NCAA: No. 4 Kansas plows through Northeastern

The No. 4 Kansas Jayhawks and the No. 13 Northeastern Huskies meet at 4 p.m. ET Thursday in a Midwest Region matchup of the NCAA Tournament’s first round.

The Jayhawks enter their 30th straight NCAA Tournament without some of the same swagger they usually do.

Their record 14-year streak of regular-season Big 12 titles was broken when they finished third in the conference this season. Then they lost to Iowa State in the conference tournament’s championship game.

The three-time NCAA Tournament champs lost to eventual champion Villanova 95-79 in last year’s Final Four.

Kansas is led by junior forward Dedric Lawson, who is averaging a double-double on the season with 19.1 points and 10.3 rebounds per game.

The Huskies, champions of the Colonial Athletic Association, are led by senior guard Vasa Pusica’s team-high 17.8 points.

Northeastern has made eight tournament appearances in school history with a combined record of 3-8 over those appearances. They’ve lost their last six tournament games, though, with their last win coming in a preliminary round game in 1984.

The winner of the game will advance to face the winner of Thursday afternoon’s game between No. 5 Auburn and No. 12 New Mexico State.