The Big 12 basketball regular-season basketball championship likely will be settled in the next week, according to Kansas coach Bill Self.
The veteran Jayhawks coach says his team is a “great 8 days” away from being able to wrap up its record 14th consecutive Big 12 title.
It won’t be easy for the No. 13 Jayhawks, who are 20-6 and 9-4 in conference play. They sit a game behind No. 7 Texas Tech, which is 22-4 and 10-3 in Big 12 play.
The Red Raiders already beat the Jayhawks, 85-73, at Allen Fieldhouse on Jan. 2. It was their first win there in 19 tries as they snapped a 16-game losing streak to the Jayhawks.
The Jayhawks start a punishing gauntlet when they host No. 20 West Virginia on Saturday. Trae Young and Oklahoma visit on Monday before the Jayhawks and Red Raiders meet Feb. 24 in Lubbock.
“Our home games are monster games,” Self told the Kansas City Star’s Gary Bedore. “Then, the road games are obviously really hard.”
Jayhawks are close to conference title record
If the Jayhawks claim the Big 12 title this season, they will have earned it. They are gunning for a modern college record with a 14th consecutive title along with UCLA. The Bruins claimed 13 consecutive conference titles from 1967-79.
Self said the Jayhawks’ 83-77 triumph Tuesday at Iowa State provides confidence for the punishing run.
“You have a chance to do some special things if you are able to have a great eight days,” Self said. “Certainly it will take us playing a lot better, a lot tougher, a lot smarter. It certainly helps to win this game (Iowa State) to kind of get our heads right.”