Defending Champion Kansas Jayhawks Among New College Basketball 'Blue Bloods'

Defending Champion Kansas Jayhawks Among New College Basketball 'Blue Bloods'
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

It has been seven months since the Kansas Jayhawks captured their fourth national title of the NCAA Tournament era.

The victory over North Carolina clinched the program’s first championship since 2008 and further asserted the Jayhawks' position in the sport.

The Jayhawks have won at least 20 games each season, dating back to when Roy Williams was roaming the sidelines in 1988, speaking to the unprecedented longevity the Jayhawks have had in a sport full of change.

Last year’s championship team, for instance, finished 34-6 (14-4 in Big 12 conference play), before steamrolling past Texas Southern and Creighton to open the tournament.

Things got a bit tougher from there, with a five-point win over Providence in the Sweet 16, followed by a 26-point shellacking of Miami in the Elite Eight and an 81-65 win over Villanova in the Final Four.

After that, Bill Self’s bunch survived and won the whole thing, via a 72-69 victory over the Tar Heels, capping off a year to remember for Jayhawks. But Self won't be on the bench when Kansas starts this season, as he accepted a four-game suspension handed down by the school as part of the 2017 FBI investigation into college basketball corruption.

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Kansas Sports Betting In Place For First Time

For the first time this year, Jayhawks fans can take advantage of sports betting in Kansas to legally place wagers on their team.

The Jayhawks, unsurprisingly, were among the six programs dubbed new college basketball “blue bloods” by

Using 2012 as a starting point, we looked at various categories of college basketball success to determine a threshold a program must reach to be considered for new "blue blood" status.

Points were awarded to each program in the following areas: Championship wins (10 per win), championship appearances (5 per appearance), Final Four appearances (4 per appearance), NCAA Tournament appearances (1 per appearance) and Top 25 recruiting classes (1 for each).

A program needed 35 points over the span of 2012 to 2022 to be considered a current college basketball blue blood.

BetMGM Sportsbook Kansas gives KU +1400 odds of repeating in 2023, tied with Arkansas for sixth.

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College Basketball’s Current Breed of Elite

The Blue Bloods

🏀 North Carolina57
🏀 Villanova55
🏀 Kansas53
🏀 Kentucky51
🏀 Duke42
🏀 Louisville36

The Comfortably Upper Class

🏀 Michigan32
🏀 Gonzaga32
🏀 Virginia31
🏀 Baylor30
🏀 UConn28
🏀 Michigan State24
🏀 Wisconsin22
🏀 Syracuse19

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How Kansas Made 'Blue Bloods' List

After all was said and done, the Jayhawks finished with the third most points of any school by our metrics — 53.

Kansas ran up the score thanks to two title game appearances (2012 and 2022), one national title (2022), and three Final Four berths (2012, 2018 and 2022).

That meant the Jayhawks scored 32 points from those three categories alone, which would nearly be enough to reach our 35-point benchmark.

Add in the school’s 10 tournament appearances (only missing out in 2020, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic) and the program’s 11 top-25 recruiting classes (from 247 Sports class rankings) and it was a dominant stretch for KU basketball.

Whether Self and company can add onto their legacy by becoming the first school since Florida in 2006 and 2007 to repeat as the national champion remains to be seen.

For now, Jayhawks fans can call themselves one of the sport’s true “blue bloods” when the team tips off its season in Phog Allen Fieldhouse against Omaha on Nov. 7.



Christopher Boan is a lead writer at specializing in covering state issues. He covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years.

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