By Kyle Krajewski
The NCAA Tournament Committee selected KU fourth in Super Region One in qualifying for the NCAA Tournament field.
For the third time in program history, and the teams’ first invite since 2011, the Golden Bears have reached the big dance after completing the regular season with a 9-1 record.
Ranked above KU in the Super Region One field of the tournament as Notre Dame (OH), LIU Post and West Chester in order. Slippery Rock also makes the Tournament as the third PSAC school and comes in at seventh. The NCAA Tournament is split into four Super Regions and the winners from each Region Tournament move on to play in the NCAA semifinals.
KU defeated Edinboro 33-32 on Nov. 10 in an overtime battle to complete the regular season. It was a must-win situation for the Golden Bears as an effort to stay in contention for a spot in the NCAA Tournament, and they made it happen.
In a sub-freezing competition that involved heavy winds and snow, KU was unable to stay dominant throughout the entirety of the game but kept the game close and brought the battle to overtime. Edinboro marched down the field to score a touchdown on their first drive in overtime but was unable to connect on the extra point. This meant that KU had to score a touchdown to tie and an extra point to win on the next drive in order to keep their playoff dreams alive.
That’s exactly what KU was able to do. In just four plays, the Golden Bears got within the 10-yard line where Collin DiGalbo took it in himself to score his third touchdown of the day. Needing a field goal to claim the win, Alec Rosenfield stayed calm and composed while he hit the game winner with ease.
Craig Reynolds scored a touchdown in the first quarter and broke the school-record as it was his 34th career rushing touchdown. The Golden Bears relied on Reynolds all game due to the snow as he ran the ball a career-high 32 times, the most carries by a KU back since 2004 and eighth-most in school history. He also moved into fourth in school history with 2,591 career rushing yards.
KU held the ball for 39:12, its most in a game in over 20 years.
The First Round of the NCAA Tournament is scheduled to be Saturday, Nov. 17 and will be hosted by KU. At 12:05 at the Andre Reed Stadium the Golden Bears will take on the fifth seed Hillsdale, this is the first time these two teams have ever met.
Admission to the game is free for KU students with a valid KU ID and parking is $5.