Well the stage has been set for not one, but two in-state rival matchups in the Midwest bracket. One of those comes from the state of Kansas as the Jayhawks and the Shockers will go head-to-head on Sunday, March 22 in the round of 32.
Kansas, under the direction of 12th-year head coach Bill Self, earned a selection committee bid as the No. 2 seed in the Midwest region after the Jayhawks finished regular season champs in the Big 12 – posting a 13-5 record – and runners-up to Iowa State in the conference tournament championship.
The Jayhawks opened up tournament play in dominant fashion as they defeated the Western Athletic Conference Champion, No. 15 New Mexico State Aggies, 75-56. KU upped their mark on the year to 27-8 overall and will take on backyard rivals 7th-seeded Wichita State.
Under the direction of head coach Gregg Marshall, the Shockers have lived up to their mascot name over the past couple of years – making an unexpected Final Four run two years ago and going a perfect 34-0 heading into last year’s tournament.
Like Kansas, Wichita State finished atop the Missouri Valley Conference in the regular season with a 17-1 record, but fell in the conference tournament. However, the Shockers got a selection committee bid to go dancing as the No. 7 seed in the Midwest region bracket. And in the round of 64 WSU slipped by No. 10 Indiana, 81-76, to set the stage for the in-state rival matchup.
Here’s what you need to know about the game:
No. 2 Kansas vs. No. 7 Wichita State
NCAA Tournament Round of 32
Sunday, March 22
CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska
5:15 p.m. Eastern
Sports books monitored by OddsShark have Kansas as a 1.5 to 2-point favorite.
Stats You Need to Know
Record: 24-7 overall, 13-5 Big 12
Coach: Bill Self, 12th season
Offensive Points Per Game: 71.9
Defensive Points Allowed Per Game: 65.1
Scoring Leaders: Perry Ellis, 14.2
Rebounding Leader: Perry Ellis, 7.0
Assists Leader: Frank Mason III, 4.1
Scouting Wichita State
Record: 28-4 overall, 17-1 MVC
Coach: Gregg Marshall, 8th season
Offensive Points Per Game: 69.7
Defensive Points Allowed Per Game: 55.8
Scoring Leaders: Ron Baker, 15.0 ppg, Fred VanVleet, 12.7 ppg
Rebounding Leader: Darius Carter, 5.3 rpg
Assists Leader: Fred VanVleet, 5.3 apg