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Kansas Set for Second Round Matchup vs. Top-Seeded USC


LAWRENCE, Kan. ( – The Kansas Jayhawks have advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the 11th time in program history, and the No. 8-seeded Jayhawks will take on top-seeded and No. 3-ranked USC on Monday, March 25 with a spot in the Sweet Sixteen on the line.

Tipoff from the Galen Center in Los Angeles is set for 9 p.m. CT and the game will be broadcast on ESPN with Elise Woodward (play-by-play) and Mary Murphy (analyst) on the call. Fans can also listen to the game on the Jayhawk Radio Network from Learfield, with Steven Davis calling the action.

“We obviously advanced in pretty exciting style yesterday,” Kansas coach Brandon Schneider said Sunday. “And we’re really looking forward to playing one of the top teams in the country, with some unbelievable talent. Just like any other opponent or preparation, we’ll put together a scout and we’ll do everything we can to be assignment-correct and try to execute at a high level.”

Kansas earned the No. 8 seed in the Portland 3 Region and the Jayhawks advanced to the second round with a thrilling 81-72 overtime victory over Michigan in the opening round on Saturday. The win was KU’s 20th for the season, as the Jayhawks improved to 20-12 and secured a third-consecutive 20-win season.

The Jayhawks have now won four-straight first round games after coming back from 10 points down in the fourth quarter to defeat Michigan. KU is 11-4 all-time in first round games, including a 2-0 mark under the direction of head coach Brandon Schneider.

Kansas is 4-6 all-time in the second round of the tournament, including Sweet Sixteen trips in 2012 and 2013. The Jayhawks, however, are 0-5 all-time when facing a No. 1 seed in March Madness.

Awaiting Kansas in the second round is the top seed in the Portland 3 Region, No. 3 USC, who improved to 27-5 on the year with an 87-55 victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the first round of the tournament. The Trojans are led by All-American guard JuJu Watkins, who ranks second in the country averaging 26.9 points per game. USC enters the second round on a six-game winning streak, which includes wins over No. 7 UCLA and No. 2 Stanford in the Pac-12 Tournament.

Monday’s contest will be the second all-time meeting between Kansas and USC, and first in the postseason. KU won the first meeting, defeating USC 82-77 on Jan. 2, 1996, in Los Angeles.

Kansas had four players score in double figures against Michigan, led by Zakiyah Franklin, who had 22 points, five rebounds and four assists. Franklin knocked down two three-pointers, including the game-tying triple with 12 seconds remaining in regulation. In the game, she surpassed 1,900 career points and 500 career assists, moving up to No. 5 on the all-time scoring list. Franklin has scored 1,921 career points, which is one more than teammate Holly Kersgieter.

S’Mya Nichols and Wyvette Mayberry scored 15 points apiece as each player made their debut in the NCAA Tournament vs. Michigan. Nichols was 5-for-10 from the field and connected on nine free throws, while Mayberry was 3-for-6 from three-point range, while adding five assists.

Taiyanna Jackson nearly recorded a double-double against Michigan, scoring 14 points while pulling down eight rebounds. She is KU’s all-time leader in blocked shots with 299, which ranks No. 5 among active players in NCAA Division I women’s basketball. Jackson is also third in school history with 1,009 career rebounds and she’s No. 23 on the all-time scoring list with 1,217 career points.

Kersgieter was the only starter who didn’t reach double figures against Michigan, but the super-senior was close with nine points and a team-high nine rebounds, while adding four steals and three assists. KU’s all-time leader in three-pointers hit one attempt from long range, No. 270 for her career.

Ryan Cobbins scored six points off the bench vs. Michigan, hitting a season-high 2-of-3 three-point attempts. This is the 27th time in her career that Cobbins has hit multiple three-pointers, and the first time since the 2021-22 season at NDSU.

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With a win, Kansas would advance to the Sweet Sixteen to face No. 5 seed Baylor. That regional semifinal will be played on Saturday, March 30, at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon.