Led by Kansas, Big 12 flavor dominates Midwest Region

Tournament darlings MI make it into the tournament as a No. 7 seed, and they'll face 10-seeded Oklahoma State.

Kansas State is the first Big 12 team to play in the First Four in Dayton, Ohio since the current format began in 2011.

OR and UCLA are among the eight teams headed to Sacramento this week for the early rounds of the NCAA men's basketball tournament. The Jayhawks will face the victor of a First Four matchup between North Carolina Central (25-8) and UC Davis (22-12) on Friday at the Bank of Oklahoma (BOK) Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Iowa State was slotted as a No. 5 seed in the Midwest and will play No. 12 seed Nevada in Milwaukee, Wis. A former Division II school, the Eagles are in the tournament for the second time in four years. Led by its front court, 6-foot-9 center Nana Foulland, the league's player of the year, averages 14.9 points and 7.8 rebounds. And you can bet local fans are salivating at the idea of Kansas and Iowa State meeting there in the second weekend.

There is plenty of Big 12 flavor in the Midwest Region of the NCAA Tournament.

On the other side of the regional from top-seeded Kansas, the Cowboys could face No. 2 seed Louisville (24-8) in the second round.

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) and Oklahoma State guard Jawun Evans (1) fight for a loose ball during the first half, Saturday, March 4, 2017 at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

The victor of the Midwest Region's First and Second Rounds in Tulsa will advance to play at Sprint Center in Kansas City, March 23 and 25, where the Jayhawks have already played four times this season.

The Jayhawks finished the season 28-4 and won a 13th-consecutive Big 12 regular season title.

  • Julie Sanders