Take 5: GH’s Notes On Big 12 Tourney & Surroundings


The Kansas City Live area across the street from Sprint Center looks smaller and smaller to me every year. I know it’s not shrinking but just like when you return to visit your old school’s classrooms, it sure appears to be. It was filling up quickly when I arrived there about 10 AM on Thursday.
The unmistakable aroma of freshly poured tap beer in plastic cups cut through the nose-running cold weather inside the Kansas City Live cove. They say the sense of smell is our most powerful memory inducer. My mind quickly returned to Saturday morning pick-up basketball games years ago inside small local gyms where most of the participants had spent Friday night imbibing. The aroma was the same but in those days gone by the beer was coming out of the participants instead of going in.
The two local sports talk radio stations have a presence at the Big 12 party and their locations could not be more different. I parked southeast of Sprint Center and walked past 610 Sports camp at Willie’s sports bar on Truman Road & Grand Ave. Standing on the corner and looking north, Sprint Center looks to be only a long city block away. I heard Shan Shariff say, “We’re right across the street from the Sprint Center.” Technically, that would be accurate if you count six lanes of Interstate and a city block as “across the street.” Willie’s is catching plenty of tournament action but it’s outside the closed-off streets and kind of removed from the small “city” that the street closures have created in the P&L. The guys on 610 have to feel they’re reporting on the tournament instead of being a part of it.
810’s radio camp on the other hand is a Keiton Page three-point shot away from the main entrance to Sprint Center. Chad Boeger has positioned his station adjacent to McFadden’s, which is THE unofficial watering hole of the Big 12 tourney. If you stumble down Sprint’s staircase you’ll fall into McFadden’s. Everyone mills about this area and 810 and its neon logoed sign is there with their radio talent to greet them all. Considering that 610 is Entercom owned and the home of KU, MU and the Royals, I am surprised that little locally-owned 810 could trump them so soundly when it comes to making a splash at this city’s most public sporting event.
My AT&T iPhone was almost worthless inside or outside Sprint Center. I couldn’t get email updates except for maybe once every couple of hours. No Twitter whatsoever. This was not the same for people with Droids and non-AT&T service. I think it’s a Sprint conspiracy against Apple. A good example of how far away 610’s camp was from the action is that as I walked by Willie’s on my way back to my car – my phone started working again.
Kansas ran a mini-version of their pregame video on Sprint Center’s video board prior to their game against Oklahoma State. I thought it was odd since OSU didn’t get the same treatment. Did KU get this kind of preferential treatment when the tournament was played in Dallas or Oklahoma City? It definitely gave the arena a pro-Kansas feel – along with the 12,000 or so Kansas fans in the seats.
Watching KU’s Tyshawn Taylor and OSU’s Keiton Page guard each other I got the thought that you have two players at opposite ends of the college basketball spectrum. TT has every physical gift a D1 point guard could want but might have one of the dumbest basketball IQs in the league.  Page is Rudy-like in size and intimidation factor but possesses one of the highest hoops IQs around. Which one would a coach want? Tyshawn almost every time.
Oklahoma State missed 6 or 7 layups and gimmees and had two stupid technical fouls called on them — and lost by one to number-two ranked Kansas. We were that close to having Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri all lose on the same day at Sprint Center. How much revenue does the P&L lose by having KSU and Mizzou gone for the two weekend games? Depends on how many suds and buds the Kansas faithful can suck up on their own. I don’t think the loss will be noticeable, but the P&L won’t be nearly as charged up for KU/CU as they would have been for a rubber match between the two Kansas schools.
There is a group of 15-20 old guys from Texas who sit together for each session in one end zone all dressed identically. Friday they all wore neatly-pressed long-sleeve white shirts, burnt-orange sweater vests and white baseball caps. I think I would fit in with this group very well – as long as somebody paid else my entry fee.
The KC Dog complete with large chunks of BBQ beef went down easy for breakfast on Thursday. A new item on the menu was onion rings in a beer-dipped batter. They were excellent. So few restaurants around town have decent onion rings. Jack Stack’s are way too heavy on batter. Sonic’s o-rings taste plastic. The straw rings at Smash Burger are good but leave an after taste that lasts through the next morning. There was a restaurant called King’s in Omaha that had great o-rings when I was a kid – or maybe I didn’t know any better. These rings in the Perceptive Software lounge at Sprint were surprisingly good. Got any suggestions for good o-rings in KC?
Alec Burks is a star in the making. Almost no one in the country knows about this Grandview High kid but that is going to change. His smoothness and grace jumps out at you when witnessed in person. Nothing he does is hurried. Everything he does is better than whoever is trying to guard him. The NBA is gonna love them some Alec Burks. And 0-3 K-State sure as hell is gonna be glad to see him go.
OSU is much more athletic than I thought. As is Colorado. Seeing these teams in person all in the same arena makes me think the Big 12 is a much better basketball conference than I thought. (Accept for whatever the hell Missouri is rolling out on the court.)
Frank Martin was much more subdued Thursday against Colorado than I ever remember. His recent knee operation had him painfully stuck to sitting on the bench for most of the game, rather than his typical up-down sideline antics. It is my opinion he hurt his knee again last week by pushing his recovery too quickly when he was up/down and walking around during the Iowa State game. The bod just doesn’t heal as quickly after the age of 35 as it once did. After 50 it pretty much surrenders.
“The thing that was thought to be the biggest strength of this (Missouri) team is now one of its biggest question marks. Because they are all coming back.”
Gabe DeArmond, of PoerMizzou.com 810 AM
GH: Kimmie English “We quit,” comment following Mizzou’s embarrassing loss to TAMU is rocking the Tigers’ world. Has Anderson lost his team? Has his flirtations with Arkansas cost his team and hope of advancing in the NCAA tourney? Drama is swirling around Anderson and his squad right now at a level we haven’t seen since the days of Mighty Quin.

GH: Jack Harry was caught napping during the night cap and the KU fans at phog.net had some fun with his photo. ..

 GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24
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16 Responses to Take 5: GH’s Notes On Big 12 Tourney & Surroundings

  1. Tom says:

    The onion rings at the Corner Cocktail’s, 85th and Wornall, are top notch! Great bar food!

  2. Tom says:

    Is there any way Pinkell could coach the Basketball team?

  3. Darth Vadar says:

    View from the top
    Cheryl Tiegs was, and still is a very hot model, while newer younger models like what-her0name are OK too. Avril Lavigne is coming into her own with her 4 CD, but give me some Rolling Stones any day. I used to drink Budweiser until ther sold out, now Ilike Boulevard unfiltered wheat, it is good. I like to eat steak and lobster and ice cream for desert. Saint Patricks day is coming up, how about some corned beef and beer and beer.

  4. Cliffy says:

    At this point I don’t know whether to criticize Anderson for such a crappy job or give him credit for getting a team this flawed to the NCAA tourney. Anderson’s players have typically talked a lot about team, family, etc. I don’t hear much of that this year. I suspect it has something to do with the Pressey boys (or at least Phil).

    Early in the year somebody posted here that KSU wouldn’t miss Clemente nearly as much as MU would miss Tiller and Taylor and I disagreed. I was wrong.

  5. Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

    Anderson flirted with Arkansas?
    When? Where? Or are you just making shit up again, Hall? Arkansas has a coach and isn’t looking for one. If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that Anderson isn’t going to run off and leave his best friend’s kids behind at MU and take the Arky job.

  6. Teacher's Pet says:

    Cliffy is spot on
    I think it’s the Pressey brothers. Phil is the Teacher’s Pet. He can basically do no wrong in the eyes of Anderson and virtually do no right in the eyes of everyone else. Plus, Miguel Paul, while not a particularly good player on the court, was a very popular player off it. The fact that they ran him off to make room for a very suspect Matt Pressey, I think, is causing chemistry problems in the locker room.

    Another thing causing problems is the fact that English tries to be the team’s vocal leader. Not easy when his play is directly responsible for about three of the Tigers’ 10 losses.

  7. smartman says:

    There’s an App for That
    When did WHB become Chad Boeger’s station….or was that just a shot at KK? Don’t waste your time with an ATT laptop connect card either. Bill Curtis can find the internet at the
    North Pole but I can’t find it in KC. Have we really fallen that far?
    KU still has to pay for Lew’$ $in$. I still predict they will not make it to the Elite 8. Agree with Corner Cocktails rings. Also recommend Hamburger Mary’s and LC’s up north. On the fast food side White Castle and Carl’s Jr have pretty good rings too.

  8. bschloz says:

    Good post Greg…judging from that view in the picture from session 1– it looks like you need to go back to scalping school 101?
    I sat with those Texas guys last year…they are called themselves The Texas Exes really great guys and very knowledable..I don’t think they miss a bounce the whole tourney win or lose. The sad part is that its just the 20 of them and the cheerleaders that come to KC for the event, pretty weak for a top 10 team.

    I tell you I would have no problem sending my kids to Stillwater…I love that whole Orange thing they have working …with all that Big Earl money— saw quite a few big rocks and orange leather on some fine lookers.
    It makes me wonder how big a windfall for KC this tourney actually is with nobody and I mean nobody here from TX,CO,TXAM,TXTCH,BAY,OK?

    Sign of the Apocalypse ….Lady in front of me orders 1 bottle of water…1 popcorn…1 pretzel….$13
    What am Iaughing about I ordered a burger with fries a small DP…and bag of peanuts $19.50

    Best Onion Rings–Haywards BBQ and Winsteads—– I wouldn’t eat that KC MESS DOG on a bet

  9. NO ONE CARES says:

    YOU “”still predict they will not make it to the Elite 8″”
    YOU “still predict they will not make it to the Elite 8. ” rally do you really? is that what you really think? huh? ..huh?/ do ya really? how about harley?? WHAT DOES HE THINK??? HUH?? WHO WILL WIN THE SUPER BOWL??? HUH? …. DO YOU REALLY REALLY THINK ANYONE WANTS TO HEAR YOUR FUCKING PREDICTIONS???

    here is a tip for you…. NO ONE CARES!!!



    No one cares about people’s fucking predicitions… ok?… NO ONE CARES!!! SHUT UP ALREADY!!!

    If you are so fucking smart…… fly to Vegas, bet a million dollars….. win your bet and then pass out free money to people…. other wise STFU!!

  10. teaxas hater says:

    Fuk texas, fuk evrything about texas, fux the schools, fuk the people, fuk the teams, fuk the fans FUK EVERYTHING ABOUT texas…

    Ku will win tonight, dont you doubt it…. KU was winning BIG in the first game, and then gave it away, KU kids wanted another shot at those texas posers…and tonight texas is going down….DID I MENTION FUK texas…FUK EVERYTHING ABOUT texas …E V E R Y T H I N G

    Did anyone see KU spot all those (over 10 points) points to Colorado at the start of the game last night and still DOMINATE THEM IN THE END?? SO SORRY TO gh… TOO BAD HE DID NOT HAVE ANYTHING TO SAY AFTER THAT GAME…. as he wont after KU beats texas today…. FUCK YES!!!!! ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK GO KU !!!!!!

  11. NEXT!!!! says:

    N E X T ! ! ! ! !
    N E X T ! ! !!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

  12. Mike says:

    Hey Greg,
    How many photos of the tourney did you take? That would be cool if you had those posted online somewhere for readers to scan.
    That streetside hoops fest, with the full-length court and other things, looked awesome. This is why OKC and (well, no longer) Dallas need to step up their game if they want to hold a candle to how KC conducts the Big 12 Tournament.
    I find it curious that a few women’s coaches are speaking out against KC.

  13. Mike says:

    Oh, and one more thing.
    It wasn’t just your AT&T phone having problems. A buddy of mine told me that his Sprint phone only had one bar inside the Sprint Center.
    How in the hell would they allow THAT to happen???? (And for AT&T, just across the street, to allow that to happen as well??)

  14. BS hater says:

    Colorado beat ksu 3 times..and misses the tounry.
    Colordao gotted fucked, It shows the BS that goes on with this stupid tounament……Oh well, good luck to all teams.

  15. Question says:

    How does it work?
    Why doesnt each #1 seed play the “winner of the play-in game” (round 1). Why is Ohio the only #1 doing that? Does anyone understand how that works?

  16. From a fan of KU says:

    It makes no sense
    Have to wonder how Colorado does not even get in after beating Texas on Feb 6th, beating KSU 3 times this season, always playing KU very tough and overall looking really good AND finshing strong.


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