KU in kemper arena
Today’s appearance in Kemper Arena will be the last for KU’s men’s basketball team. The Jayhawks are 79-24 in a building that opened in 1974. It’ll be replaced next season by the new Sprint Center in Downtown KC.
Here are some memorable KU basketball moments in Kemper:
KU 83, Oklahoma 79
April 4, 1988
Danny Manning scored 31 points and grabbed 18 rebounds in a classic NCAA title contest – one tied at 50 at halftime. It marked KU’s first win over Billy Tubbs’ Sooners that year in three tries.
KU 96, Michigan State 86
March 21, 1986
KU trailed with two minutes left when the Kemper clock malfunctioned and stopped for about 10 seconds. Those seconds became critical when KU sent the Sweet 16 game into overtime on a shot with 10 ticks left. KU beat North Carolina State in the regional final and advanced to the Final Four. MSU coach Jud Heathcote and star guard Scott Skiles were left to lament what might have been.
KU 100, UMKC 46
Jan. 4, 2003
Never has a jam-packed arena grown more silent than on the day Wayne Simien caught his hand on the rim and dislocated his shoulder. The Jayhawks reached the Final Four that season with Simien watching from the sidelines.
KU 53, Oklahoma State 37
March 7, 1999
KU won a low-scoring Big 12 tournament-title game, proving to be the highlight of a season that included nine regular-season losses.
KU 72, Oklahoma 58
March 8, 1998
Paul Pierce, Raef LaFrentz and Co. rolled through the conference postseason tournament. A 35-4 season ended prematurely courtesy of Rhode Island in the second round of the NCAAs.
KU 87, Missouri 60
March 9, 1997
LaFrentz, Pierce, Jerod Haase, Jacque Vaughn and Scot Pollard thrilled the masses. Who’d have guessed a 34-2 season would end three games later in the Sweet 16 against Arizona?
Virginia 67, KU 58
March 24, 1995
Most fans assumed the Jayhawks would win the Sweet 16 game against the Cavs and follow it with an Elite Eight win in KU’s home away from home. LaFrentz was just a freshman that season.
KU 88, Connecticut 59
Jan. 25, 1995
A runaway nonconference victory over Jim Calhoun’s Huskies proved one of the highlights of a 25-6 season.
KU 66, Oklahoma State 57
March 15, 1992
Rex Walters and Adonis Jordan rolled in the league-title game. A 27-5 season ended suddenly two games later against UTEP in the NCAAs.
KU, 79, Oklahoma 78
March 10, 1984
Winning the league title proved a highlight of Larry Brown’s first season at KU, a year the Jayhawks went 22-10.
KU 80, Kansas State 68
March 7, 1981
The Jayhawks beat their in-state rivals in the Big Eight title game. KU also upended coach Dean Smith’s North Carolina Tar Heels in a 56-55 thriller on Jan. 3 at Kemper. That 24-8 season ended with an NCAA tourney loss to Wichita State in Louisiana.
KU 72, Colorado 66
Dec. 30, 1978
Sophomore Darnell Valentine paced the Jayhawks to victory in the finals of the Big Eight Holiday tournament. KU fell to OU in the Big Eight postseason tourney finals, 80-65, back at Kemper.
KU 67, Kansas State 62
Dec. 30, 1977
Senior John Douglas and freshman Valentine notched a narrow victory in the Big Eight Holiday tourney title game. KSU gained revenge, 87-72, in the postseason tourney.