Mar 12, 2023

🏀 Kansas earns No. 1 seed in the West, to play Howard in NCAA Tournament First Round

Posted Mar 12, 2023 11:38 PM
The Kansas basketball team watches selection Sunday. (Kansas Athletics photo)
The Kansas basketball team watches selection Sunday. (Kansas Athletics photo)

AP Basketball Writer

Kansas is the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament's West Region and will have coach Bill Self back on the sideline.

Self missed the Big 12 Tournament after undergoing a heart procedure, but the school announced Sunday he will return to lead the third-ranked Jayhawks against Howard in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday.

Kansas (27-7) won its first two games at the Big 12 Tournament without Self before losing 76-56 to NO. 7 Texas in the title game.

The Jayhawks appeared as though they would slip to a No. 2 seed when top-ranked Houston got the top spot in the Midwest, but the NCAA selection committee still made them the No. 1 in a West Region that ends in Las Vegas on March 23-25.

Kansas faces a difficult road in its bid to become college basketball's first repeat champion since Florida in 2006-07.

The stacked West Region includes No. 2 UCLA, No. 9 Gonzaga, No. 11 UConn, No. 16 Saint Mary's and No. 22 TCU.

Get by Howard, which is in its first NCAA Tournament since 1992, and the Jayhawks will get a stiff test in the second round against Arkansas or Illinois.