There are basketball arenas and then there are basketball cathedrals. Allen Fieldhouse is a basketball cathedral. The Jayhawks are basketball royalty, one of the top five or six programs in the sport. Kansas has been to the NCAA Tournament 44 times, including every one of them since 1990. They have been to the Sweet Sixteen 28 times, the Elite Eight an astonishing 21 times, the Final Four an amazing 14 times, the National Championship Game nine times and have won the NCAA Tournament three times (1952, 1988 and 2008).
Some of the Greats who have played for the Jayhawks include Wilt Chamberlain, Clyde Lovellette, Danny Manning, Raef LaFrentz, Paul Pierce, Drew Gooden, Nick Collison, Sherron Collins, Jacque Vaughn, Kirk Hinrich, Brandon Rush, Jo Jo White, Cole Aldrich, Charles Black, Mario Chalmers, and many more.
Allen Fieldhouse has been around since 1955 and holds over 16,000 Jayhawks fans for home games. It is named for legendary head coach Phog Allen who led the Jayhawks for 39 seasons and won 590 games. He played for Dr. James Naismith at Kansas, the man who literally invented the game of basketball.
The “Rock Chalk Jayhawk” chant the students do throughout the game give this place an electric atmosphere. Every game is sold out so if you have the opportunity to purchase tickets to any home game, grab it. This is old school basketball at its best. Allen Fieldhouse is one of the great old venues, much like Wrigley or Lambeau Field, where the place is just dripping with greatness.
14 Final Four banners stretch the length of the court and five National Championship banners span the width. Yes, KU won two National Championships before there was such thing as the NCAA Tournament.
Kansas competes in the Big 12 Conference, which is one of the elite conferences in college sports. It includes schools such as West Virginia, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Baylor, Kansas State, TCU, Iowa State, and Texas Tech. These schools routinely make deep NCAA Tournament runs, so when you come to Allen Fieldhouse, you are watching the best in college basketball.
Before and after the game, you will want to visit “Mass Street” which is a strip of great establishments for eating, drinking and shopping on game day. You will want to pick up some Jayhawks gear for the game at Jock’s Nitch and get something to eat at the Replay Lounge or the Free State Brewing Company.
Bring your seat cushion with you because you’ll likely be sitting on wood bleachers, but this is a place where you’ll be on your feet most of the time anyway. Kansas basketball is one of the most exciting events you can catch in any sport.
This year’s home schedule includes games with Northern Colorado, Loyola MD, Harvard, Holy Cross, Montana, UC Irvine, Baylor, Oklahoma, TCU, Texas, Kentucky, Kansas State, West Virginia, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Iowa State.
image courtesy of hercampus.com