LAWRENCE, Kan. – Picked as a No. 3 seed for the fifth time in program history, the Kansas men’s basketball team will make its 31st-consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The nation’s longest-active streak, and the best all-time, will start against the No. 14-seed Eastern Washington Eagles in the West Region on Saturday, March 20.
Kansas posted a 20-8 overall record throughout the 2020-21 season to this point, while going 12-6 in Big 12 play for a second-place regular-season finish. Eastern Washington held a 16-7 overall record and 12-3 in conference during the 2020-21 season, winning the Big Sky Conference Tournament for an automatic qualifier bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Eagles have won 13 of their last 14 games after a 1-4 start to the season.
This marks the fifth time and first since 2009 that the Jayhawks have held the No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament, where they hold an 8-4 overall record. The Jayhawks and Eagles have not met in the NCAA Tournament, with their only meeting coming on December 5, 2007 in Lawrence, where KU defeated Eastern Washington, 85-47.
About No. 3 Seed Kansas (20-8, 12-6 Big 12)
No. 11/12 Kansas is 20-8 (12-6 Big 12) after 69-62 win against No. 25/24 Oklahoma on March 11. Kansas averages 73.1 points per game and has a +7.4 scoring margin. KU leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense (40.6%). KU also ranks in the upper half of 12 Big 12 statistical categories: scoring defense (second at 65.7), scoring margin (fourth at +7.4), rebounding (fourth at 38.0), 3FG% (fifth at 34.4), 3FG% Defense (fourth at 32.6), 3FGs made (fourth at 7.5), blocked shots (third at 4.1), assists (third at 13.7), turnover margin (fifth at +1.6) and assist-to-turnover ratio (fifth at 1.1).
About No. 14 Seed Eastern Washington (16-7, 12-3 Big Sky)
Eastern Washington will make its third appearance in the NCAA tournament after earning an automatic qualifier bid by winning the 2021 Big Sky Conference Tournament over Montana State, 65-55. The Eagles average 78.0 points per game with a +8.6 scoring margin. Eastern Washington was led by Big Sky Tournament Most Valuable Player, Jacob Groves who averaged 16.4 points per game.