If Benjamin Franklin was alive today, well…he’d probably be desperately clawing to get out of his coffin. Once he got out, however, one of the first things he’d probably do (after cleaning up, checking on his family, asking what an iPhone is, renouncing his Founding Fatherhood after seeing Donald Trump become a serious presidential candidate in the US, etc) is amend one of his more popular quotes: “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. And KU winning the Big XII.”
By now, you’ve surely read one of the many pieces discussing how amazing Self’s streak of 12 conference titles really is (in case you haven’t, check out Gary Parrish’s or Joe Posnanski’s columns). When you look at how Number 12 was accomplished after a sluggish start to the conference season, in a league that has six teams currently ranked in the top 25 & that may very well send seven teams to the NCAA tournament, and with a roster that might not even have a 2016 first round draft pick on it, it’s even more amazing. There might be some coaching quirks that Bill Self has that drive me batty, but there’s no escaping one, immutable fact: the man knows how to win.
Constant roster churn. A handful of “rebuilding” years. Blake Griffin. Kevin Durant. Being every other team’s Super Bowl. Regular season round-robin. None of it has changed the course of KU’s conference title runs. I admit to being spoiled by our regular season success and have had discussions around how many conference titles I’d trade for a national championship, but there’s a certain symmetry and poetry to winning 12 in a row, in the Big XII, and I can’t help but be proud. And amazed.
Let’s now shoot to break UCLA’s streak of 13 conference titles in a row. And maybe add another national championship (or two), as well…