How Many Times Has Kansas Won March Madness?

How Many Times Has Kansas Won March Madness

Every year in March, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) hosts their annual Men’s and Women’s Division I basketball tournaments. The two events are often referred to as “March Madness.” They have taken place annually since 1937 (men’s) and 1982 (women’s) with the exception of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Several teams have taken home March Madness titles, and one of those teams is Kansas. While they have yet to win the women’s tournament, Kansas has won the men’s national championship on four occasions.

1952 Men’s Basketball Tournament

Kansas won their first national championship in men’s basketball early on in the tournament’s history, in 1952. Unlike today, when there are 68 teams in the field, there were only 16 teams who qualified for the tournament in 1952. The teams were also not openly seeded with rankings as they are today. In the first round, Kansas defeated TCU in a nail-bitter 68-64, and followed that up with an easier 74-55 win over Saint Louis to advance to the Final Four. There, they easily defeated Santa Clara 74-55, and then cruised past St. John’s 80-63 in the championship game to claim their first title.

1988 Men’s Basketball Tournament

A full 36 years after their first title, Kansas won their second national championship in 1988. The tournament had expanded to 64 teams by this time, so it was much harder to take home the title. They started off the event in the middle of the pack, as a sixth seed in the Midwest region. They first defeated No. 11 seed Xavier in the first round 85-72, and they then took down No. 14 seed Murray State 61-58 in the second round after they had upset the third-seeded North Carolina State. The Jayhawks then took on a team coming off another upset, seventh-seeded Vanderbilt, after their win over second-seeded Pittsburgh. Kansas ended the Commodores’ run with a 77-64 victory.

In an in-state battle in the Elite Eight, Kansas then knocked off their fourth-seed rival, Kansas State (who had defeated No. 1 seed Purdue), 71-58 to advance to the Final Four. Their next opponent was the second seed from the East, Duke, who they defeated 66-59. In the championship game, the Jayhawks took on border rival and the South region’s No. 1 seed Oklahoma, and Kansas came out on top with the upset victory 83-79.

2008 Men’s Basketball Tournament

After another long drought, Kansas won their third national title in 2008. This time, Kansas was much more prominent in the pre-tournament talk, as they were a No. 1 seed in the Midwest region. Their first two victories were both easy ones, eliminating No. 16 seed Portland State 85-61 and eighth-seeded UNLV 75-56. In the Sweet 16, they met No. 12 seed Villanova, who were on a Cinderella run, but the Jayhawks ended that dream with a 72-57 victory. In the Elite Eight, they faced another upset team in tenth-seed Davidson, led by future NBA star Stephen Curry. In a game that came down to the wire, Kansas hung on for a 59-57 win.

Kansas advanced to the Final Four along with the three other No. 1 seeds, making this the only time since the field expanded that all four one seeds did so. First, Kansas faced the No. 1 seed from East in North Carolina, and they easily defeated them 84-66. In the championship game, the No. 1 seed from the South in Memphis took them to overtime, but Kansas prevailed 75-68 for the championship win.

2022 Men’s Basketball Tournament

In 2022, Kansas took home the program’s fourth title. As they were in 2008, they began the event as a No. 1 seed in the Midwest region. After an easy 83-56 win over No. 16 seed Texas Southern, Kansas held off a tough test from ninth-seeded Creighton 79-72 in the second round. In the Sweet 16, fourth-seeded Providence provided another challenge, but the Jayhawks once again prevailed 66-61. Facing tenth-seeded Miami in the Elite Eight on a great tournament run, Kansas squashed their dreams by winning easily, 76-50, to advance to the Final Four.

In a rematch from the 2018 Final Four, Kansas got some revenge against the South region’s second seed in Villanova 81-65. In the National Championship Game, Kansas played a classic game against the East Region’s eighth seed in North Carolina, and after UNC missed a three-pointer at the buzzer, Kansas won the title 72-69.


When was the last time Kansas won the National Championship in basketball?

Kansas last took home the men’s basketball national championship title in 2022. They defeated North Carolina 72-69 in the National Championship game.