Kansas University officials are putting out the welcome mat for Jayhawk basketball fans Â and they're throwing in the biggest of big-screen televisions as part of the package.
The university is opening Memorial Stadium and its Megavision video board to the public for today's KU-Maryland basketball game, which begins about 7:47 p.m.
In addition to the free viewing, the university will throw Final Four T-shirts into the crowd after KU's first dunk and three-point shot in each half.
The pep band will play during commercial breaks, timeouts, halftime and between the end of the game and post-game interviews. In addition, the inflated Superjay will be in the endzone for children.
As thousands of people tip off a game-watching party at Memorial Stadium, much of the rest of campus will take a time-out.
Kansas University officials said Thursday they will take the unprecedented move of closing many campus roads and buildings during the game. today.
"We learned the hard way we should have locked the buildings down," said KU spokesman Todd Cohen.
In 1991, when KU lost the national championship game to Duke, between 10,000 and 15,000 people came to campus, causing injuries and damaging campus buildings.
This time around, KU officials are hoping to divert fans away from the main campus and toward Memorial Stadium.
Gates open at 6:30 p.m.
"This is as close as you can get to the Allen Fieldhouse experience," Cohen said. "For those of us who can't go to Atlanta, it's the next best thing."
Concession stands will be open. No alcohol will be allowed.
If KU wins Saturday, a similar event will be scheduled for Monday night's championship game, which begins at 8:17 p.m. Should KU win the national title, KU announced Friday, there will be a fireworks celebration at the stadium.
Cohen said there were no plans to cancel classes Monday night.
If they play Monday, win or lose, the Jayhawks will return to a welcome-home party at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Memorial Stadium.