Creighton is one of 68 teams in the NCAA tournament field announced Sunday. The Jays (21-11, 10-8 Big East) will be making their 21st NCAA tournament appearance in program history and their fifth since 2012.
Nebraska was left out of the NCAA tournament despite a 22-10 record, including 13 Big Ten wins, a tie for fourth place in the 14-team league and a 9½-game improvement over last year. The Huskers travel to Mississippi State for a first-round NIT matchup.
Creighton is a No. 8 seed and will play ninth-seeded Kansas State out of the Big 12. That first-round South Regional game will be Friday in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The winner of the Jays-Wildcats matchup would likely face No. 1 overall seed Virginia in the second round.
It’s CU’s second straight NCAA tournament berth. The Jays were a No. 6 seed last season, but lost in the first round to Rhode Island.
They hope to hang around a little longer this time.
To do that, they’ll have to beat an opponent Friday that has special significance to CU senior Marcus Foster, who played two seasons at Kansas State before transferring. K-State coach Bruce Weber also coached against Creighton for five years as Southern Illinois’ coach about a decade ago.
The Wildcats (22-11) finished fourth in the Big 12 this season.
The early revelation of the 68-team field late Sunday afternoon left out Nebraska, which instead will play for the 18th time in the NIT. That’s the most appearances of any Big Ten team.
The Big Ten got just four teams in the field: Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue and Ohio State.
The Big East landed six: Creighton, Villanova, Xavier, Butler, Providence and Seton Hall.
Also on Sunday:
>> South Dakota State of the Summit League was made a No. 12 seed in the West Regional and will play Ohio State.
>> Loyola of Chicago, coached by former Creighton player Porter Moser, will be a No. 11 seed in the South Regional and start out with Miami of Florida. The Ramblers are making their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1985.
>> Former Boys Town star Teddy Allen and West Virginia are headed for an East Regional first-round matchup with Murray State. The Mountaineers are a No. 5 seed after losing to Kansas in the Big 12 tournament championship game Saturday night.
>> Texas Southern will be without senior guard Kevin Scott from Omaha Central when the Tigers play North Carolina Central in a Wednesday night play-in game in Dayton, Ohio. Scott was averaging 12.6 points in Texas Southern’s first seven games but hasn’t played since Nov. 29 because of a leg injury.
Kansas was installed as the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Regional, giving the Jayhawks a good chance of returning to Omaha again. KU played first- and second-round games at the CenturyLink Center in 2008, 2012 and 2015 — going 5-1 in those three trips.
Also with the potential of being Omaha-bound are Midwest No. 2 seed Duke, No. 3 Michigan State and No. 4 Auburn. The team advancing out of the regional semifinals and final at the CenturyLink Center will go to the Final Four in San Antonio.