🏀 Jayhawks to Meet No. 19/21 Oklahoma in Big 12 Quarterfinals
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kansas is set to enter the Phillips 66 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championship as the No. 5 seed, with the Jayhawks opening the tournament with a quarterfinal matchup against No. 4-seed Oklahoma on Friday, March 11, at Municipal Auditorium. Tipoff is set for 11 a.m. CT, and the game will be televised on ESPNU.
This will mark the second consecutive game Kansas will play against the No. 21/19-ranked Sooners after KU closed out the regular season with a 73-67 victory over OU on March 5 in Norman. Kansas has already faced two foes twice in the same week this season, defeating Oklahoma State in back-to-back games on Jan. 29 and Feb. 2 before beating West Virginia twice in three games on Feb. 9 and Feb. 15.
The Jayhawks are 2-7 against nationally-ranked opponents this season, getting road victories at No. 13/12 Texas on Jan. 12 and at No. 19 Oklahoma on March 5. Each of KU’s eight defeats this season have come against a team that was either ranked or receiving votes in the AP poll at the time of the matchup.
Kansas is receiving votes in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll for the fourth consecutive week and fifth week this season. The Jayhawks are currently No. 38 in the latest NET rankings, which factors in games through March 7. KU is the sixth-highest team from the Big 12 in the NET rankings and the Jayhawks are currently a No. 9 seed in the latest edition of ESPN Women’s Bracketology.
Head coach Brandon Schneider was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year on Monday, March 7, after guiding the Jayhawks to a breakthrough campaign this season. At 20-8, Kansas enters the postseason with 20 wins for the first time since 1999-2000, which was also the last time the Jayhawks won 10 or more conference games in a season. On Wednesday, March 9, KU announced a new four-year contract for Schneider that will keep him in Lawrence through the 2025-26 season.
The Jayhawks had three players named to the 2021-22 All-Big 12 Women’s Basketball Team, which was announced on Monday. Holly Kersgieter was named All-Big 12 First Team while Zakiyah Franklin and Taiyanna Jackson both received honorable mention. Jackson also earned a spot on the Big 12 All-Defensive Team.
The Jayhawks are in the midst of a breakthrough season that has seen the largest single-season win improvement in program history. With 20 wins, Kansas has 13 more victories than it had during the 2020-21 season, topping the previous best improvement of 11 wins, which happened from 1976-77 to 1977-78.
With a win, Kansas would advance to the semifinals of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championship for the first time since 1998. A potential semifinal matchup would pit the Jayhawks against the winner of the (1) Baylor vs. (8) Texas Tech/(9) Oklahoma State quarterfinal on Saturday, March 12, at 12 p.m. CT.