LAWRENCE, Kan. – Picked as a No. 4 seed for the fifth time in program history, the Kansas men’s basketball team will make its 30th-consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The nation’s longest-active streak and the best all-time will start against the No. 13-seed Northeastern Huskies in the Midwest Region at approximately 3 p.m. (CT) on Thursday, March 21, in Salt Lake City’s Vivint Smart Home Arena.
Kansas has posted a 25-9 record up to this point in the season and went 12-6 in Big 12 play, good for a third-place finish. The Jayhawks are coming off a run to the Big 12 Championship title game, which they lost, 78-66, to Iowa State. The unveiled bracket paired Kansas against Colonial Athletic Tournament champion Northeastern (23-10, 14-4) in the first round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament.
This marks the 19th-straight season that the Jayhawks have earned a top-four seed in the NCAA Tournament and the first time KU has been a No. 4 seed since 2006. In head coach Bill Self’s 16 seasons, KU has never been seeded lower than fourth. Kansas has been a No. 4 seed four times prior to this year (1994, 2001, 2004 and 2006). The Jayhawks are 7-4 all-time as a No. 4.
The Jayhawks and Huskies have never met in men’s basketball.
ABOUT KANSAS (25-8, 12-6 Big 12)
Overall, the Jayhawks are making their 48th NCAA Tournament appearance. KU is 107-46 all-time in NCAA Tournament games, including 31 Sweet 16 appearances and 15 trips to the Final Four.
The Jayhawks finished the 2018-19 regular season with a 25-9 record against the nation’s toughest schedule, which included eight victories against top-25 opponents. In conference tournament action, Kansas defeated Texas and West Virginia to advance to the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship final against Iowa State. The Jayhawks fell to the Cyclones 78-68 in the championship game on March 16. Against the No. 1 RPI conference and the nation’s toughest schedule, Kansas collected 11 Quadrant 1 victories.
Kansas is one of six Big 12 Conference teams to earn an NCAA Tournament bid. The six teams are the fourth-most to be representing a conference in the tournament. In all, KU faced 14 NCAA Tournament teams in 2018-19.
Self guided his Jayhawks through a nonconference schedule that included Michigan State, Vermont, Marquette, Tennessee, Wofford, Villanova, New Mexico State, Arizona State and Kentucky, all tournament teams. Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and Sporting News Second Team All-American Dedric Lawson is the team’s top scorer and rebounder, averaging a double-double at 19.1 ppg and 10.3 rpg.
ABOUT NORTHEASTERN (23-10, 14-4 CAA)
The Huskies head to the NCAA Tournament after claiming the Colonial Athletic Tournament title and finishing second in the CAA regular-season race with a 14-4 record.
Four Huskies score in double figures and are led by redshirt-senior guard Vasa Pusica, who scores 17.8 ppg. The All-CAA First Team selection shoots 49.7 percent from the field and 40.1 percent from 3-point range. Pusica is one of three Huskies to shoot better than 40 percent from beyond the arc. NU takes over 25 3-pointers per game and makes 9.8 per contest. Junior guard Brace Bolden is the team’s top rebounder at 6.0 per game and adds 10.0 ppg.
Northeastern is led by head coach Bill Coen. Coen is 224-96 in his 13th year in Boston.
Aside from a 14-4 conference slate, NU will enter postseason play in the midst of a seven-game winning streak, which includes wins in 12 of its last 13 outings. The Huskies’ last loss came on Feb. 16 in overtime at College of Charleston, 88-79.