Though the 2018-19 school year is spiraling to its end, many University of Kansas sports teams are reaching the peak of their seasons, rounding out conference play and entering post-season competition. With Stop Day just around the corner, here are five sports to keep an eye on as classes come to a halt.
Competing in its first Sweet 16 since 1998, Kansas tennis will travel to Stanford, California. to take on the No. 3-ranked Cardinals on Friday. The road trip comes on the heels of a 4-2 victory over Florida at the Jayhawk Tennis Center last week, paving the way to the most successful season in coach Todd Chapman’s tenure at Kansas.
Pending the Jayhawks can outlast the defending National Champions in Stanford, they will then head to Orlando, Florida. for the final three rounds of competition beginning on May 16. First serve on Friday is set for 4 p.m.
Track and Field
Having rounded out regular-season competition last weekend at the Ward Haylett Invitational in Manhattan, KU track and field will return to action this weekend for the Big 12 Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Norman, Oklahoma.
Currently, the No. 16-ranked men’s team has three athletes positioned in the top five in the NCAA for their respective events. Junior middle distance runner Bryce Hoppel clocks in at No. 2 nationally in the 800-meter run and will look to claim his first outdoor Big 12 Championship title. Freshman pole vaulter Zach Bradford and junior thrower Gleb Dudarev round out the Jayhawks’ top performers, ranking No. 3 and No. 4 in the NCAA.
These three and the remainder of the men’s and women’s squads will begin competition on May 10.
Sitting just above .500 as it enters its final few series, Kansas baseball rests seventh in the Big 12, ranking above Texas and in-state foe Kansas State. With conference play dwindling, the Jayhawks will compete in two more series before the Big 12 Tournament. This weekend, Kansas will head down south to Fort Worth, Texas, to take on the TCU. The Horned Frogs, coming in at 8-10 in conference play, boast the same Big 12 record as the Jayhawks. First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m. on Friday.
For its final series of the season, Kansas will return to Hoglund Ballpark to face off with the Wildcats in the Dillons Sunflower Showdown beginning on May 17. Following these final two winnable conference series, Kansas will head to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. for the Big 12 Tournament kicking off on May 22.
In an up-and-down season for a young Kansas program, the Jayhawks earned a spot in the Big 12 Tournament, competing in conference post-season play for the first time since 2010 after nabbing the six-seed.
Entering the tournament with a 3-15 conference record, the Jayhawks face a tough draw in facing No. 4-seeded Texas and No. 1-seeded Oklahoma on Friday. First pitch is set for 11 a.m. against the Red Raiders in Oklahoma City. After a short break, Kansas will return to the field to take on the Sooners, who have won the last two consecutive Big 12 tournaments, at 7:30 p.m.
For the fourth-consecutive season, Kansas men’s golf has earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Regional Championship, where it will compete as the No. 7 seed beginning on May 13. Having finished in the top three in eight of their 11 tournaments this season, the Jayhawks currently rank No. 37 in the country.
If Kansas is able to place in the top five of the star-studded regional, it will then move on to the NCAA Tournament for the second-straight year, competing alongside 30 schools in Fayetteville, Arkansas, from May 24-29.