Jayhawks arrive in Des Moines in quest for repeat championship, Self status uncertain

Kansas head coach Bill Self reacts to a call on the sideline against Texas Tech during the...
Kansas head coach Bill Self reacts to a call on the sideline against Texas Tech during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023, in Lubbock, Texas. (AP Photo/Justin Rex)(Justin Rex | AP)
Published: Mar. 12, 2023 at 5:32 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

DES MOINES, Iowa (KWCH) - The Kansas Jayhawks, seeded No. 1 in the NCAA Tournament West Region will soon be in Des Moines, Iowa to start their quest for a rock chalk championship repeat. KU arrived in Des Moines Tuesday ahead of Thursday’s tournament opener at 1 p.m. against No. 16 seed Howard at Wells Fargo Arena. It’s unknown if Head Coach Bill Self will be on the sidelines for the Jayhawks in the first round after he missed the Big 12 Tournament due to illness that required treatment in a hospital.

KU assistant coach Norm Roberts addressed the media after the Jayhawks arrived in Des Moines. Roberts said Self traveled to Des Moines separately with family. While Self’s status is uncertain for Thursday, Roberts said Self is “doing good,” and joined the team for practice Monday and Tuesday morning.

Release) - 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.

If you can’t travel with the teams, follow the Hawks and Cats during 12 News on KWCH and KSCW along with original stories here on kwch.com. You can also be a part of all the tournament fun by playing in the KWCH Bracket Challenge.