LAWRENCE, Kan. – The defending NCAA National Champion Kansas Jayhawks earned the No. 1 seed in the West Region of the NCAA Tournament, marking their 51st all-time appearance and NCAA record 33rd consecutive appearance. Kansas will play Howard in the first round on Thursday, March 16, at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.
Playing as the No. 1 seed for the 16th time in program history, Kansas enters the NCAA Tournament as the Big 12 regular season Champions, posting a 27-17 overall record and 13-5 record in conference play.
Kansas will take on Howard, winners of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Tournament with a 65-64 victory over Norfolk State on Saturday. Howard enters the NCAA Tournament with a 22-12 record, including 12-3 in the MEAC. It is the fourth-ever conference tournament win in Howard’s history and the program’s third-ever NCAA Tournament appearance, first since 1992.
The Bison, out of Washington, D.C., are led by First Team All-MEAC Selection Elijah Hawkins, who averaged 13.0 points per game. Freshman Shy Odom was named the MEAC Rookie of the Year, averaging 10.8 points per game and 4.5 rebounds per game.
Kansas is 2-0 against Howard all-time, as the two teams last met on Dec. 29, 2011, with Kansas winning 89-34. The two teams first met on March 20, 1992 in the NCAA Midwest Regional in Dayton, Ohio, which Kansas won 100-67.
The Jayhawks have been selected to the NCAA’s West Region for the seventh time, most recently playing in the West in 2021. Kansas won the West Region in 2003 to advance to the Final Four, as well as the Western Region in 1940.
Kansas has posted a 45-13 record as a No. 1 seed, after winning the NCAA Tournament as a No. 1 seed in 2022. Kansas is 15-0 all-time against No. 16 seeds in the NCAA Tournament, while the Jayhawks hold a 115-48 record all-time in the NCAA Tournament.