Take 5: Day One At The CBE At Sprint

 

Marquette Duke BasketballI spent Monday night inside a friend’s suite at Sprint Center taking in the CBE Classic first-round games. I have been lucky enough to attend every one of these CBE tourneys since Sprint opened. This year’s CBE might be the most loaded yet. Here are some of my takeaways from day one.
Bond Bridge: Being a KC Northlander (since moving from the Kansas side of town 20 years ago) we took the new Bond Bridge south into Downtown on Monday night to attend the CBE Classic. Wow! KC’s new welcome mat from the north is gorgeous at night. You first spot the lit top of the Bond Bridge as you approach from the north as it sits off to the left. My first drive south across the impressive and beautiful addition to our city’s landscape made me feel damn proud to be a part of this city that continues to improve its culture, ambiance and head-turning attractions.
Tickets: None to be had. Lots of the black mafia dudes stalking all comers asking, “Got any tickets for sale?” I saw very few buyers or sellers on the streets of The Power & Light District. I stopped at one of the many open and staffed ticket windows and asked if there were any tickets for sale. “None,” came the reply. I am guessing that tonight’s ticket for the Duke/KSU finale will bring quite a ransom.
Fans at Sprint: Kansas City is one helluva college basketball town. Maybe The Star is right, we are the college basketball center of the universe. Almost 19,000 fans showed up on a Monday night the week of Thanksgiving to watch two non-con games that have little or no bearing on who wins the NCAA tourney this spring. What’s that BCS football argument about their regular season being so much more important and attractive than hoops because there’s no playoff? Complete bullshit.
K-State fans: These passionate purple people packed Sprint Center like it was twofers night in Aggieville. Every cheap seat was filled and almost all were sporting Wildcat colors. This was not your Big 12 transient sightseeing crowd. You know the one where half the crowd doesn’t give a flip out who’s playing and is busy walking, talking and texting. These fans were there to watch hoops and especially Frank Martin’s boys. I headed out to the restroom mid-game and the wide concourses at Sprint Center were as vacant as KC’s downtown streets in the 90’s.
NASCAR on Sprint floor: There appeared to be more ads on the floor at Sprint Center than at The K – and that is a lot of ads. Did they really need those two Reese’s graphics jammed into the free-throw circle? The NCAA will do almost anything to make a buck on the backs of student athletes who are forbidden to profit from their unique skills. Josh Selby gets fined for driving around in his coach’s car but the NCAA can charge $200/ticket to watch him play? In the next decade we will see the NCAA get blown up and all this hypocrisy become history. I hope they call me to help rewrite the rule book.
Uniforms of note: Duke’s Columbia blue unies were the sharpest of the night. Marquette’s brilliant gold were a close second. K-State’s formal black are always cool. Only Gonzaga’s tri-colored togs disappointed.
Who’s good and not: Marquette surprised me with their talent. They played Duke very tough, especially inside. If Marquette is the seventh best team in the Big East this season, that is gonna be one tough conference yet again. Duke is Duke…as they say. Lot of talent but I saw some defensive holes down under the bucket. Marquette got some easy looks inside. That should be good news for what ails KSU’s Curtis Kelley. This Gonzaga is only Gonzaga in name. Don’t look for these Zags to be zigging come March.
Will Spradling: If Sprint Center had a trending post, the K-State freshman from Shawnee Mission South would have topped the poll. And why not? He’s local, he’s white and he’s good. Why mention he’s white? The dude sticks out in that K-State lineup like he was a hardboiled egg in a bag of charcoal. I was impressed with the level of confidence the SMS kid displayed in a very different venue than facing Shawnee Mission North. Can the kid strap it on against Duke with the same bravado? We will be watching.
Frank: Worth the price of admission is Frank’s Faces. He went after young Spradling a time or two like he was trying to reenact the Bo Pelini/Taylor Martinez dance at A&M. One thing about sitting in the arena for a K-State game is that you miss all those replays of Frank’s Faces on the tube. Coach K was there but he does far more sitting and watching than coaching…kind of the same as KSU’s DaLonte Hill.
No Twitter: My iPhone was blanked from Internet access inside Sprint Monday night. Being from Nebraska, I immediately assumed it was a conspiracy toward and against AT&T customers.
GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24
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5 Responses to Take 5: Day One At The CBE At Sprint

  1. Gavin says:

    Not to get too far off topic…
    Good post, Greg. Iknow you’re writing more about the CBS and Sprint, but I thought I’d toss in my two cents on the NCAA.—————————————- I disagree with your assertion that it’ll be blown up in ten years. I used to think that it would and I suppose it’s possible that it still could, but I jsut don’t see it happening. The NCAA isn’t just the major athletics governing body for major college sports. It’s also there for D II and III schools as well. If you stop to think about how KU and K-State leaving the NCAA (for example) would hurt schools like Emporia State and Ft. Hays State, then you start to consider that maybe the Board of Regents woudln’t allow the big schools to leave. Given that most states that have schools that are major players in athletics have a lot more schools that are NOT, it stands to reason that the big schools wouldn’t be allowed to leave.———————————————————————–I guess private schools could still leave, but without schools like Michigan, North Carolina, UCLA, etc. the new college athletics giverning body just wouldn’t be as desireable. So, in the end, I think that the state schools will stay where they are for the benefit of the little schools that get funding because of the money earned by the big schools.————————————None of which is to say that I think this is good. I agree that the players should be able to get something for their troubles and I think that the "student-athlete" is a sham. I think it woudl be great of the top 100 or so schools pulled together and left the NCAA, but you’ve already got schols like Boise State alleging antitrust violations and conspiracies. Imagine what they’d do if they were left behind in a move like THAT? As much as it sucks, I think the NCAA will be around quite awhile longer.

  2. harley says:

    Ncaa will go bye bye…
    and the key component will be the big 10 and when the decide to
    add another team. that sets the dominos into major motion…
    thats the end of the ncaa. The schools are tired of the ncaa
    crap…but its convenient and they like it until the dominos start to fall…
    which should be around 2011-2012 ….
    Once the big 10 finds another single school to add then the
    whole things fallsa part because MU still thinks ab out joining the
    big 10….don’t fool yourself….the big 12 still has no completed tv contract
    and by eliminating the texas market with tu’s own netwrok…the
    netowrks are going to work the league.
    So as much as it hurts you people…MU isn’t done with their plans to
    join the big 10…it will happen….i am on record as saying this….but
    the big 10 is reading the tea leaves and they know they have to
    add more big tv markets or they will be out in the cold…….

  3. harley says:

    hall…stupid comments again…
    hall….you’ve got #4 KSU….you’ve got #`1 duke and nationally ranked
    teams….that fills up sprint center…now you’ve got ksu and duke playing
    early in the season in kc when most people are already off work
    and you’re dumb enough to not think the place will be packed…
    stop showing your ignorance…your predictions have been horrible
    this year…maybe stop reading other’s comments and plagarizing
    them…..(you know what i mean)…
    and stop pretending like you’re a national writer…you’re one stop
    above me and glazer and thts not too good.

  4. olathecat says:

    Looking forward
    Looking forward to attending the game tonight. Should be a great one. Hope the place is packed with purple again!

  5. bschloz says:

    Blow Harder
    Just something about these Martin and Pelini types that doesn’t sit well with me……. I thought that shit went bye bye with Bobby Knight tipping over the salad bar at Indiana……hey I’m all for passion and fire—–but trying to take a bunch JUCO’s and beating them with stick doesn’t impress. How can you expect a kid to perform with a tight sphincter 24/7……….what a joke—and fuck ESPN and KC STAR for glamorizing it……………..A deep look inside the minds of Pelini and Martin…..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xP1-oquwoL8

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