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KU Men’s Basketball Team to Open NCAA Tournament Against Samford in Salt Lake City

During a break in the first half on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024, at Allen Fieldhouse, Kansas head coach Bill Self gathered his players for a quick strategy session. The moment was captured in a photo by Nick Krug, showcasing the team’s focus during their game against Baylor.

The Kansas men’s basketball team, after a season filled with ups and downs, has finally discovered who they’ll be facing in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The team, securing a No. 4 seed, is set to compete against the No. 13 seed Samford in Salt Lake City at the Delta Center on Thursday. A victory in this match will pit them against the winner of the game between No. 5 Gonzaga and No. 12 McNeese, which is scheduled two days later.

Positioned in the Midwest Region, the Jayhawks’ journey could extend to Detroit for the Sweet 16 and possibly the Elite Eight games, should they overcome their initial challenges. The team’s last appearance in Salt Lake City was during the 2018-19 season. They easily defeated Northeastern in the opening game but were later ousted by Auburn, who made an impressive run to the Final Four.

The Jayhawks faced a setback in their first game of the Big 12 Conference tournament, losing to Cincinnati on Wednesday. This loss brought their season record to 22-10. This year marks the fourth occasion the team has been a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament under Bill Self’s leadership, the first since their 2018-19 campaign. Previous instances occurred earlier in Self’s tenure.

Samford, their upcoming opponent, has had a remarkable season, winning both its conference’s regular-season and tournament titles, boasting a record of 29-5. The Bulldogs are making their third appearance in March Madness, their first since 2000.

The Jayhawks are hopeful that key players Kevin McCullar Jr., who is recovering from a knee bruise, and Hunter Dickinson, dealing with a dislocated shoulder, will be back in full form as the tournament begins.

This story is set to receive updates as more information becomes available.