Written by: Joe Ryan
Excuse me if I get a little emotional here, but, I could cry tears of happiness.
For 70% of my life I have rooted for the Kansas Jayhawks. As a fan base, we have seen some incredible wins, amazing players, Final Fours, a National Championship and now we can say….
14 Straight BIG 12 Conference Championships.
With Kansas victory over Texas Tech, the Jayhawks have officially clinched a share of the Big 12 regular season championship, something they have done in the last 13 years. And this one might be the sweetest of them all.
This season has not been easy. In fact, this season has been unlike any other season in Kansas Basketball history. This team didn’t have the oozing talent they usually have, they had players who were sidekicks their entire careers turn into guys who had to be superheros, they lost THREE games at Allen FieldHouse (something that NEVER happens at Kansas), they were trailing the Big 12 race in Mid-February and then you just figured that, “this was a good run, the streak was special, but it has to end eventually.”
But, this team has got some major heart, major grit and major fight in them. They had the no-quit attitude throughout the entire year thus far. This years Jayahwks battled and scraped until the very end. You can just tell that this team has worked so hard to where they need to be, and you can tell that these group of guys didn’t want to be the group to end the streak. They were determined and when the final buzzer sounded, you can just see the sigh of relief, the joy and excitement coming from this group of players. Together, they fought, they grinded, they lost and they won, they hit their lows and they hit their highs but in the end, they were crowned Champions.
I don’t know if its just me and because I care so much, but, the University of Kansas is just something different. And you can see that hashtag being used on Jerrance Howard’s instagram after every pic is posted (#itsjustdifferent) because I really believe that. From the coaches, to the team, to the 16,300 fans screaming at every home game, to any fan who ever rooted for this team in their lifetime, you can tell that the Kansas Jayhawks just have it different than any other college in the world. It is truly a family like place.
Sure, other schools try to replicate it and they try to mimic what Kansas has done, but, you just can’t. It’s not possible. When you walk through those doors in Allen FieldHosue, you just feel different. You feel like your in the best place in the world and there is no other place you rather be. I tweeted out the other day, “I feel bad for anybody who doesn’t love Kansas Basketball” and I truly mean that. I truly feel bad for people that don’t experience it like we, as a family, experienced it.
I don’t know when the streak is going to end. it could end next year, it can end in 10 years. I have no idea. But, what I do know, is that this conference title is the sweetest one yet.
The whole team won this title, but this Kansas team in nothing and I mean NOTHING without Devonte Graham. After this season, and especially the performance at Texas Tech, Graham raised his jersey in the AFH rafter himself. He is a Kansas legend.
Through the ups and downs (and there were a lot of them), Devonte Graham kept this team afloat. He kept the confidence up and he stepped up every single time he needed to step up.
The Kansas Jayhawks are Big 12 champions, for the 14th straight time.
It’s Just Different.