Top Seed Kansas Heads to Big 12 Championship in KC

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Via Kansas Athletics

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Ranked No. 3 nationally, Big 12 regular-season champion Kansas (25-6, 13-5) enters the 2023 Big 12 Championship as the No. 1 seed for the 18th time in the 27-year history of the league.

The Jayhawks will face No. 8 seed West Virginia in the quarterfinals on Thursday, March 9, at 2 p.m. (Central) on ESPN at T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri. West Virginia defeated No. 9 seed Texas Tech, 78-62, March 8 in a play-in game at T-Mobile Center.

TIPOFF

  • 3 Kansas is the No. 1 seed in the Big 12 Championship for the 18th time (1997-98-2002-03-07-09-10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17-18-20-22-23). KU is 34-7 as the No. 1 seed and has won nine of its 12 Big 12 tourney titles as the No. 1 seed. Note, KU was No. 1 seed in 2020 when the tourney was canceled due to COVID.
  • KU has won 16 postseason league tourney titles and 12 in the Big 12 era. KU (12), ISU (5), OU (3) and OSU (2) are active league members with Big 12 tournament titles. West Virginia has won 13 conference tournament titles.
  • Since the Big 12’s inception in 1996-97, Kansas is 50-12 in the league tournament. KU is 1-0 in opening round games, 22-3 in the quarterfinals, 15-6 in semifinals and 12-3 in finals.
  • Kansas won its 21st Big 12 and NCAA-leading 64th all-time conference regular-season title in 2023, the 17th under Bill Self.
  • Last season, Kansas became the all-time winningest program in NCAA Division I, currently at 2,382 victories.
  • Kansas is No. 8 in the NET Rankings through games played on March 7. Kansas is No. 1 in NET Strength of Schedule and its 15 Quadrant 1 wins are the most in NCAA Division I. Baylor and Texas are next with 11 Q1 wins.
  • Kansas has appeared in the Associated Press top 10 in each of the last 37 polls, dating back to the 2021-22 preseason poll. The 37 consecutive is the longest active streak in men’s college basketball.
  • Big 12 Player of the Year and national player of the year candidate, redshirt-junior Jalen Wilson leads the Big 12 in scoring at 19.6 points per game, which is 29th nationally, rebounds per game at 8.3 and double-doubles with 10.
  • Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, redshirt-junior Dajuan Harris Jr. leads the Big 12 and is sixth nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.28. He is second in the league and sixth nationally with 6.3 assists per game.
  • Redshirt-senior Kevin McCullar Jr. is second in the Big 12 in steals (2.1), which is 27th nationally. He is third in the league in with 7.3 rebounds per game.
  • Freshman Gradey Dick leads the team with 73 threes made, which are tied for third on the Kansas freshman all-time list and six from first. Dick’s 442 points are tied for seventh on the Kansas freshman list and his 85.2 free throw percentage is second.
  • Kansas is celebrating 125 years of men’s basketball in 2022-23.

UP NEXT
Should Kansas win, it would play the winner of the No. 4 Baylor vs. No. 5 Iowa State contest in the Big 12 Championship semifinals on Friday, March 10, at 6 p.m. CT. Kansas is 23-16 all-time in postseason league tournament semifinal games, including 15-6 in the Big 12 semis.

Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttp://www.sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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