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Archive for Wednesday, November 21, 2001

Jayhawks back on TV for today’s game

November 21, 2001

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The consolation will be televised, after all.

Kansas University's men's basketball team left out of the ESPN live broadcasts the first two days of the Maui Invitational will face Seton Hall this afternoon in a fifth-place game. It will be televised live on ESPN, starting at 2:30 p.m.

Kansas' stunning loss Monday night to Ball State was aired only in Kansas and in the Kansas City area on The Jayhawk Network. KU's rout of Houston on Tuesday wasn't televised at all.

How long has it been since the KU men's basketball team played a regular-season game that wasn't televised live?

Richard Konzem, KU's associate athletics director in charge of scheduling, wasn't sure, but he thought it was when the Jayhawks met Hawaii-Loa on Dec. 28, 1990, also in the Hawaiian Islands.

ESPN owns the television rights to the Maui Invitational, and the cable network announced last summer it would televise three first-round games, the two semifinals, the consolation championship and the championship contest.

The lone first-round game ESPN decided it didn't want was Kansas against Ball State, so KU officials went to work, and ESPN Regional, aka The Jayhawk Network, contracted to make that game available to viewers in the Sunflower State and the Kansas City area.

"We were betting Kansas would win that game," Konzem said, "and the other two games would be on ESPN or ESPN2."

After Ball State upset the apple cart, it was too late for ESPN Regional to acquire Tuesday's game with Houston, Konzem said.

"It took several weeks to get the Ball State game sold," Konzem said. "You have to buy satellite time, too, the whole bit, so if KU lost to Ball State we knew there was no way."

ESPN officials announced Tuesday evening, though, that they had changed their minds and would broadcast today's fifth-place Kansas-Seton Hall game.

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