2011 wasn’t the best year for Kansas fans but it wasn’t awful either. Kansas basketball was 33-6 in the 2011 calendar year… while Kansas football was 2-10 (the good and the bad).
I did a similar post last year: Top 10 Jayhawk moments in 2010.
Here are the most memorable moments for KU in 2011 (not necessarily in any order):
Kansas Sets New Home Court Win Streak
With a win against Texas A&M-CC on November 23rd, 2010, KU broke the school home court win streak of 62 straight victories. The streak was broken on January 22nd, 2011, with a loss to Texas. The streak, 69 straight games, was the longest in NCAA basketball since 1992. Most of the wins obviously came before 2011 but it was quite an accomplishment.
Kansas Wins the Big 12… again.
Kansas won the Big 12 regular season championship for the seventh year in a row. This time, it was a little harder than the previous years. Kansas finished 14-2 and despite losing to Texas at home ending the home court winstreak, the Jayhawks managed to still win the league. KU extended their NCAA-record 54 conference championships. Then KU went on to win the Big 12 tournament for the fifth time in six seasons. Kansas avenged their home loss to Texas by stomping Texas in the championship game.
Kansas #1 Seed in NCAA Tournament
For the 10th time in school history, Kansas was a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Despite having a relatively easy path to the Final Four (Florida State (#10), VCU (#11) and Richmond (#12) all made the regional semifinal in Kansas’ bracket), they lost to VCU in the Elite 8. Kansas still had an impressive season and were clearly deserving of the #1 seed. No other #1 seeds made the Final Four and two seeds were higher than 5 (#8 Butler and #11 VCU).
Morrii Get Drafted Back-to-Back
On September 2nd, 1989, Angel Morris gave birth to Markieff Morris seven minutes before giving birth to Marcus Morris.
On June 23rd, 2011, Markieff Morris got drafted by the Phoenix Suns (13th overall) seven minutes before Marcus Morris (14th overall) got drafted by the Houston Rockets. A fitting start to their professional basketball careers.
Marcus offered up this hilarious quote after Markieff got drafted: “It ain’t the end of the world. I’ll see him again. I’ll send him flowers or some fruit.”
The Morris twins are the 17th and 18th players from Kansas selected in first round of the NBA Draft since 1990 (since the modern day lottery system went into place).
The 2011 Draft marked the fourth time in the current lottery system that two players from Kansas were selected as lottery picks (1998 – Raef LaFrentz [3rd] and Paul Pierce [10th], 2003 – Kirk Hinrich [7th] and Nick Collison [12th], 2010 – Cole Aldrich [11th] and Xavier Henry [12th]). The Morris twins are the ninth and tenth players from Kansas selected in the lottery.
Legends of the Phog
Probably the coolest event ever in the Fieldhouse, Legends of the Phog brought back every living person you could possibly think of when you think Kansas basketball (minus Roy Williams, of course).
But…the game ended with the recreation of Mario’s Miracle.
Absolutely epic. I won’t even try to describe the event because you had to be there to understand how awesome it was.
Turner Gill Fired and Charlie Weis Hired
Kansas fans were glad the Turner Gill era had finally ended. Kansas fans were even more ecstatic when Charlie Weis was announced as the next head coach of the Jayhawks. Within the month, Weis delivered KU’s first five-star recruit…and then delivered another one a few hours later. Granted, they were both transfers. But both quarterbacks have great talent and should be able to help the Jayhawks in 2012 and 2013. Put this into perspective, Kansas had a front headline on ESPN.com twice in December. That doesn’t normally happen after a 2-10 season at Kansas.
Kansas Defeats Northern Illinois in final 15 seconds of game
It was Kansas’ second and last victory of 2011, but it was a pretty exciting game. With 14 seconds left, Jordan Webb threw a touchdown pass to complete the comeback. Northern Illinois finished 10-3 on the season (with a bowl game on January 8th, too), so it was a pretty good win for the Jayhawks. Unfortunately, Kansas lost 10 straight following the game and looked absolutely terrible.
Kansas Beats #2 Ohio State at the Fieldhouse
Kansas was able to knock off Ohio State in the Fieldhouse on December 10th. The Buckeyes were without Jared Sullinger, who was suffering from back pain. Tyshawn Taylor played on a knee with a torn meniscus and a sprained MCL and dished out a career high 13 assists.
Kansas had lost to Duke and Kentucky already, so getting the win against a Sullinger-less Ohio State was a big confidence booster for the Jayhawks. You can make an argument that Ohio State is still one of the 10 best teams in the country without Sullinger.
The Fieldhouse rocked for this game and it is definitely up there for top moments of 2011.