Jayhawks Open NCAA Tournament Against Howard Thursday

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LAWRENCE, Kan. — No. 1 seed Kansas (27-7) will begin the defense of its NCAA National Championship against No. 16 seed Howard (22-12) on Thursday, March 16, at 1 p.m. CT, at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. The game will be televised on TBS.


  • Kansas earned an at-large bid to the 2023 NCAA Tournament. The Jayhawks won their 21st Big 12 and NCAA-leading 64th all-time conference regular-season title going 13-5 in the Big 12. Howard won the MEAC regular-season title with an 11-3 league record. The Bison also won the MEAC Tournament earning the league’s automatic bid.
  • The Kansas-Howard series dates back to 1992 with the Jayhawks leading 2-0. KU defeated Howard, 100-67, in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament Midwest Region on March 20, 1992, in Dayton, Ohio. KU won the second meeting, 89-34, on Dec. 29, 2011, in Allen Fieldhouse.
  • Kansas is making its 51st NCAA Tournament appearance and has a 115-48 record in the event. The Jayhawks have advanced to 32 Sweet 16 contests, 16 Final Fours and four of their five national championships have been in NCAA Championship format (1952, 1988, 2008, 2022).
  • Kansas’ 33-consecutive NCAA Championship appearances, beginning in 1990, is the longest active streak and the longest consecutive in NCAA Tournament appearance history.
  • Since seeding in the NCAA Tournament began in 1979, Kansas enters the event a No. 1 seed for the 16th time overall and fifth time in the last seven tournaments. KU has been a No. 1 seed in 1986-92-95-97-98-2002-07-08-10-11-13-16-17-18-22-23. Kansas is 45-13 all-time as a No. 1 seed.
  • This year marks the 23rd-straight season that the Jayhawks have earned a top-four seed in the NCAA Tournament, including all 19 under head coach Bill Self (note: in 2020 KU would have been a No. 1 seed, making it 20).
  • This season, Kansas has faced 13 different teams in the 2023 NCAA Tournament field and has posted a record of 15-7 against those opponents.
  • Kansas has won 20 or more games for 34 consecutive seasons, including 2022-23, which is the longest active streak in the NCAA. The streak began in 1989-90.
  • Kansas is No. 9 in NET nationally and No. 1 in strength of schedule. For the second-straight year, Kansas has led the country in Quadrant 1 wins. Last year, Kansas had 12 Q1 wins heading into the NCAA Tournament and this year Kansas has an all-time high of 17 Q1 victories.

Should Kansas win its game against Howard on March 16, KU would play the winner of No. 8 Arkansas vs. No. 9 Illinois on Saturday, March 18. Kansas leads the all-time series with Arkansas, 8-5, with the last meeting Nov. 22, 2005, in the Maui Invitational in Hawaii, an Arkansas 65-64 win. The Kansas-Illinois series is tied at 3-3 with the last meeting being a KU win, 73-59, on March 20, 2011, in the NCAA Tournament second round in Tulsa.