In the end, the Kansas Jayhawks have won a ninth consecutive Big 12 championship and like head coach Bill Self said, you never apologize for winning a league title, especially if it’s for a ninth consecutive year.
However, nobody was at all interested in that Saturday night, after the Jayhawks concluded the regular season by being blown out at Baylor 81-58.
The loss coupled with Kansas State’s loss earlier in the day at Oklahoma State meant that the two teams tie for the regular season title, despite Kansas (26-5, 14-4) sweeping the season series. The Jayhawks will possess the number one seed at this week’s Big 12 Championship in Kansas City.
Though, there is pride and satisfaction in winning another league title, the focus after Saturday’s loss was disappointment.
“I went in and told my team, ‘Hey, bad job, but congratulations,’ one of those deals,” Self said. “I’m happy we got a ninth. I will never apologize for winning a league championship. It’s not entirely the way we scripted it, which is obvious.”
Baylor (18-13, 9-9) dominated the game almost for its entirety. The Bears got big performances from Pierre Jackson and Cory Jefferson, who scored 228 and 25 points respectively.
The Bears shot 58 percent from the field and were consistently on fire throughout the game. Kansas, meanwhile, shot 38 percent. Baylor also outrebounded the Jayhawks 32-28.
One of the few Kansas bright spots was Ben McLemore, who overcame his recent struggles on the road to lead the team in scoring with 23 points, including five three pointers.
Despite the rough end to the regular season, Kansas has still won a ninth straight Big 12 championship and the focus will now turn to the second season and the chase after another National Championship, with that journey beginning this week at Kansas City’s Sprint Center.