Howard University

March Madness: Howard University avoids First Four in Tourney

Howard University has its March Madness assignment. It won’t play in the First Four, but it will face the defending national champion.

Howard University will get a taste of March Madness this week when it returns to the NCAA Tournament when it takes on defending champion Kansas. 

The NCAA has announced its field and first round matchups and HU will take on KU, which comes into the game 27-7 and is the third overall seed in the 68 team tournament. The two teams will meet on Thursday in Des Moines, Iowa.

Howard claimed its March Madness spot on  Saturday by knocking off back-to-back MEAC champion Norfolk State with a 65-64 win at the Norfolk Scope. 

March Madness Shy Odom Howard
Shy Odom of Howard University goes up for a dunk against South Carolina State.

The NCAA Tournament bid is the first for Howard since 1992. HU claimed its first regular season title since 1987 with an 11-4 record in MEAC play. It enters the tourney 22-12 overall. Sophomore guard Elijah Hawkins leads the team in scoring at 13 points per game.

This will mark the third NCAA Tournament appearance for Howard University, which became the first MEAC program to participate in the D1 tournament. It is currently 0-2. It becomes the first MEAC Champion to avoid the First Four since Hampton in 2016. Hampton took on Virginia that season.

This is also the first NCAA Tournament appearance as a head coach for Kenneth Blakeney. He won two NCAA titles as a player with Duke in 1991 and 1992. The 1991 NCAA title came against the University of Kansas. 

March Madness: Howard University avoids First Four in Tourney
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