RCW: Sport Spotlight 4.12 (Men's Basketball)
— Kansas Basketball (@KUHoops) November 15, 2017
A post shared by Kansas Basketball (@kuhoops) on Nov 14, 2017 at 9:46pm PST
When No. 4 Kansas defeated No. 7 Kentucky, 65-61, on Nov. 14, not only did KU improve to 3-4 in the State Farm Champions Classic, the Jayhawks won their 75th game against Associated Press (AP) ranked foes under head coach Bill Self, who is in his 15th season on the KU sidelines.
In its seventh year, the State Farm Champions Classic showcases four of the top programs in college basketball with Kansas, Duke, Kentucky and Michigan State. The teams rotate playing each other in some of the best NBA venues in the nation. The Champions Classic is the kickoff to the college basketball season.
All seven times the Jayhawks have competed in the Champions Classic, both KU and its opponent were ranked in the Associated Press Top 25. The Jayhawks were rated seventh or higher in six of the matchups and their opponent has been seventh or higher in five. Only three times, including 2017, KU has been ranked higher than its foe in the Classic.
Last season, Kansas went 6-3 against Associated Press ranked opponents. In 2015-16, KU posted a season-high 12 wins against AP Top-25 teams. The mark surpassed the previous season, 2014-15, of 10. In the Bill Self era, KU is 75-41 against ranked foes and has only had one non-.500 record, that being his first in 2003-04. In 2014-15 and 2015-16, KU played a season-high 16 games vs. ranked opponents.
Tough schedules are a norm for KU men’s basketball. Kansas ended 2016-17 ranked No. 4 in the NCAA Rating Percentage Index (RPI) and its strength of schedule was 19th nationally. In Self’s first 14 seasons guiding the Jayhawks, KU has ranked fifth or higher in the final RPI 10 times, including each of the last eight years. In 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2015-16, Kansas had the No. 1 overall RPI amongst the 351 NCAA Division I schools.