LAWRENCE -- Big 12 Conference regular-season champion and No. 1-ranked Kansas (28-3, 17-1) is set to tip-off postseason play when it hits the court at Kansas City’s Sprint Center for the 2020 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship this week.
KU enters the tournament as the No. 1 seed for the 16th time in the 24-year history of the league after the Jayhawks won their NCAA-leading 62nd regular-season conference championship.
Kansas will face the winner of the No. 8 Oklahoma State-No. 9 Iowa State game on Thursday at approximately 1:30 p.m. The Cowboys and Cyclones will play at 6 p.m. tonight. Kansas has won 16 conference tournament titles, including eight of the last 15 and 11 of the 23 total Big 12 Championships. Thursday’s quarterfinal contest will be broadcast on ESPN or ESPN2, with Rich Hollenberg (play-by-play), Chris Spatola (analyst) and Kris Budden (reporter) set to call the action.TIPOFF
Kansas is the No. 1 seed for the Big 12 Championship for the 16th time, including the 11th time in the last 12 years. KU was the No. 3 seed last year.
KU is 31-7 as the No. 1 seed in the Big 12 Championship and has won the title eight times as the tournament’s top seed.
Kansas has won 15 postseason conference tourney titles and 11 in the Big 12 era. KU (11), ISU (5), OU (3) and OSU (2) are active league members with Big 12 tournament titles.
Since the Big 12’s inception in 1996-97, Kansas is 46-12 in the league tournament. KU is 1-0 in opening round games, 20-3 in the quarterfinals, 14-6 in semifinals and 11-3 in finals.
KU won its NCAA-leading 62nd overall and Big 12-leading 19th conference regular-season title. The Jayhawks have won 15 of the last 16 league titles.
KU went 17-1 in Big 12 play and is the first team in Big 12 history to win 17 league games. KU also became the first team to go undefeated on the road in league play (9-0) under the current. double round-robin format (began in 2012-13).
Kansas’ 16-game winning streak is the third-longest nationally. It is also tied for the fifth-longest in the Bill Self era (since 2003-04).
KU is No. 1 in the NET rankings as of March 9 games. The Jayhawks’ strength of schedule is also No. 1. Kansas is the only school with 12 Quadrant 1 wins. KU’s 20 Q1 and Q2 combined wins are also more than any other school.
Five Jayhawks earned Big 12 postseason awards. Udoka Azubuike was the Big 12 Player of the Year, All-Big 12 First Team and Big 12 All-Defensive Team. Devon Dotson was All-Big 12 First Team. Marcus Garrett was the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, All-Big 12 Third Team and Big 12 All-Defensive Team. Ochai Agbaji was an Honorable Mention pick, while Christian Braun was on the Big 12 All-Freshman Team.
Dotson and Azubuike are two of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Trophy, among the 15 on the Wooden Award National Ballot and members of the USBWA Oscar Robertson Trophy Watch List. Junior Marcus Garrett is one of 10 Naismith Defensive Player of the Year semifinalists.
KANSAS AT THE BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP
KU’s 11 Big 12 Championship titles are more than any other school in the league. Iowa State is second with five titles, while Oklahoma (3) and Oklahoma State (2) are the only other current schools to have won a Big 12 tourney. Kansas won the first three events 1997-98-99, then the 2006-07-08-10-11-13-16-18 titles. KU is 11-3 in tourney title games, having lost the 2002 title to Oklahoma and the 2015 and 2019 titles to Iowa State.
Kansas is the only team to have won at least 40 games in the Big 12 Championship. The Jayhawks are 46-12 (79.3%) in the event. Texas (26-23, 53.1%), Oklahoma State (24-21, 53.3%), Oklahoma (22-20, 52.4%) and Iowa State (20-18, 52.6%) are next in most wins in the event.
With a 32-8 (80.0%) record, KU head coach Bill Self has the highest winning percentage in Big 12 Championship history with more than one tournament (Frank Haith went 3-0 at Missouri in 2012).
Kansas has been the No. 1 seed 16 times (1997-98-2002-03-07-09-10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17-18-20), No. 2 seed four times (2001-05-06-08), No. 3 seed three times (1999-2004-19) and was the No. 5 seed in 2000.
KU has reached the semifinals in 20 of the 23 Big 12 Championships. The Jayhawks did not reach the 2000, 2009 or 2017 semis.
Kansas has won eight of its 11 Big 12 titles as the No. 1 seed – 1997, 1998, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016 and 2018. KU was the No. 3 seed in its 1999 title run and the No. 2 seed in 2006 and 2008.
Kansas has had 48 conference championship all-tournament selections, including 31 in the 23-year history of the Big 12 Championship. Last year, Devon Dotson and Dedric Lawson were all-tournament selections.
Should Kansas win, the Jayhawks will play in the semifinals on Friday, March 13, at 6 p.m. (CT) on ESPN or ESPN2.
KU would face the winner of the No. 4 Texas Tech vs. No. 5 Texas contest. Kansas is 22-16 all-time in conference tournament semifinals, including 14-6 in the Big 12 Championship.