When the KU Men’s Basketball team sent out the call, Jayhawks delivered.
After hours of pandemonium on Massachusetts Street, thousands of students, fans and alumni made the trek to Allen Fieldhouse to welcome the Final Four team home.
Fans were treated to a replay of the Elite Eight game, reliving Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk’s game-tying basket that sent the game to overtime and Malik Newman’s overtime scoring barrage to clinch a trip to San Antonio.
As the seconds ticked away on the replay, the video board transitioned to a highlight package of the game, mixed with fan videos from social media and the party on Mass Street. When the video ended with the Final Four logo, the crowd roared as the Jayhawks walked in.
With Devonte’ Graham leading the team in while holding the regional trophy, Head Coach Bill Self addressed the crowd first, asking the question everyone was thinking: “Did these guys play like men today, or what?”
Graham, Newman, and Mykhailiuk all spoke as well, thanking the fans for their support, and asking fans to continue that support at the final four.
“I hope all y’all can get to San Antonio,” Graham said, “and hopefully we can win two more for y’all. Rock Chalk.”
With a trip to the Final Four on the line, Jayhawk fans came out in full force. More than 70 watch parties around the country brought Jayhawks together in bars and restaurants from Ann Arbor to Washington, D.C. The game lived up to the hype, with KU defeating Duke in an instant classic. Check out some photos of just a few of the watch parties!
The Richmond ’Hawks wave the wheat at Carolina Ale House.
The Boise Jayhawks had a record turnout, with 35+ fans gathering to see the big game.
The Charlotte Jayhawks were deep in enemy territory, but that didn’t stop them from Rock Chalking it up after a big win over the home state’s Blue Devils!
Washington, D.C. fans fill Mackey’s for big games, but an Elite Eight game calls for a full Jayhawk takeover.
The Tampa Jayhawk Alumni Network is ready for the Final Four.
Seattle Jayhawks celebrate KU being Final Four bound!
The San Antonio Jayhawks were hopeful for a KU win, and now they get to welcome Jayhawks from everywhere to their city.
Keep an eye out for information on pep rallies and other festivities in San Antonio, as well as watch parties in a network near you! Visit our ’Hawks ’n Hoops postseason hub for more details.
After two consecutive losses in the Elite Eight, KU basketball fans were thrilled to storm Massachusetts Street in celebration. KU beat Duke 85-81 in overtime and at the sound of the buzzer Jayhawks knew what to do: sprint to Mass Street. Within minutes, fans filled the street and began to commemorate the long-awaited trip to the Final Four.
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KU alumni Curtis Marsh, j’92, and Creighton Coover, b’98, g’01, sat down to talk KU hoops and recall their all-time favorite Jayhawk players and memorable moments on the occasion of the 120th anniversary of basketball at the University of Kansas.
Listen to their take on KU’s top teams, most memorable moments and all-time starting lineups, and let us know what you think. Have a favorite KU hoops memory you’d like to share? Drop us a line and let us hear about it!
Look who’s talking
Curtis Marsh is director of KU Info and the DeBruce Center, home of Naismith’s original rules of basketball, at the University of Kansas. An avid KU basketball fan and historian of all things KU, Marsh was an undergraduate in the late 80s and early 90s, when camping for games often involved sleeping outside in a tent. He is one of the famous Allen Fieldhouse whistlers, as covered on this blog, and helped launch (literally) the legend of Captain Jayhawk and the Superfans.
Creighton Coover is a senior account manager with iModules Software, where he spends his days helping alumni associations across the country manage their data (disclaimer: the KU Alumni Association is an iModules client). In his spare time, Creighton continues to pore over data, tracking historically significant stats of his beloved Jayhawks on Twitter. He was a repeat guest on Brian Hanni’s Rock Chalk Sports Talk show for a segment titled Beyond the Box Score.
Shortly before his Jayhawks strode onto the Intrust Bank Arena court for their open practice, coach Bill Self renewed his oft-repeated hope that his players keep a light bounce in their step despite the pressures of NCAA Tournament competition: “Just go out, have fun and let’s enjoy the moment, and let’s play with joy and passion. Play with a free mind.”
When they emerged from the arena’s wings a few moments later, the Jayhawks were greeted with an instant lesson in how to enjoy the moment and embrace the fun: Wichita schools on Wednesday morning bused thousands of school children to the arena, and they lit the place with an energy unprecedented in the sedate history of NCAA Tournament open practices.
Dozens or perhaps hundreds of long yellow buses clogged the streets and parking lots around Intrust Bank Arena, and once inside, the bouncy kids happily cheered each of the teams that emerged for open-practice shootarounds. They were happy to cheer on all the athletes, but anticipation for the Jayhawks’ appearance brought on a high-energy buzz as the children—who filled more than half of an arena that seats more than 15,000—began chanting “KU! KU! KU!” When the KU team emerged to waves of screams, players’ faces lit up and coaches’ smiles beamed.
After singing along to the fight song piped in over the scoreboard speakers, kids carried on with assorted chants of “Jayhawks! Jayhawks!” and “Go KU! Go KU!”, and the kids and other Wichita fans and alumni who filled the arena nearly to capacity cheered heartily when center Udoka Azubuike, wearing a brace on his injured left knee but otherwise looking fairly mobile and healthy, made free throws.
When practice concluded, the Jayhawks huddled at midcourt, then waved to the crowd, encouraging more and more cheers. Big 12 Player of the Year Devontè Graham brought the half-hour affair to a roaring conclusion by draining a jump shot from midcourt.
Kansas, Big 12 champion and the Midwest region’s top seed, faces No. 16 seed Penn at 1 pm Thursday in a game to be broadcast by TBS.
“Our players know after watching tape that [Penn] is definitely not a 16,” Self said. “So they have our attention.”
Azubuike strained a knee ligament during practice before the Big 12 tournament. He has had limited practice with the team this week, and Self hopes the 7-footer can play at least “a few minutes” Thursday, with prospects for more significant playing time should KU advance.
“That 70 percent tomorrow,” Self said, “could be 85 percent by Friday and 90 percent by Saturday if we’re fortunate enough to win.”
Check out a few more photos from practice on our Flickr page. Photos and video by Steve Puppe.
After Saturday’s 74-72 win over Texas Tech, the 2017-18 Kansas men’s basketball team clinched a 14th consecutive Big 12 regular-season championship.
The streak, which began with the 2004-05 team, is now the longest in NCAA history, passing UCLA’s 13 consecutive Pac-10 titles from 1967-79. The conference title is KU’s 61st, extending its own NCAA record.
Kansas Athletics commemorated the accomplishment with a video featuring the people that made KU’s legendary run possible:
In 1988, a couple of KU students hatched an idea, created a banner and left a legacy that has come to define KU’s storied Allen Fieldhouse, known to many simply as “the Phog.” Thirty years later, the friends and KU alumni reunited to reminisce about the banner and how it all came to be.
“I was in class one day and had been thinking about it for a while,” Todd Gilmore revealed in a recent article in the Kansas City Star. “Then we started talking about building it.”
Gilmore, a’88, and classmate Michael Gentemann, a’88, went on the record in a short documentary aired by ESPN this week, sharing the story of how their partner in crime, Tom Kippenberger, a’88, managed to secure ten shower curtains from McCollum Hall, pinning them together to form one massive banner.
Gentemann did the honors by sketching out the now-famous phrase while a group of friends painted the sacred text on the banner sprawled across the floor of a hallway in Marvin Hall.
The banner was first hoisted into the rafters of the fieldhouse on Feb. 20, 1988.
“I’d never ever heard the words ‘the Phog,’ and he coined it,” Gentemann said of Gilmore’s reference to Forrest Allen’s nickname, now synonymous with the fieldhouse that bears his name. “It took off from there. Now it’s on T-shirts, coffee mugs, credit cards… it’s on everything.”
The short documentary can be watched in its entirety here, with comments from Coach Bill Self, ESPN College Game Day Analyst Jay Bilas and Allen’s own granddaughter, Judy Morris, c’60.
“What it has done is not only give the opposing team a little shudder maybe as they come through the doors,” Morris reflects in the mini-documentary, “but it also puts my grandfather’s name, “Phog,” out there and makes people remember him.”
Phog Allen’s legacy, and the phrase inspired by his name, live on inside Allen Fieldhouse where a vinyl version of the banner has replaced the original. It hangs in the Booth Hall of Athletics, enshrined behind glass, where Gilmore can admire their handiwork and marvel at that magical time in 1988.
“To win the national championship our senior year, Danny’s last year, we had this banner put up, what a perfect way to end a college career,” he said. “Can’t get any better than that.”
ABOUT THE VIDEO:
Curtis Marsh, director of the DeBruce Center, shared some behind-the-scenes information about the making of the video.
“We hosted the film crew in the DeBruce Center, along with a sizable group of the guys who created the banner. It was great to see a collection of alumni who still remain close and connect regularly. They were a treat to have in the building, and we did all the interviews on the DeBruce Center third floor, just steps away from where the men’s and women’s basketball teams eat their evening meals.”
So, about the footage of the students creating the banner…
“The following day, a group of current students were filmed painting a replica of the Banner, pretending to hang it in the Fieldhouse and even pretending to steal the shower curtains. The film crew did such a great job with the video reenactment that many viewers think it’s the real footage from the 80s! Some clips came from a video from that time period, but the banner footage is from 2018.”
The creators of the famous “Beware of the Phog” banner, hanging at Allen Fieldhouse, home of the Jayhawks, tell you how they did it in this interview with Jesse Newell for the Kansas City Star.
As the 2017-2018 Kansas basketball season enters conference play, the “Commemorate the Gr8s” tour continues to provide fans a behind-the-scenes look at the history of KU Basketball.
The exhibit celebrates the anniversaries of the 1988 and 2008 title teams with memorabilia from KU’s national championship seasons. Thanks to a partnership between the University of Kansas Libraries and the KU Alumni Association, the exhibit is making its way across America on a 28-city tour, visiting watch parties and other Jayhawk alumni network events.
LeAnn Meyer, assistant director of advancement at KU Libraries, has seen firsthand how the Jayhawk connection brings people together on the tour stops.
“Connecting with alumni, both near and far, has been incredibly rewarding,” Meyer said. “Jayhawk pride can be found coast to coast, and these events provide an opportunity for friends and alums to mingle with one another while perusing iconic photographs and memorabilia from the University Archives. The exhibit items often spark fond memories, and the stories shared create bonds between local Jayhawks.”
The exhibit includes the newspapers and magazines chronicling Danny and the Miracles’ amazing run and Mario Chalmers’ tying shot against Memphis, pictures from before, during and after the games that made the titles possible, and other artifacts from the championship teams.
“I have had the opportunity to see the last three KU Library exhibits that have been here in Colorado Springs and each of them have been fun and interesting,” Merriman said. “The library staff has a track record of putting together amazing presentations of artifacts and memorabilia. Those of us living out of state truly appreciate the chance to view and relive those moments.”
The stops on the tour also provide a chance for local Jayhawks to get to know fellow KU alumni who live in their area. Visit our networks page to find a Facebook group with nearby Jayhawks, and visit kualumni.org/commemorate to learn more about the tour and see when it comes to a city near you.
With legendary programs such as Michigan State, Kentucky and Duke joining Kansas for the annual Champions Classic doubleheader, the stars were out in Chicago’s United Center.
One famous face, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, was spotted in the stands sporting a KU shirt and hat. Men’s basketball band members improvised a chant to invite Smith to come jam with the Jayhawks. “He was actually really nice and super excited to play with us,” says band director Sharon Toulouse, f’97, g’05. “A memory these guys will never forget!”
Watch the video below, posted by Chad Smith himself! The original video is from Kolby Coons, c’13.
Basketball season is here! The KU men’s basketball team takes on Kentucky in the State Farm Champions Classic on Tuesday, Nov. 14. The game tips off at approximately 8 p.m. (CT), following the first matchup between Duke and Michigan State.
Champions Classic Pregame Party
Join fellow Jayhawks in Chicago for a pregame party! We’re teaming up with Kansas Athletics and the Williams Education Fund to host an event three hours before the first game.
Revel Fulton Market 1215 W. Fulton Market Chicago, IL 2:30-5:30 p.m.
Admission to the pregame party is $40 for members, Presidents Club members, and Williams Education Fund Members. Admission is $50 for nonmembers, and $15 for non-drinkers and those under 21 years old.
Your ticket includes an open bar and light appetizers. Plus, enjoy the pep rally and tailgate games while perusing the KU Libraries exhibit “Commemorate the Gr8s,” which celebrates the national title teams of 1988 and 2008.
Game watch parties
If you’re not traveling to Chicago, watch the game with fellow alumni, fans and friends at an official KU Alumni watch party! These events are hosted by alumni volunteers and you’ll certainly be surrounded by crimson and blue.
Click here for a list of watch sites. Please note, if there isn’t an official party scheduled on our calendar for a site, we can’t guarantee that the watch sites will show the KU game, especially if there are other college or professional sporting events happening at the same time.
Watch and listen
Watch the Jayhawks on ESPN or listen to the game live on the Jayhawk Radio Network.