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Calipari vs. Bill Self: The 8 UK - Kansas matchups

The 2012 win was bigger than all the others, but 2014 was also very nice.

University of Kentucky vs University of Kansas

There are only two states that start with ‘K’, and each has one of the two all-time winningest programs in college hoops.

Kentucky has UK. Kansas has KU. One is blue and white. One is white and blue with some red feathers thrown in.

Kentucky vs. Kansas has been the classic it’s always been in the last 12 years, with John Calipari and Bill Self each continuing to lead their schools in their winning traditions—one in a state hillier than a crumpled box and one in a state flat as a board.

They’ve met nine times since Calipari left Memphis. The Kentucky Wildcats have won four, and the Kansas Jayhawks have won four. Saturday’s game marked the ninth meeting.

Let’s dive into each one.

1. 11/15/2011: Kentucky 75, Kansas 65 in New York City

Anthony Davis, Kidd-Gilchrist, and the rest of the squad snagged UK a pretty big win in the opening weeks of the 2011 season in the Champions Classic. Good thing they knew how to beat Kansas then, because the next meeting was the biggest of all time...

2. 4/2/2012: Kentucky 67, Kansas 59 in New Orleans

The 2012 national champions! With a national championship at stake, the #1 Wildcats who had dominated all season long completed the journey and came full circle with another victory over the Jayhawks to not only seize their 8th national title but also deny Kansas one. A huge win for Calipari too, who’s other title game was against the Jayhawks while he was at Memphis and 38-1 only to lose to Mario Chalmers’s game-tying three and bad Memphis free-throw shooting.

3. 11/18/2014: Kentucky 72, Kansas 40 in Indianapolis

Yeah, you read that score right. In the 2014-2015 season UK was able to smash teams like Kansas by 32, which was a big reason they started 38-0. Dominance like this has been echoed this season in the UNC and Tennessee wins—isn’t it so much fun?

4. 1/20/2016: Kentucky 84, Kansas 90 (OT) in Allen Fieldhouse

“Beware of the Phog.” UK’s first loss to Kansas under Calipari came in Allen Fieldhouse, the toughest place to win in college hoops—fewer KU losses occur there than Duke L’s in Cameron or UK L’s in Rupp, etc. Overtime was pretty awesome, though.

5. 1/28/2017: Kentucky 73, Kansas 79 in Rupp Arena

Blah, a home loss. The De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk team couldn’t hold off the Jayhawks at home, who would go on to get a 1-seed but lose to Oregon in the Elite Eight. Two really good Wildcats and Jayhawks teams that year.

6. 11/14/2017: Kentucky 61, Kansas 65 in Chicago

Another loss—UK was kind of mediocre this year and Kansas went to the Final Four. Wildcats still played pretty well though, as seen by the final score.

7. 1/26/2019: Kentucky 71, Kansas 63 in Rupp Arena

In a great performance from a great team, Kentucky was favored to handle Kansas at home and did exactly that. Tyler Herro, PJ Washington, Keldon Johnson, and the rest of the 2018-2019 squad also beat #1 Tennessee in Rupp that year, so it was a good year for season ticket holders.

8. 12/1/2020: Kentucky 62, Kansas 65 in Indianapolis

Kentucky was so terrible last year, but why did they have to lose this game by three? Why couldn’t they have just snagged a win anyway? One of the most annoying parts about their futility last year was that they were like a wounded traveler knocked down on the highway and Kansas, North Carolina, Louisville, and Tennessee all got to rob W’s from their wallet. This season’s begun the revenge tour.

9. 1/29/2022: Kentucky ??, Kansas ?? in Allen Fieldhouse

Cal found a bobby pin—the Jayhawks stand no chance.