🏀 Kansas to Host Western Kentucky in WNIT First Round
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas Women’s Basketball will host Western Kentucky Friday, March 17 in the first round of the Postseason WNIT. Tournament officials announced the bracket and first-round matchups for the 25th WNIT Monday.
Kansas will compete in the postseason for the second-straight season after reaching the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2022. This is the 25th postseason appearance for the Jayhawks, which includes 14 NCAA Tournaments and six invitations to the current format of the WNIT, which began in 1998. Kansas had previously played in the NWIT twice (1978 and 1991) when it was an eight-team tournament and made AIAW postseason appearances in 1979, 1980 and 1981.
The Jayhawks are 9-5 all-time in the WNIT, an event KU previously played in following the 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 seasons. Kansas has won at least one game in the WNIT in each season, including a run to the championship game in 2009. The Jayhawks hosted four games at Allen Fieldhouse that postseason, including the title game, which was played in front of a Kansas and Big 12 Conference record-setting crowd of 16,113 fans.
Three Jayhawks earned a spot on the 2022-23 All-Big 12 Women’s Basketball team, which was announced last week. Taiyanna Jackson was a unanimous selection to both the All-Big 12 First Team and the Big 12 All-Defensive Team, while Zakiyah Franklin was named to the All-Big 12 First Team and Holly Kersgieter received honorable mention.
The Jayhawks are No. 37 in the NCAA’s NET Rankings, which are based off game results, winning percentage and adjusted win percentage. Kansas is the fourth-highest ranked Big 12 team in the NET rankings.
Western Kentucky is 19-13 on the year and finished second in Conference USA with a 14-6 league record, before advancing to the CUSA Championship game where they fell 82-70 to Middle Tennessee State. The Hilltoppers are led by fifth-year head coach Greg Collins and have five players averaging better than 8.0 points per game, let by freshman guard Acacia Hayes at 11.2.
Friday’s matchup will be the first all-time meeting between Kansas and Western Kentucky in women’s basketball. The winner of the contest will face the winner between Missouri and Illinois State in the second round of the WNIT.