March 20, 2021
INDIANAPOLIS – No. 3 seed Kansas (20-8) will open its 49th NCAA Tournament against No. 14 seed Eastern Washington (16-7) on Saturday, March 20, at 12:15 p.m. (CT) at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. The game will be televised on TBS.
Kansas has won three straight, eight of its last nine and nine of its last 11 games heading into the NCAA Tournament. KU finished second in the 2020-21 Big 12 race and won its quarterfinal game against Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship. Eastern Washington tied for second in the Big Sky Conference regular-season and the Eagles won the league tournament to earn the bid to its third-ever NCAA Tournament. The Eagles have won four-straight games and 13 of their last 14 outings.
Kansas will be without two players for the contest due to COVID protocol – redshirt-freshman Jalen Wilson and sophomore Tristan Enaruna. Should KU advance to the Sweet 16 of the event, both Jayhawks are expected to join the team next week.
Kansas won the only meeting with Eastern Washington, 85-47, on Dec. 5, 2007, in Allen Fieldhouse. Later that season Kansas would go on to win the NCAA National Championship. Kansas is 14-0 all-time against current members of the Big Sky Conference – 4-0 vs. Northern Arizona, 2-0 vs. Idaho, 2-0 vs. Montana, 2-0 vs. Northern Colorado, 1-0 vs. Eastern Washington, 1-0 vs. Idaho State, 1-0 vs. Montana State and 1-0 vs. Portland State
- Kansas is making its 49th NCAA Tournament appearance and has a 108-47 record in the event. The Jayhawks have advanced to 31 Sweet 16 contests, 15 Final Fours and three of their five national championships have been in NCAA Championship format (1952, 1988, 2008).
- Kansas’ 31-consecutive NCAA Championship appearances, beginning in 1990, is the longest active streak and the longest consecutive in NCAA tourney appearances history.
- Since seeding in the NCAA Tournament began in 1979, this is the fifth time Kansas entered the event a No. 3 seed. KU was also a No. 3 seed in 1985, 1991, 2005 and 2009. The Jayhawks are 8-4 all-time as a No. 3 seed.
- This year marks the 21st-straight season that the Jayhawks have earned a top-four seed in the NCAA Tournament.
- This season, Kansas has faced nine different teams in the 2021 NCAA Tournament field with a combined record of 8-8.
- Kansas has won 20 or more games for 32 consecutive seasons, which includes 2020-21 and is the longest active streak in the NCAA. The streak began in 1989-90.
- Kansas is No. 16 in NET nationally in strength of schedule among the 357 teams listed. Kansas’ NET is No. 11, which is second in the conference.
- After its 69-62 win against No. 25 Oklahoma on March 11, KU is 8-6 versus ranked opponents this season and its 14 games are the most in NCAA DI this season. KU’s eight wins are tied for second most in NCAA Division I with Oklahoma State.
- KU has won 12 league games for 21 consecutive season. Kansas has won 11 league games for the last 27 seasons and the current 27-year streak with 10-plus league wins is the longest active streak in the nation. Kansas has won 10 or more conference games 58 times overall.
- Kansas leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense (40.4%) and three-point field goal percentage defense (32.1%).
- Five Jayhawks earned All-Big 12 honors as selected by the league coaches highlighted by junior David McCormack being named the conference’s Most Improved Player.
- Kansas has won 103 games with senior Marcus Garrett on the team. Every KU senior class has posted 100 or more wins since 1986-87.
- This season, Kansas men’s basketball will be wearing a patch that reads “UNITED WE STAND” signifying its stance on the recent social injustice in the United States. The patch has gold lettering with the black background being in the shape of the state of Kansas.
Should Kansas win its opening round game, it would play either (6) USC, (11) Wichita State or (11) Drake, in the second round on Monday, March 22.
COURTESY KANSAS ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS