Archive for Sunday, March 16, 2008

Jayhawks hit the road to Omaha

First-round venue has lots to do for lucky few who have tickets - or those who don’t

Kansas fans go wild in the stands as the Jayhawks begin to pull away from the Longhorns in the second half Sunday at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. After the Kansas University men's basketball team defeated the University of Texas, 84-74, and claimed the Big 12 Conference championship, it was named the No. 1 seed in the NCAA's Midwest Region. With the Jayhawks kicking off play in the tournament at 11:25 a.m. Thursday in Omaha, many fans are expected to follow, even though the Qwest Center is sold out for the game.

Kansas fans go wild in the stands as the Jayhawks begin to pull away from the Longhorns in the second half Sunday at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. After the Kansas University men's basketball team defeated the University of Texas, 84-74, and claimed the Big 12 Conference championship, it was named the No. 1 seed in the NCAA's Midwest Region. With the Jayhawks kicking off play in the tournament at 11:25 a.m. Thursday in Omaha, many fans are expected to follow, even though the Qwest Center is sold out for the game.

March 16, 2008

Advertisement

Fans paint the town crimson and blue

With the Jayhawks clinching the Big 12 Title and the number one seed in the Midwest, Jayhawks fans get right to celebrating. Enlarge video

2008 NCAA Tournament

Get your March Madness fix at KUSports.com.

Twenty years ago, Kansas University's men's basketball team won the 1988 national title, starting its run with two games in Nebraska and two in Detroit before the Final Four.

If the two-decade championship funk will be broken this year, it will take the same path.

This year's Jayhawks are heading to Omaha, Neb., for the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament. Kansas secured the No. 1 seed in the Midwest and will play 16th-seeded Portland State at 11:25 a.m. Thursday.

If the Jayhawks can win two games in Omaha, they'll head to Detroit for two more. Win those and they'll go to the Final Four in San Antonio - eerily similar to the Danny Manning-led title team, which won two in Lincoln, Neb., before heading to Michigan.

"Different venues, but yeah, it went through Nebraska and then it went through Detroit," KU coach Bill Self said Sunday. "We've actually told our team about that."

First things first: a three-hour trek up Interstate 29 to Omaha. A flock of KU fans surely will follow the team north, but it's probably a good idea for those travelers to have their tickets already taken care of. There's no official way of getting any now.

The 17,560-seat Qwest Center has been sold out for some time. That's mostly because tickets were first offered to Creighton University season-ticket holders, who gobbled up all they could about a year ago.

Kansas - and the other seven schools playing in Omaha - received 350 tickets to pass out to fans. But as expected, associate athletic director Jim Marchiony said, all of KU's allotment is accounted for. The best bet to get in the Qwest Center now is through a ticket broker or scalper on the street.

Dozens of tickets were available online Sunday at eBay.com, StubHub.com and Craigslist.org. But be prepared to pay a hefty price - especially because Kansas State, a nearby school with a rabid fan base, is playing in Omaha as well.

"I'm sure we will have all the Wildcat faithful cheering for us," Self joked. "We should make a pact - we'll cheer for them if they cheer for us."

For those of you already clutching a magic ticket - or those who just want to be around the action - Omaha has plenty to offer on the entertainment front when basketball isn't being played.

There are casinos just across the Missouri River in Council Bluffs, Iowa. There is a popular restaurant and entertainment district dubbed "The Old Market" just down the road from Qwest Center in downtown. The KU Alumni Association will have events lined up and will finalize those plans as early as today.

Omaha expects to be buzzing this week, with an atmosphere not unlike the one surrounding the College World Series baseball tournament played there every June. Omaha, a college sports hotbed, hasn't played host to NCAA Tournament action in basketball since 1977.

This week's events also could be the brightest spotlight yet on the Qwest Center, Omaha's sports facility jewel that opened in 2003. The arena has played host to several high-profile concerts and currently is home to Creighton's basketball team.

"I hear it's a fabulous, fabulous arena," Self said.

Lucky Kansas fans soon will see for themselves.

Comments

shockchalk 7 years ago

KU played a fantastic game yesterday and I look forward to watching them win in Omaha. ROCK CHALK JAYHAWKS, GO KU! Thanks for another great year from one the premier basketball programs in the nation!

Jcjayhawk1 7 years ago

We are extremely lucky and spoiled. Those guys played great! This year will be the most likely year to win a National Championship for a while. A final four and beyond would be a success.

KUlarry33 7 years ago

Come check out donohuespub.com at 33rd and L Street. Wednesday Night we will have $ 1.25 bottles of Busch Light and $ 1.00 pints of Bud and Bud Light. South Omaha's home of the huskers but the home of the Jayhawks this weekend come support a fellow big 12 bar. Great Menu come check us out! Kularry33 Rock Chalk

hail2oldku 7 years ago

Larry - where are you in relation to Johnny's Cafe? and which big bald guy in those pictures is you?

Commenting has been disabled for this item.