NCAA Division 1 Men's Basketball Tournament in Kansas City
March 22, 2013

2014 Big Twelve Tournament

Kansas Big Jay and Jayhawk pep band
Kansas Jayhawks pep ralley, power and light district
Hundred's of Jayhawks join the KU Pep Band, Cheerleaders and Big Jay for a pre game pep rally

Linda and I drove to downtown Kansas City for the evening session of the NCAA Division 1 men's basketball tournament on Friday night. We parked at our usual location in the parking garage of the Hilton President. It is only a hundred yards from the power and light district and seems to be an easier spot to drive in and out of, without the worst congestion.

After missing some of the pre game activities at KU's Senior Night, we left plenty early and arrive at the KC Power and Light District in time to attend the Kansas Jayhawks Pep Rally on the main stage, then on to the Sprint Center where we were generously invited to watch the games in the Channel 5 Suite.

After being welcomed by KCTV5 General Manager, Darrin McDonald, and Director of Sales, Rebecca Boresow, I settled into my seat at the front of the suite, near center court. The light was brighter than it is at Allen Fieldhouse (though with an odd tint) and we had a much better angle on the court then I have had at other games. I ended up taking over 200 photos and will be adding several to my University Of Kansas Basketball photography page.

North Carolina Tar Heels, Villanova Wildcats, NCAA tournament
North Carolina Tar Heels vs Villanova Wildcats tip-off

The first game was the North Carolina Tar Heels versus the Villanova Wildcats. A number 8 seed playing a number 9. It was likely to be a good game, but was made more interesting in Kansas City because the North Carolina Coach, Roy Williams, was the former coach at the University of Kansas. Roy loved Kansas and was adored while he was coaching in Lawrence. When he left to go to North Carolina, many Kansas fans were bitter. Most of them are over that today and he is liked in Kansas City, with some people still unhappy after all these successful years.

North Carolina got off to a big lead, up 32-17. But Villanova battled back and after a 32-10 run, lead the game by 2 points, about a third of the way through the second half. Villanova could not hold on and North Carolina won 78-71.

North Carolina Tar Heels, Villanova Wildcats

Coach Roy Williams - North Carolina
North Carolina Coach Roy Williams

Linda Stokes, Rebecca Boresow, Darrin McDonald
Linda chatting with Rebecca Boresow and Darrin McDonald during the half time of the first game

In theory, the second game would be less interesting, with the #1 seed Kansas playing the #16 seeded Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. A #16 has never one a game in the NCAA tournament. Of course many #1s fear the chance that they will be the first to make history by losing to a #16.

Western Kentucky gave the Kansas fans a scare, leading Kansas by 1-4 points during much of the first half and by 1 point at the half. But that was the Hilltoppers final lead of the game. Kansas regained the lead and led by 4 - 11 points for the balance of the evening. The final score was Kansas 64, Western Kentucky 57.

Kansas will play North Carolina in round 3 of the NCAA tournament on Sunday, March 24. 

Rock Chalk!

Jeff Withey, Ben McLemore, Kevin Young, Travis Releford, Elijah Johnson
Introduction of the Kansas starting 5: Jeff Withey, Ben McLemore, Kevin Young, Travis Releford, Elijah Johnson

Western Kentucky University, Sprint Center, Kansas
Setting up for the opening tip off

George Fent , Jeff Withey
George Fent opposite Jeff Withey

Jamal Crook, Elijah Johnson
Jamal Crook, Elijah Johnson

Jeff Withey - Kansas Jayhawks
Jeff Withey dunks the ball

Kansas Coach Bill Self
Kansas Coach Bill Self talking to Jeff Withey and Travis Releford

Ben McLemore
Kansas Freshman Ben McLemore making a defensive rebound

Perry Ellis - Kansas
Freshman forward Perry Ellis makes 2 the hard way

Jamari Traylor - University of Kansas
Kansas freshman Jamari Traylor scoring 2 points

Coach Bill Self - Kansas Jayhawks
Coach Bill Self (Prints of this image)

Kevin Young - Kansas Jaywhawks
Kevin Young making his first dunk of the game

Kevin Young, Ben McLemore, Kansas Jayhawks
Ben McLemore scoring 2 of his 11 points

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Copyright 2013 by Keith Stokes. These photos may not be reproduced without written permission.