Kansas Basketball: What life looked like before Jayhawks’ streak began

Kansas basketball had captured an astounding 14-consecutive Big 12 regular-season titles, dating back to 2004. Things appeared a lot different then.

Lucky No. 15 is not in the cards for the Kansas basketball squad, and that’s absolutely nothing for the Jayhawks to feel ashamed about. In fact, we should applaud Kansas for this totally ridiculous performance, in which the Jayhawks and their tremendous head coach, Bill Self, secured a mind-boggling 14 Big 12 regular-season crowns in a row.

I mean, really, take a step back and try to grasp that longevity of excellence. During this span, Kansas also advanced to Final Fours in 2008, 2012 and 2018, received a No. 1 seed in March Madness on numerous occasions and cut down the nets in 2008, when it bested Memphis in an overtime thriller.

The Jayhawks’ tantalizing dominance of its conference’s regular-season schedule is done for now, so I think it’s appropriate to reflect. As such, let’s review some key elements of our society and its culture since the last time a Big 12 crew other than the Jayhawks nabbed the regular-season crown, which was Oklahoma State in 2004.

George W. Bush serves as the U.S. President. The average cost for a gallon of gas amounts to $1.92. Mark Zuckerberg creates the social-networking Web site Facebook. You’ve probably heard of it.

NASA’s unmanned Messenger spacecraft is launched, with its primary mission to study the planet of Mercury. The Summer Olympics are held in Athens, Greece. The world’s tallest bridge, the Millau Viaduct in southern France, is officially unveiled.

The Academy Award for Best Picture goes to The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Coldplay’s “Clocks” lands the Grammy Award for Record of the Year. At the Emmy Awards, Arrested Development takes home the Outstanding Comedy Series honor, while The Sopranos finally gets named Outstanding Drama Series.

LeBron Raymone James Jr., the oldest son of NBA superstar LeBron James and philanthropist Savannah James, is born.

The BCS National Champion is LSU, and the AP Poll winner in college football was Southern California. The New England Patriots claim the Super Bowl, and they’re still doing it all these years later. The Boston Red Sox end 86 years of misery, sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals to collect the World Series.

In pro hoops, the Detroit Pistons pull off a huge upset of the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals, and the Tampa Bay Lightning conquer the Stanley Cup.

As for collegiate basketball, Connecticut achieves the grand prize in both the men’s and the women’s NCAA Tournaments, which is unbelievably impressive.

The most-popular food? Of course, it’s yogurt. Emma and Jacob are the top baby names for girls and boys, respectively.

George W. Bush is the Time magazine Person of the Year, and Sports Illustrated’s Sportsmen of the Year are none other than those Boston Red Sox. What a year we had in 2004!