When Bill Self was hired as Kansas coach before the 2003-04 basketball season, the Jayhawks stood third in all-time wins, 48 games behind Kentucky and seven behind North Carolina – at the time, the top two programs in terms of all-time wins in college basketball.
The gap has closed considerably. Saturday North Carolina beat Kentucky and Kansas defeated New Mexico. The Jayhawks have 2,108 victories, 11 behind Kentucky (2,918) and 11 ahead of North Carolina (2,097). This season, Kentucky has eight victories, Kansas and North Carolina each have seven.
In its first 10 full seasons under Self (through the end of last season), Kansas gained an average of 3.8 victories a season on Kentucky. During Kentucky coach John Calipari's first four seasons, the Wildcats averaged nearly 31 victories a season and the Jayhawks still gained ground.
During Self’s time in Lawrence, KU has never had a season with double-digit losses. Over that time frame, the Wildcats have had five seasons and the Tar Heels have three with 10 or more defeats.