🏀 Kansas to Face No. 6 Texas in Big 12 Quarterfinals

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas Jayhawks are set to meet No. 6 Texas in the quarterfinals of the 2024 Phillips 66 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championship on Saturday, March 9.

Tipoff from the T-Mobile Center is set for 5:30 p.m. CT and the game will be broadcast on Big 12 NOW on ESPN+ with Brenda VanLengen (play-by-play) and Sheryl Swoopes (analyst) on the call. Fans can also listen to the game on the Jayhawk Radio Network from Learfield, with Steven Davis calling the action.

Kansas advanced to the quarterfinals with a 77-53 victory over BYU in Friday night’s second round of the tournament. The Jayhawks had all five starters score in double figures, led by Zakiyah Franklin with 20 points. The win was KU’s first at the Big 12 Championships since 2019 and the 24-point margin of victory is the Jayhawks’ second-largest win total in tournament history.

The Jayhawks closed out the regular season with eight wins in its last nine games, including Top 25 victories over No. 10 Kansas State on Feb. 25 and No. 20 Oklahoma on March 2. The Jayhawks are closing in on a second NCAA Tournament berth in the past three seasons, currently listed as a No. 9 seed by ESPN’s Bracketology and a No. 10 seed by The Athletic’s Bracket Watch.

Kansas improved to 15-26 all-time in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship with the win over BYU and the Jayhawks will now play in the quarterfinals of the event for the 17th time. KU is 3-13 all-time in the quarterfinals and seeking its first berth in the semifinals since 1999.

Awaiting the Jayhawks on Saturday night is No. 6 Texas, who received a bye to the quarterfinals after finishing second in the Big 12. Led by Big 12 Co-Player of the Year Madison Booker, the Longhorns are 27-4 on the year, which includes a 14-4 mark in Big 12 play. UT won the lone meeting between the team’s this season, claiming a 91-56 victory on Jan. 16 in Austin.

“We are not even close to being the same team that we were in early January, and I give our players a lot of credit for growing and improving,” Kansas coach Brandon Schneider said when asked about the matchup. “With that being said, Texas is Final Four/National Champion good, led by a freshman that’s just having an incredible year. So, it’s a very difficult challenge, especially on a short turn-around like this with them getting the bye.”

Kansas will meet Texas for the fourth time in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship, with UT winning each of the previous matchups. The last meeting came in 2016, when the Longhorns claimed a 66-50 over the Jayhawks in Oklahoma City.

All five of KU’s starters scored in double figures for the first time this season in leading the Jayhawks past BYU in the second round of the tournament. Zakiyah Franklin led the Jayhawks with 20 points while Wyvette Mayberry had 14, S’Mya Nichols had 13, Taiyanna Jackson had 12 and Holly Kersgieter added 11. This was the first time that Kansas had five players score in double figures in a game since a 75-47 win over Missouri on March 20, 2023.

Franklin, who received All-Big 12 Honorable Mention, posted her second 20-point game of the season, with both coming against BYU. Franklin recorded her 99th career game scoring in double figures and she is sixth in career scoring at KU with 1,886 points.

An All-Big 12 First Team selection, Nichols is leading the Jayhawks with 15.0 points per game. Her scoring average ranks third in school history for a freshman and her 451 points is the most by a Jayhawk freshman since Shyra Holden had 473 points in 1978-79. A two-time Big 12 Freshman of the Week, Nichols was also a unanimous selection to the Big 12 All-Freshman Team.

Jackson received All-Big 12 honors for the third-straight season, earning a spot on the All-Big 12 First Team and the Big 12 All-Defensive Team. KU’s all-time leader with 296 blocked shots, Jackson ranks No. 2 in the nation with 3.2 blocks per game, and she’s third in school history with 40 career double-doubles.

Kersgieter is a four-time All-Big 12 honoree after receiving honorable mention this season. She’s fourth on the team in scoring at 11.6 points per game and KU’s all-time leader in three-pointers made with 265.

Up Next
With a win, Kansas would advance to face the winner of Kansas State/West Virginia in the semifinals of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship on Monday, March 11. That game will be played at 4 p.m. CT and be televised on ESPN2.