Kansas Ascends to No. 1 in Both Polls

Kansas head coach Bill Self watches a tribute on the big screen by ex-players marking his 600th career win after an NCAA college basketball game against UMKC Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016, in Lawrence, Kan. Kansas won 105-62. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

LAWRENCE, Kan. (KU release) Kansas men’s basketball climbed to No. 1 in both the Associated Press (AP) and USA TODAY Coaches’ polls released Monday. The last time Kansas was No. 1 was a year ago on Dec. 17, 2018, when the Jayhawks were top ranked in both the AP and coaches’ polls. The Jayhawks have been ranked fifth or higher in every poll in 2019-20, opening the season at No. 3.

“Certainly, we’ll welcome being ranked No. 1,” KU head coach Bill Self said. “I don’t believe that any team out there is deserving, at this juncture, of separating themselves to earn that. But based on where we started and how we’ve played the last nine games, I do believe my guys deserve to be ranked high and the No. 1 ranking is something that will be rewarding today, in the short term, but not mean anything moving forward except a bigger bullseye on our back.”

This marks the 70th time in poll history Kansas has been ranked No. 1 by Associated Press, including the 30th time in the Self era which started in 2003-04. In the coaches’ poll, Kansas has been No. 1 on 62 occasions, including 31 times under Self.

No. 1 Kansas (9-1) takes its nine-game winning streak to No. 18 Villanova (8-2) on Saturday, Dec. 21, at 11 a.m. (Central). The game will be played at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia and will be televised on FOX.