Whether it’s at the start of the season, or entering the NCAA Tournament, the Kansas Jayhawks are often among the teams praised for their potential to take home a national championship.
However, despite the fact that Kansas enters almost every season with national championship aspirations, it’s been a full decade since the Jayhawks last cut down the nets in 2008, which marked the schools first title since 1988.
Bearing the Jayhawks’ shortcomings in mind, despite frequently boasting loaded rosters, two Kansas squads were ranked among the top 18 college teams that failed to win a national title, per USA Today’s For The Win.
The most recent of the bunch is Kansas’ 2010 team, which ranked No. 12 on the list after winning 33 games before falling to ninth-seeded Northern Iowa in the Second Round.
“Bill Self’s squad had seven future NBA players on it, went 15-1 to win the Big 12 regular season title, then won the Big 12 tourney, and was the No. 1 team in the country entering the tournament,” For The Win’s Andy Nesbitt said. “And then they were shockingly upset by Northern Iowa, thanks to a huge 3-pointer in the final minute by Ali Farokhmanesh, in the second round.
Kansas was the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament that season.
More than a decade earlier, in 1997, a Kansas team that was guided by current North Carolina coach Roy Williams was also an elite force prior to its early NCAA Tournament exit. Before their Sweet 16 loss to Arizona, Kansas was 34-1, which placed the Jayhawks at No. 6 on For The Win’s list.
“Roy Williams’ squad, led by Raef LaFrentz, Jacque Vaughn and sophomore Paul Pierce, was the No. 1 team in the nation for all but the first two weeks of the season,” Nesbitt said. “The Big 12 regular season and Big 12 tournament champs seemed destined to at least make the Final Four… until they ran into an Arizona team led by Mike Bibby, Miles Simon, and Jason Terry that rose to the challenge and pulled off a huge upset in the Sweet 16.”
Along with its 2008 and 1988 national titles, Kansas also won the national championship in 1952. Only UCLA (11), Kentucky (8), North Carolina (6), Duke (5), Indianan (5) and Connecticut (4) have won more national championships than Kansas.
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