Your daily dose of news, notes and links from around Kansas University.
• Though the basketball season is over, KU does have a chance to compete for another national championship — in bowling.
It’s a club sport, so it’s not officially NCAA-sanctioned, but that doesn’t make it any less exciting for the KU squad.
I talked yesterday with first-year bowling coach Burton Gepford V.
Yes, you read that right — that’s Burton Gepford the fifth. He said he doesn’t know much about the first Burton Gepford. After all, that was a long time ago.
But he does know his bowling, and he’s hoping KU will do well at the national championships April 20-24 in Columbus, Ga.
It will be the first time KU has competed in the national championships since 2005.
Gepford filled me on how KU got there. The national championships begin with sectionals. Sixty-four teams are placed into four sectional regions.
And then the teams each bowl 64 “Baker matches,” where five bowlers bowl two frames each. The scores are added up, and the top four teams in each sectional advance to the national competition. KU qualified as the fourth-place team in its region.
In fact, they’re the lowest-ranked team to qualify for the national competition. They’re ranked 34th in the nation. So they’re hoping to capture a little bit of the magic that Butler had during the last two years of the NCAA basketball tournament.
“We have a really good team,” Gepford said. “We have a lot of older men on our team, and they’ve been bowling all their lives.”
Two other Kansas schools were among the national qualifiers — third-ranked Wichita State and 16th-ranked Newman University.
Gepford said the team is well-suited for Baker matches — which will again be in used at nationals, instead of individual match-ups.
“We’re really excited,” he said.
Members of the team include senior Jake Feurer of Olathe; juniors Alex Hardman from Lawrence (a Free State grad), Matt Washford of Olathe, Justin Thompson of Topeka and Matt Bellus from Eden Prairie, Minn.; and sophomores Nicholas Campfield and Kyle Turner, both of Topeka.
• If you’re planning on attending the KU School of Business’ Vickers lecture with Kris Kobach that’s attracted so much media attention, here’s something you might want to know.
Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State who has fought to reform illegal immigration laws across the country, will answer questions, but there won’t be any microphones set up.
You’ll have to submit your questions in advance, and they’ll be written out and given to him after the speech.
You can submit a question by email to email@example.com, or a kiosk will be set up for people to use before the speech.
Seeing what kinds of questions are selected for Kobach — who seems to rile folks up regardless of whether people agree or disagree with his views — will certainly be an interesting part of the program for me.
The lecture is at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Lied Center.
• A KU student has been selected to participate in the 2011 Student Freedom Ride, a PBS-sponsored event that offers 40 college students an experiential learning opportunity.
The group will retrace the route of the original Freedom Riders, who were more than 400 black and white Americans who traveled together on buses and trains in the Deep South between May and November 1961. They did so in deliberate violation of Jim Crow segregation laws.
Will Dale, from Topeka, is a freshman studying English and American studies. You can watch a video of him talking about the experience here, where he mentions that he’s most excited about the discussions that will take place on the bus.
That makes sense, because he’s one of 40 students who were selected from more than 1,000 entries, so they’re probably pretty bright folks.
They’ll be retracing the route in the “mobile classroom” from May 6-16.
• No one screens my questions here. Submit them with (or without) your tips for Heard on the Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org.