Manhattan Bill Self will not mention "The Streak" to his Kansas University basketball players at morning shootaround or afternoon pre-game meal today.
"I don't need to address that," Self, KU's fifth-year coach said, referring to KU's 24-game, 24-year win streak over Kansas State in the Little Apple that includes 19 victories in Bramlage Coliseum and five in old Ahearn Fieldhouse.
"Their locker room doesn't care. Ours doesn't care. It's something media and fans make a big deal out of. That won't be motivation for either team as far as affecting play on the court."
Self's KU teams are 4-0 versus the Wildcats in Manhattan, 3-1 in Lawrence, 1-0 in Kansas City and 1-0 in Oklahoma City.
Also ignoring talk of "The Streak" today will be Kansas State coach Frank Martin. He need not state the obvious to his Wildcats (14-4, 4-0), who, at 7 tonight, will try to defeat the Jayhawks (20-0, 5-0) on KSU's home court for the first time since a 58-57 decision on Jan. 29, 1983.
"I have never mentioned 'The Streak' to our players. They know about it because they go to school here. They just know," said Martin, an assistant on last year's Bob Huggins-led squad that fell to KU three times including a 71-62 decision at Bramlage.
"It's not a hidden secret. I've never told the team we have to put this to an end. It's not like we're playing Winston-Salem State. There's a reason that streak is what it is. They are that good. We're just trying to get good enough to compete with them."
"The Streak" could take on new significance tonight.
A victory would tie KU with UCLA for most consecutive victories against an opponent on a Div. I foe's home court. The Bruins beat Cal-Berkeley 25 straight times from 1961 to '85. One game was played off campus in Oakland, yet was considered a Bears' home game.
"That is shocking. I didn't know that," KU senior Darnell Jackson said, professing no knowledge of KU's 24 victories in a row in Manhattan. "That's in the past. That's about guys here before me. We just have to stay focused and be ready to play."
KU senior Russell Robinson said there's no pressure trying to extend such a streak - one that has had some close calls. Eleven of the 24 meetings have been decided by single-digits, including five by one possession and two in overtime.
"I think it means more to them (Wildcats) than us," Robinson said. "We are just trying to take it a game at a time. We just go out and play."
Freshman Cole Aldrich said KU's upperclassmen haven't given him a pep talk about what it will take to extend "The Streak" that apparently is discussed about as much as a pitcher's no-hitter while in progress on a baseball field.
"Not many people have been talking about it," Aldrich said. "We take it game by game. We tried to take it to Nebraska before we played 'em (84-49 on Saturday). Now we are concentrating on K-State."
KSU phenom Michael Beasley, who was a teammate of Aldrich at last year's McDonald's All-America game, mentioned the streak - sort of - when asked the innocuous question, "What do you know about KU?"
"I know they've got some kind of record in this gym. What is it, 26? That's a lot of wins," Beasley said. "I know they're a good team. They're ranked high in the country. That's about it.
"We have a good shot to beat anybody. I think if we come to play every game, we can beat anybody in the nation, so 20-and-0, a million-and-0, it doesn't really matter. If we play like we're supposed to, that record could be over, that streak could be over," Beasley added. "It's just another game, no bigger than the first game of the season."
KSU freshman Bill Walker - he watched year's game in Manhattan but couldn't play following ACL surgery - said he's happy pre-game talk about "The Streak" and KSU's guarantees of victory today will come to an end.
"You hear about it all season, and now it's finally here and we can finally play and get it over with," said Walker, who, like every player in the game, was not alive the last time KSU beat KU in Manhattan. "That's not extra pressure on us. I bet the pressure's on them. They're trying to go undefeated," Walker added.