most wins Oregon. . . . . . .1902. . . . . . . . .3126 . . . 34th most wins Washington . . .1895 . . . . . . . . 3106 . . . 21st most wins UK . . . . . . . . . .1902 . . . . . . . . 3089 . . . Tied for most wins Temple. . . . . . .1894 . . . . . . . . 3081 . . . 5th most wins

No other team in the top 50 has played 3,000 games.

Garry Wright 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Sorry that this didn't end up like I had printed it.

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