Kansas Earns No. 1 Seed in the West, to Play Howard in NCAA Tournament First Round

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.

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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