WASHINGTON (DC News Now) – The Howard Men’s basketball team claims the #16 seed and will take on reigning 2022 NCAA champions, the Kansas Jayhawks in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

After punching their ticket to the big dance with a win over Norfolk State in the MEAC title game, the Bison are headed back to March Madness for the first time since 1992.

The bison’s head coach, Ken Blakeney has led Howard back to the NCAA tournament in just his fourth year at the helm. At one point, during the middle of the season, the Bison had a nine-game winning streak which set the tone for the team as they got ready for the postseason.

“All year, we were in some games, we were out of some games but we always fought, scratched, and clawed to make games really interesting or win those games, and just like yesterday (win over Norfolk State) down four with 35 seconds left in the game, and we’re able to kind of pull that out. So we have a lot of resilient guys on our team, which I love.”

31 years ago, Blakeney was a college basketball player himself, a freshman on one of the best college basketball teams in history, Duke University.

“1992 was a good year for me, I was part of the Duke national championship that year, so it brings back great memories to think about ’92. For our Howard community and for the DMV, I think this is really special and I hope that we just made everyone proud.”

Howard will face off against the Kansas Jayhawks on Thursday, March 16th at 2 PM.