LAWRENCE, Kan. —
They were also ousted by No. 9-seed Northern Iowa in the 2010 tournament in Oklahoma City.
One of nation’s most consistent programs, the Jayhawks absorbed the loss to Big 12 player of the year Thomas Robinson to the NBA — along with several role players from last year’s national runner-ups — to win earn a share of their ninth straight regular-season conference championship.
Led by freshman guard Ben McLemore, a likely NBA lottery pick, and with four seniors in the starting lineup, the Jayhawks won 18 straight games at one point this season.
After losing three straight during Big 12 play, they rebounded to win seven more, and their only loss since Feb. 9 came at Baylor in their regular-season finale.
The Jayhawks will open the NCAA tournament against No. 16-seed Western Kentucky (20-15), which is in the NCAA tournament for the second straight year. The Hilltoppers earned the berth out of the Sun Belt by beating Florida International in their conference title game.
Western Kentucky is 4-3 in the NCAA tournament since 2008.