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Archive for Saturday, March 30, 2002

Southern hospitality on display for KU

March 30, 2002

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— Jim and Diane Dickey represent all Georgians as the official host couple to the Kansas Jayhawks at the Final Four.

"Our job is to make them feel at home," said Diane Dickey, a first-grade teacher who volunteered for the job. "Honestly, it can't be considered a job. It's fun. Very fun."

The men's basketball team and thousands of fans joining them at the Final Four can soak up copious amounts of delightful weather. The tone is set by daily temperatures in 70s. Flowering peach trees and blooming white and red azaleas enchant the senses.

"It's springtime in Atlanta," said Anessa Sinks, a representative of the Marriott Hotel chain to the NCAA Tournament.

In this basketball-rich atmosphere, the 50,000 out-of-town hoops fans won't run out of options for amusement when not absorbed in the Kansas-Maryland game tonight at the Georgia Dome and, if all goes well, the championship tilt Monday.

Jimmy Dickey says roadtrippers in Atlanta can take in the following:

NCAA Hoop City, an interactive extravaganza that tests basketball fundamentals and celebrates great teams, players and coaches. It's 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily at Georgia World Congress Center. Tickets: $5 to $7.

If you just can't land one of the 53,250 tickets to KU's game today and can't bear to watch the action unfold on television, Jimmy Dickey suggests you find a nice peach tree, sit down and cry.

Or take your mind off it all by seeing Jerry Seinfeld's live show at 7 p.m. today at Fox Theatre. Tickets: $47 to $77.

While running around the city, folks shouldn't be surprised if they run into KU alums. Officially, there are more than 1,350 KU graduates in the Atlanta area. At least five times that many are expected to be guests of Atlanta during the tournament.

All KU loyalists are invited to converge for the KU Alumni Party, a pre-game adrenaline-pumping affair from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. today in the JW Marriott Hotel's Phoenix room.

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