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From the Top of the Hill on Nov. 27

4 min read

It’s another week and time for another “From the Top of the Hill” newsletter here at Wave the Wheat, with no shortage of action happening in the world of Kansas athletics.

And the KU football team isn’t even playing this week.

Lance Leipold’s team closed out the regular season last Saturday night in Cincinnati with a resounding 49-16 victory over the Bearcats to give the Jayhawks 8 wins for the first time since the 2008 season and just the third time in the Big 12 era, which began in 1996.

It also means KU is headed to back-to-back bowl games for just the second time in school history. We’ve known that for a while now — KU became bowl eligible back on Oct. 28 — but it’s still a feat worth repeating and something Kansas fans probably can’t hear too many times.

Leipold and company will spend the week resting, recovering and recruiting before opening the postseason. More on that below, along with a look at the rest of what’s coming to the site in the week ahead.

So hit that "subscribe" button and sign up today to make sure you don’t miss a thing! And share with a fellow Jayhawk fan while you're at it.

🏐 It's NCAA Tournament time in Lawrence

The Kansas volleyball team learned Sunday night that its 23-5 season was good enough to host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament this week at Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena.

Wave the Wheat was there for the watch party and the emotions of seeing Kansas announced during the selection show covered everything from joy and screams to tears and laughter.

Needless to say, these Jayhawks are excited. What’s more, they believe they’ve got what it takes to make another deep NCAA Tournament run.

KU will open postseason play at 7 p.m. Thursday night against Omaha. A win there would move the Jayhawks into Friday’s second round, where they would meet the winner of Penn State-Yale at 5:30 p.m. on Friday.

Tickets for the first- and second-round matches went on sale Monday afternoon and, according to KU, sold out in 60 seconds.

The Big 12 Conference will be releasing its all-conference honors sometime Tuesday and it seems like the Jayhawks will be well represented on those lists, as you might expect for a team that finished second in the Big 12.

So, in addition to actual coverage of the matches, we’ll have plenty of volleyball content to keep an eye on leading up to game time.

That includes a feature on fourth-year junior Kaiti Parks, who, in many ways, is the poster child for what this Kansas volleyball culture is all about.

🏈 Bowl Watch begins in full

We still have championship week to go, and all eyes, nationally, will be on the College Football Playoff rankings. But in Lawrence, the big question this week will be what bowl the Jayhawks are headed to next month.

KU will find that out on Sunday, when the bowl matchups are revealed throughout the day.

Most of the projections have KU headed to Phoenix for the Guaranteed Rate Bowl on Dec. 26, but the Texas Bowl in Houston and the Pop-Tarts Bowl in Orlando also seem to be in the mix.

These bowls get to make their choices on who they want to invite, so it’s not as simple as saying the Big 12’s third-place team goes to this bowl and the sixth-place team goes to the that bowl.

Bowl reps were a regular sight at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium this season, and there’s no doubt that those folks have put together their list of preferences and will get to choose from eligible teams based on a predetermined order of Big 12 bowl tie-ins, which is as follows.

1 – College Football Playoff (if selected)
2 – Alamo Bowl
3 – Pop-Tarts Bowl
4 – Texas Bowl
5 – Liberty Bowl
6 – Guaranteed Rate Bowl
7 – Independence Bowl
8 – Armed Forces Bowl
9 – First Responder Bowl

Even though the Liberty Bowl is higher than the Guaranteed Rate bowl on that list, don’t expect the Jayhawks to be Memphis-bound for the second straight year.

For one, it’s possible they’ll do better than that. For two, bowls typically don’t like to invite the same team in back-to-back seasons.

🏀 Jayhawks return home

After a 2-1 showing in Maui, the KU men’s basketball team returns to Allen Fieldhouse for a pair of games this week. One is against Eastern Illinois, ranked No. 345 in the latest rankings, and the other against fourth-ranked Connecticut, the defending national champs.

That KU-UConn game has been circled on the calendar for a while and it will come at 8 p.m. Friday night, possibly in the aftermath of an NCAA Tournament volleyball game just one court over.

Speaking of volleyball, the KU women’s basketball team, which played top-10 foes Virginia Tech and UConn tough on back-to-back days in the Cayman Islands over the weekend, moved the start time of its Thursday game to accommodate the volleyball action nearby.

The KU women will tipoff with Southeastern Louisiana at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, well ahead of the two NCAA Tournament volleyball games at Horejsi.

We’ll have coverage of all of that, along with another chapter of “The S’Mya Diary,” as we talk with the KU freshman about her experience in paradise against two basketball powerhouses.

That’s a look at some of what’s coming up in the week ahead.

Remember to hit that "subscribe" button and sign up today so you don’t miss any of it! And maybe tell your KU friends and family members who might be looking to get caught up as we prepare to head into December.

— For tickets to all KU athletic events, visit