NCAA tournament preview: 8 teams coming to Kansas City's Sprint Center

Eight teams will make their way to Sprint Center in downtown Kansas City for second and third-round action in the NCAA tournament this weekend.

For two teams, the trip will be a familiar one. Fresh off facing each other there in the Big 12 tournament final game, Kansas and Kansas State will each return to Sprint Center for the NCAA tournament.

Joining Kansas in the South region is second-round opponent No. 16-seed Western Kentucky (out of the Sun Belt), No. 8 North Carolina and No. 9 Villanova. Yes, that means a potential Sunday matchup between Kansas and their former coach Roy Williams.

Kansas State comes in as the 4-seed in the West region. They'll face No. 13 La Salle. Also in Kansas City out of the Midwest will be No. 5 Wisconsin, who will take on No. 12 Mississippi.

Here's a look at the games happening Friday in Kansas City.

West Region: Second Round

No. 5 Wisconsin (23-11, 12-6 Big 10) vs No. 12 Mississippi (26-8, 12-6 SEC) 
Friday, March 22, 2013; 11:40 a.m. truTV

Wisconsin is making its 15th-consecutive trip to the Big Dance.

The Badgers lost 50-43 to Ohio State in the final of the Big 10 tournament.

Wisconsin owns a 25-17 record all-time in the NCAA tournament, including a 16-11 mark under head coach Bo Ryan, who has led the Badgers to NCAA bids in each of his 12 seasons in Madison.

The winner of the second-round matchup will face the winner of a game between No. 4 seed Kansas State and either Boise State or La Salle, which will face off in a First Four matchup.

The Badgers are a No. 5 seed after earning No. 4 seeds each of the last three seasons -- which included a pair of runs to the Sweet 16 in 2011 and 2012. UW has earned a top-six seed in nine of its 12 NCAA tournament appearances under Ryan.

This is the seventh time the Badgers have earned a top-five seed under Ryan, going 6-0 in the first round when seeded fifth or higher.

Ole Miss beat Florida in the SEC title game.

Ole Miss is making its first trip to NCAA tournament since 2002.

Ole Miss also tripped to Kansas City for the first and second rounds en route to a Sweet Sixteen appearance in 2001. That year the Rebels knocked off Iona in the first round and Notre Dame in the second round before traveling to San Antonio.

No. 4 Kansas State  (27-7, 14-4 Big 12)  vs No. 13 LaSalle (22-9, 11-5 A-10)
Friday, March 22, 2013; 2:10 p.m. truTV

This is Kansas State's 27th trip to the NCAA tournament. The school will be playing an NCAA Tournament game in Kansas City for the ninth time in its history, which includes Final Four appearances in 1948, 1951 and 1964.  It will be the first since playing in the Final Four against UCLA and Michigan at Municipal Auditorium on March 20-21, 1964.

The program has posted a 33-30 all-time record in NCAA Tournament play, including a 6-3 mark in second round games.  The school will be making its sixth appearance in the West Regional with its other trips coming in 1948, 1951, 1981, 1987 and 2010 and is 11-7 all-time in the region.  K-State will be making its second appearance as a No. 4 seed and the first since making a run to the Elite Eight in 1987-88.  Overall, the school is 3-1 as a No. 4 seed. 

In K-State's 26 previous NCAA Tournament appearances, the Wildcats have advanced to the Sweet 16 a total of 16 times.  The program has also reached the Elite Eight 11 times, made four Final Four appearances and played in one National Championship game (1951).

La Salle and Boise State have never played each other. The two will face off Tuesday at 8:10 p.m. CT on truTV.

La Salle, the 1954 national champions, is making its first trip to the NCAA tournament since 1992. They were the second-to-last at large team invited into the tournament.

K-State has played La Salle three times, including a match-up in the 1988 Midwest Regional First Round in South Bend, Ind.  The Wildcats are 3-0 against the Explorers, including a 66-53 win on March 17, 1988 in the NCAA Tournament.

South Region: Second Round

No. 8 North Carolina (24-10, 12-6 ACC) vs No. 9 Villanova (20-13, 10-8 Big East)
Friday, March 22, 2013; 6:20 p.m. TNT

Carolina is making its 44th NCAA Tournament appearance, second-most in history.  The Tar Heels have played in 149 NCAA Tournament games and won 108, both of which totals are second in NCAA history.  UNC's Tournament winning percentage of .725 (108-41) is third in history.  Carolina has played in 18 Final Fours, more than any school in the nation.'

Villanova earned at at-large bid to the NCAA tournament for the eighth time in the last nine years.

Villanova is making its 33rd overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament and has an all-time record of 49-32 (.605) in the `Big Dance.'

This is the second time that Villanova will be playing NCAA Tournament games in Kansas City. The first occasion was in 1983 when the Wildcats defeated Iowa in a regional semifinal game before falling to top seed Houston in the regional final.

There have been five previous meetings in the NCAA Tournament between the Wildcats and North Carolina, with North Carolina owning a 4-1 record in those meetings.

No. 1 Kansas (29-5, 14-4 Big 12) vs No. 16 Western Kentucky (20-15, 11-10 Sun Belt)
Friday, March, 22, 2013; 8:50 p.m. TNT

Kansas knocked off Kansas State 70-54 in the final game of the Big 12 tournament. The two teams shared the regular season title with identical 14-4 marks.

The Jayhawks will be making their 24th-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament, the longest-current streak in the nation.

The Jayhawks, the 2012 national runners-up, are making their 42nd NCAA Tournament appearance and are a No. 1 seed for the 11th time since seeding began in 1979.

KU and WKU have met four previous times, twice in the NCAA Tournament. Kansas owns a 3-1 all-time series record against the Hilltoppers.

WKU is making its 23rd NCAA Tournament appearance and fourth in the last six seasons after capturing the Sun Belt Conference's automatic bid after winning the league tournament last week.

Print this article Back to Top