Legacy Meets Roadblock; See You In San Antonio

  • What’s a blue blood? Easy. It’s Kansas, North Carolina, Kentucky, Indiana, UCLA, and Duke. There is no tried and true formula. We just know it when we see it.

    We have a significant “blue blood” accomplishment. We’ve won 14 straight conference titles, in a real conference, with real world roster turnover. Bill Self stands alone. Kansas stands alone.

    We now face what has been a Bill Self Roadblock – the second weekend of the tournament. Bill Self has generally been successful navigating to the second weekend. He has of course made every tournament since he was hired, and has won every first round game, but for the killer B’s (Bucknell and Bradley).

    But it is the second weekend that challenges Bill Self. It is the second weekend that has tempered the adulation for our blue blood program. We have failed, regularly, to make the Final Four.

    Final Fours matter. There are chirps from some that Final Fours don’t matter unless you win the title. Or that they are not that important. Idle, irrelevant, and ignorant chatter. Schools hang big banners for Final Fours. Big ones. That is an undeniable fact. The college basketball universe recognizes Final Fours. It is a high bar used to judge programs and coaches. Undeniable. Programs are mocked for the failure to even stumble into a Final Four once in 120 years (MUst we mock?). Final Fours are the World Series, Final Fours are the Super Bowl. You get there. It’s an achievement to arrive at the “big dance.” The Final Four is the big dance. Without getting to the dance, you can’t win a championship.

    And the big dance has painfully eluded coach Self. In his tremendous career at Kansas, with all of the great teams and talent, we’ve seen but two final fours. Coach Roy found his way to four Final Fours.

    This has been a clear roadblock for coach Self.

    The past two seasons are clear cases in point. Against Villanova, we lost to the eventual national champion. But Kansas was the #1 seed, had played the stronger schedule, and seemed like the more talented team. Against Oregon, the loss was shocking. We had the national player of the year and we had the best OAD in Kansas history in Josh Jackson. Yet we still failed.

    Final Fours matter. Think about the discussion if Self had reached the FF in 2011 and 2016. Narrative changer to be sure.

    Each season we fail to reach the FF, we bring new or rehashed excuses. I will not list them. Some silly, some partially correct, some even legitimate. Some are present in every loss, by every team. But they sound good because they make us feel better. When the years go by, and the excuses mount like a burning dung heap, they matter little any longer. Just do it. Teams achieve greatness all the time despite the excuses (rational, irrational, or otherwise). It’s our turn to do it.

    And what better year? We’ve always discussed how being a team NOT assumed to be a national title team might be the year we actually achieve the ultimate goal.

    We need only win two games to reach the Final Four. That creates a legacy. It adds to the legacy of our blue blood program. We need this one.

    For some reason, at this moment, I feel it. I’ve felt it a few times this season. I felt it in my last thread regarding how this team could respond without Doke, and that nothing was over. Now we have Doke and there is no discussion of how we survive. We are fully loaded. We will be at maximum RPMs.

    I don’t know, but sometimes when things are a bit rougher, when things aren’t meshing, when things seem more disjointed and chaotic, the end product can sometimes be that much stronger and resilient.

    This season can fit exactly into that category. There is no player that exemplifies that more than Malik Newman. And how many alpha dogs can one team have? We have multiple players that can take over, and that are comfortable taking over. Guys that have produced in critical situations – Graham, Svi, Newman, and Doke. And we have that extra big we desperately needed. Don’t sleep on him. He can win us a game.

    For some reason, it kind of feels right this season – finally. But now is the only time it really matters.

    Do we have the best team? I don’t know. Do we have the best team to win the next four games? I know this – I wouldn’t trade our team with any other team in the tourney.

    Kansas 83 Clemson 69

    Kansas 74 Duke 70

    See you in San Antonio, my friends.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    I approve of this message

  • @HighEliteMajor Classic post. Thanks for putting it together.

    For legacy purposes my “dream” road to victory from here is below with reasons.

    Clemson - We don’t have an option. This is the next team we play. We are the better team in almost all areas. Let’s go out there and make it happen.

    Duke - In my entire basketball watching life I can’t recall being as upset about our tournament draw as I was when our 2003 bracket was revealed and we were a 2 seed with Duke as our 3 and Arizona as our 1. It made it all the sweeter when we beat Duke and beat Arizona. The committee did not give us any favors again this year by putting us in a regional with Duke and Michigan State. We all knew that to go to the Final 4 we would have to go through one of these teams and I think most of us assumed it would be the Blue Devils.

    Villanova - Let’s call it what it is. If we get a crack at Nova this is a revenge game. The late foul call on Devonte still keeps me up at nights.

    Kentucky - What could be better than KU beating Coach Cal again in the finals? If he was the coach at Kentucky.

    Rock Chalk.

  • I love final fours. We are blessed beyond all measure. We have as a program made 14 in the modern era of NCAA basketball. Since I came to town in 85, we’ve made it 8 times. Those 8 appearances alone would make us tied for 7th on the most FF’s.

    1. I consider this one of the great teams in our history. I didn’t realize we were a 2 seed. That is outrageous, but I also remember an early slump where we were 3-3 on the season with a loss to Ball St. Maybe that contributed to it, not sure.

    This is a strange season in my mind. I don’t have that great feeling about our team like the last 2 seasons. The losses where our coach was calling them soft, we were jumping ship right and left, ceding the conference crown to whomever wanted it. A beatdown in our last regular season game didn’t help any.

    But here we are, and you’re right, Clemson because they blasted a decent SEC team is considered to be the 3rd best team left by ESPN who called us the 10th. Heck, they even listed Huggies Thuggies as the 5th best team left. So we somehow are playing with the chip on our shoulder. I don’t know if we play better or worse with a chip on our shoulder but I think it’s firmly in place.

    Clemson is used to the chip too. I just read on their SBNation page an article in which they were mad at SI for making Clemson ripe for a first round upset loss to NMState. Clemson hadn’t won an NCAA game since 1997, so well, I can understand the pundits. But how do we go from people picking them to lose to NMS to being the 3rd best team left? Like a lot of our games I’m cautiously optimistic. And then we have to talk about Duke or Cuse.

  • @HighEliteMajor You are ABSOLUTELY correct! Final Fours matter. However, in my opinion, so do Sweet 16’s and Elite 8’s. When we win Friday night, it will be our 3rd straight Elite 8 appearance. That’s STRONG. Will i be crushed if they lose in the Elite 8 again? ABSOLUTELY! I’ll mourn for a week or more! But for me, and for this team, it wont be a failure. Just my opinion.

    On another note and maybe this should be a separate thread: Which year do y’all think was the biggest failure or disappointment? For me it was the Embiid/Wiggins year when Embiid was injured and couldn’t play in the tournament. I keep thinking about how good they were with him and how dominant a player he was.

  • @wissox Don’t blame SI for ESPN’s reseeding. SI is picking KU to win (but not so KSU):


  • Adversity either forces people to come together or separates them further. This team has faced some adversity, some real, some manufactured. I would throw it to @drgnslayr 's theory that a team needs a chip. This team has one. They believe that others doubt them. They are out to prove something. It’s interesting because according to brain science, positive reinforcement is the strongest motivator. But individually certain people respond stronger to being told they can’t do something. Some of that I think depends on a person’s confidence level when hit with the negative feedback. If you have high confidence it is easy to shake of negativity and even use it for motivation. However, if a person’s confidence is low, that negativity fits and confirms their personal narrative causing them to dip lower.

    I agree about the final fours. VCU and WSU losses hurt the most for me. Those seemed like the years where we should be at 4 instead of 2 total FFs.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    I hope we survive the weekend.

    We better not be looking past Clemson. I doubt we are.

    I’ve always felt the main reason we lose in the second weekend relates to lack of a chip. We have plenty of talent to make it through the first weekend… especially going in as a high seed.

    But that second weekend comes and the games get tougher. It really is a question of who wants it most.

    I do think this team carries a small chip. Most of that small chip is in the DNA of Devonte.

    I can see the possibility that we will still have a game where Devonte really has to carry this team on his back.

    One more game and then we most-likely play Duke. Bring’em on!

    I really, really, really want to see that game!

  • Jayhawk-in-OKC said:

    Which year do y’all think was the biggest failure or disappointment?

    Without a doubt my top disappointment is 1986 FF vs. Duke. We lost 71-67 with three starters (Greg Dreiling, Danny Manning and Cedric Hunter fouling out) and a foul discrepancy of 26-14 in favor of Duke. Hell, 2 of our reserves had 3 fouls each the reffing was so pathetic and lopsided.

    This is the game where Duke implanted itself into my consciousness forever and instantly became my most hated team in college basketball history … something that has carried forward to today. On the flip side, it’s the game where I knew I bled Crimson and Blue and ended up black and blue for kicking a hole in some sheet rock at my parent’s house.

    1997 would take runner up. 34-1 that year before losing to Arizona. 2003 would be third due to the missed FT and losing to Syracuse, my second most-hated team.

  • Don’t know where else to post this so will put it here:


  • @tis4tim The 2003 loss to Syracuse was tough. What sucks is Wayne Simien was sidelined due to a shoulder injury (if i remember correctly). I have always felt we would have won that game had he been healthy!

  • @tis4tim - Here’s why we lost that game:

    Starters FT FTA FT%

    Nick Collison 3-10 30%

    Kirk Hinrich 1-1 100%

    Jeff Graves 2-7 28.6%

    Aaron Miles 0 0

    Keith Langford 5-10 50%

    Reserves FT FTA FT%

    Michael Lee 0 0

    Bryant Nash 1-2 50%

    School Totals 12-30 40%

  • @mayjay Don’t think I did blame SI. I did mention Clemson was mad at them.

  • @nuleafjhawk

    I would also add Gerry (Bloody) McNamara, a career 35% 3-point shooter, hit 6 out of 10 in that 2003 game.

    Throw in the Roy Williams “Should I Stay or Should I Go” stuff and it was an unmitigated disaster.

    I still cringe when I see that box score and the 18(!) missed free throws, especially when the final margin was three measly points.

    It was a game we simply should have had.

  • San Antonio all the way

  • The UNI loss stung because I was there and it hurt for a long time. I still have PTS when I hear the name Farokmenesh. I can’t get his at will treys in OKC out of my mind. The rain just wouldn’t stop.

    I also had similar pain from the VCU loss too. Everytime I see the little bald gnome in Texas, I’m taken back to that horrible loss. Each time we spank Texas and he’s heading the program, my pain is less and less.

    @tis4tim The Zona loses aren’t too bad. The Cuse loss with Melo hurt. I remember the block against Lee too.

  • @truehawk93 To each his own, but the Zona loss was probably the worst. We’d lost once all year. Powerhouse of powerhouses. Might have been known as one of histories great teams. I hated the Syracuse loss too of course.

  • @tis4tim The first known appearance of the Duke whistle 1986. Awful awful game. That team of ours was so great. Really one of the two NC’s gifted to coach K, the other being in 2015.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    To trough, or not to trough;

    That is the question!

  • wissox said:

    @tis4tim The first known appearance of the Duke whistle 1986. Awful awful game. That team of ours was so great. Really one of the two NC’s gifted to coach K, the other being in 2015.


  • @HighEliteMajor Ive also felt all season that this team was the one to finally break through. Even though i somewhat feel this every season, This is different. Theres a team of destiny in every tourmament. Why not us? RCJH

  • wissox said:

    @truehawk93 To each his own, but the Zona loss was probably the worst. We’d lost once all year. Powerhouse of powerhouses. Might have been known as one of histories great teams. I hated the Syracuse loss too of course.

    That Zona team was the Bibby, Simon, Terry and Dickerson group? If I remember correctly. We had Pierce, LaFrentz, Gregory, Robertson, Chenoweth, Earl, and Thomas. I vividly remember, and yes the loss was hard, but you’re right, I tried not to get too overly emotional. They all hurt, but some do hurt more than others.

    How awesome would it be to get JR Earl and win a NC with him? It would be sweeter if it were against a Zona team too.

    The question that will haunt me about Mike Lee’s corner shot for the rest of my life and that game is…Would that have been a made shot? It didn’t even get too airborne…eww…I’m having some nasty flashbacks.

  • The most underrated loss perhaps is the loss to Maryland in the 2002 FF semis. We had perhaps the best team under Roy next to 1997, with both Gooden and Collison. An overmatched Indiana awaited in the NC game, which Maryland disposed of. A sure NC with the win.

  • People have forgotten Larry Brown’s phenomenal 1986 team (Manning’s first season) falling short primarily because the '88 team helped them forget. But ouch! That was a terrible disappointment, because KU appeared easily the best team in the country, and by a considerable margin, too. Heck, someone in coaching, maybe it was even Brown himself, said it was one of the best teams ever assembled. It had an array of outside shooters quite comparable with the current team, plus it had two future NBA bigs, one a future selection on the Best 50 players of the second half of the 20th Century, or something. It was just an awesome team. How they got upset I still cannot figure out.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    Truly anything can happen in March.

    I always refer to the Houston/NC State national title game that immortalized Jimmy V.

    There will never be a real explanation that makes any sense why that game was won by the Wolfpack. Houston should have won even if they were blindfolded.

    Games often veer in a directional path that is hard to get off of. Often, the team that should win will drive right into the ditch, like a drunk driver. Sometimes it starts days before the game. Perhaps a star player eats a package of Starbursts and then can’t get his diet back on track, leading to a game that is just enough out-of-focus to have a drought shooting performance and effort. It really can go that way. The legacy of a program hangs in the balance with a package of Starbursts.

  • @HighEliteMajor I agree. That was a year we absolutely should have cut down the nets! Ugh…

  • @HighEliteMajor

    I believe Coach Williams at one time indicated the ‘97 teams was the best one he had at KU.

  • @wissox It was really two well matched teams. That Duke team was really loaded also, beat us in the pre-season NIT that year too I believe. I think they lost to Louisville in the championship game though. I think this was when re-seeding gained some ground, most thought the semi was the real championship game.

  • @drgnslayr Guy Lewis should be enshrined in the hall of shame for that one. I don’t know how big their lead was, but they went away from the offense that gave them a sizable lead, not quite a four corners as I recall, but a much more deliberate attack and the lead disappeared.

    @jaybate-1-0 The '86 team defeated Never Nervous Pervis and Louisville twice that season. The actually lost to Duke in the regular season, one of several losses on that juggernaut. That was back when teams didn’t worry about RPI, SOS and all that and just went out and built a schedule that was the best guarantee of playing well in March.

    Their schedule that season besides Duke and Louisville twice included Pepperdine (no slouch back then), Washington, NCState, Kentucky, Arkansas, George Washington (no slouch back then either), Wichita St., Memphis St (whom they lost to), Detroit, SMU, and a few other cupcakes. That’s 11 non-conference games against decent to really good teams. Three of those were true road games also. (We played 2 true road game this year in our Non Con at Stanford and at Nebraska.) No wonder that team contended for championships year in and year out! In fact our first home game that season was December 3! We’d played four neutral site games before during that more compact schedule.

    The best part of that season for me was deciding to go to KU, an Illinois sports fan of Depaul, U of I, Loyola, whomever, who really had no clue as to the rich heritage of KU basketball. I was on a geography field trip outside of Lawrence. We’re getting into the 15 passenger van with those double doors that closed together. I pulled the door shut and accidentally slammed someones hand in the door. I hear someone say I hope that’s not your shooting hand. I looked at this skinny Caucasion kid and sized him up as maybe someone on the golf team. So I asked him. He said he’s Scooter Barry. It didn’t ring a bell until he said his dad was Rick Barry whom I’d watched play. His hand wasn’t hurt, and we had a nice conversation as he filled me in about what a special place KU was.

    Us fans back then were sensible in that we didn’t camp out for a week for seats at a game, so we’d get there about 2 hours early and then rush in and get seats right behind the goal on the north end. Terrific seats, that came within about 10 feet of the court. That was my view for 3 years I was on campus. Amazing!

  • @JayHawkFanToo That might have been the best team Roy ever had, KU or UNC.

  • @drgnslayr


    Even faked outcomes.

  • @wissox Wow, Scooter was essential for the championship run. You could have ruined it…just kidding. Cool story I am glad you shared.

  • Barney said:

    @wissox Wow, Scooter was essential for the championship run. You could have ruined it…just kidding. Cool story I am glad you shared.

    I’ve often thought of that. Lets say his hand did get broken. I’d be like ‘remember that season Scooter broke his hand? It was me!’ If only I could figure out how to do it to Grayson Allen.

  • @wissox

    What you wonderfully describe was pretty much how it was in my time a bit earlier, also, though I heard from my brother, who attended many games in the Brown era, that student behavior had improved markedly from my time. 🙂

  • @wissox

    Guy Clueless? lol

  • P.S.:

    If one goes to the Kansas State Historical Society and reads some bound volumes of recollections of Kansas history, particularly a volume published in 1901, or so, one reads many dozens of by then old timers recollections of life in Kansas in the late 1850s, 1860s and early 1870s. These accounts were often written by persons that had spent their years of young adulthood (i.e., their 20s and 30s) in the wild formative years of the state of Kansas.

    Their recollections were often written from far more civilized big city surroundings on the East Coast, or from Kansas City, when it had become a city of some size and infrastructure. The recollections generally express great, great fondness for those rough and rowdy days and a sense that, if you weren’t there back then, it was very hard to help one understand how wonderfully liberating the experience of frontier was, despite all the rough edges and occasional misfortunes that came with such experience.

    In some ways this is how I feel about my early years at Allen Field House from 1959 (my first game) to the late 1970s. Note: no I was not a professional student all those years. I was a little whipper when I attended my first game. AFH was new, but not at all slick. Big but barely landscaped. Its visual effect was a cross between something dropped from space by aliens and an effect similar to viewing huge grain elevators in the distance on the Kansas prairies.

    Two generations that had survived the Great Depression and WWII had combined their ambitions and hopes and dreams to create what for a time seemed Phog’s second white elephant (his first was Memorial Stadium, which he had a huge hand in the politicking to build also). AFH was a REAL, and HUGE, equivalent of what was fictionalized as the baseball diamond in Field of Dreams. It existed as a surreal but joyful juxtaposition against its surroundings.

    All the years of my early youth, one went wondering if one would ever see it filled up. Note: my dad only took me to pre-conference games, when the tickets could be purchased dirt cheap out front before tip off. The phrase that fits the field house best in those early years was “If you build it, they will come,” even though the phrase would not be known to me for many years to come. Wilt filled it several times the first year or so, but I was still to young to go to those games. When I first went in 1959, there were some lean years, when Harp struggled some. Nolan Ellison. Jerry Gardner. Wayne Hightower. Bill Bridges. It is still hard for me to understand how they did not do better with those sorts of players, but they just did not have enough good players for Harp to make it work.

    In these very early years for me, I used to ask my dad, “Why did they put those bleachers waaaaaaaaaay up in the high four corners of the building, Dad?” because I had never seen anyone sit up there, even after going to games for a couple years. Dad, who was pure WWII generation, always looked down at me and said, “Oh, they filled it a few times when Wilt was here, but this was built for the future, son. It was built for the 1970s to 2000, when the state’s population will be big enough fill it every game. This place was built by men with vision.” Some men in high places still had vision in those days, not just ambition and a reach exceeding grasp.

    What he said above used to thrill me so much (and frankly still does) that I would ask him practically the same question every game went to. I just wanted to hear him say the same thing, again and again, which he did. This was my exposition starter: “Why is the floor dirt, Dad? Why is the court so high you have to lift me up on it?” He always gave a short scoff and said it was because “the goddamned football team demanded to get in on the action for indoor practices, and the track team wanted to train in winter also.” He clearly was annoyed at KU basketball being compromised by insignificant sports like football, though track he harbored minor respect for due to his abiding respect for Glenn Cunningham, Al Oerter and Billy Mills. “Why didn’t Phog just tell them no, Dad?” Dad would look away, then back and down, and say, “Phog was getting too old and sick, and the greedy alumni in Kansas City and Wichita forced him out and were fighting for control of KU basketball,” he would say. He spoke as if a bunch of disreputable pagan gods on Mount Olympus overcome with pestilence were sneezing lighting bolts and shitting thunder at each other, and compromising something sacred to we mortals. Then he would shrug the anger off. “But it doesn’t matter,” he said, defiantly, “the game and this field house are bigger than Ray Evans in Kansas City and those knuckle heads in Wichita.” One day, he continued, confidently, “They will pull out the rolling floor, pave the dirt and put in a beautiful wood floor and build a proper hall of fame for Phog, Naismith and all the greats that have played here that you didn’t get to see. You’ll see. By the time you have kids, this will truly be the Monarch of the Midlands.”

    Years later, he was FURIOUS, when they put in a synthetic floor. “I’m all for progress,” he said, “but playing on goddman naugahyde isn’t progress. Wood is the ONLY material for a basketball floor. And not just any goddamn wood. The right wood gives and prevents players from having such bad shin splints. The ball bounces true, with none of the dead spots that rolling floor has. Finished correctly, wood, even in winter, has the perfect temperature and traction for tennis shoes, especially these new Pumas and adidas. God I wish I could have played in those new tennis shoes instead of the old canvas Converse things.” Note: my recollections are jumping around some from the late 50s, to the 60s to the 70s. Its the nature of recollection long ago.

    When I finally got to college in the 70s, the Field House was still not dolled up and refined as it is today. It was rough around the edges, but even showing a bit of age. There were some weather stains outside. Some cracks were visible some places. Coats of paint were building up a little too much. Bathroom trough fixtures were looking a little antiquated. The field house was starting to show some age, at least to me. It was showing signs of needing to take the next round of freshening, or maybe something even more extensive. There were some other venues as big, or bigger by then. I believe it still had a raised floor, when I got to college, and then they put the synthetic floor in the last year or so I was there. I was there for a BA and a year of grad school. Don’t hold me to the timing. Things run together, especially when you still harbor anger about something bad that was done to something you loved. The synthetic floor was a terrible thing. It was like making Angelina Jolie wear a Carhartt jump suit to tango in Mr. and Mrs. Smith. It was like forcing Jennifer Lawrence into Coleman rain gear for a ballet number in a musical she will sadly probably never get to make. It was BAD. REAL BAD!

    Anyway, my fondest years at the field house were when it was its most unrefined and youthful–the rolling sectional basketball floor on the dirt. Every time the kids started stomping their feet in the pull out bleachers dust rose up and interacted with the field house lighting at night, or the afternoon sun shafts in day games, to give the whole place not just a look but a smell and a taste like nothing else, save for maybe a live stock auction barn arena full of–not ranchers bidding–but beautiful women and nubile coeds on the arms of lucky men and boys intoxicated by their sweet perfumes. Jesus, what I wouldn’t give to see and smell that all again!!!

    I know its all so much better now, but it was all so much more raw and real and visceral back then.

    Like the old timers talking about territorial and early statehood Kansas, I can recall Allen Field House for you in its youth, but I can’t make you really know what it was like. You had to be there then.

    “If you build it, they will come.”

    Most certainly they have.

    I only hope what they recall when they get old will be as sweet to recall as Allen Field House in its youth.

    Rock Chalk!

  • @jaybate-1.0 I really enjoyed that as someone who was always a fan from afar and never made it to the Phog until he 90’s.

  • @Barney

    I’m glad. Ask others about the early field house days, whenever you can. And know that my father waxed nostalgic not for AFH, but for old Robinson Gym and Hoch Auditorium which were used prior to the building of AFH as the home of the Kansas Basketball. One cool thing is you can still go into Hoch Auditorium up on Jayhawk Boulevard and imagine the basketball court that was once inside it. Note: I could be wrong about Hoch. I’m sorry, I can’t swear to it. But I recall they played some seasons there. Kansas basketball has been played in more than AFH regardless. It had to create its importance. It didn’t start out important. It had to build its legacy. It did not come with one. What distinguishes KU basketball from all other programs, is we know our daddy and our daddy was the game’s daddy–James Naismith. Don’t ever let anyone ever tell you this doesn’t matter. It is THE difference. Daddy’s name is on the sacred wood for a reason. It is not just there to copy some other university naming their floor after a good coach they had one time. It is named for the guy that invented the game that has spread round the world and broken down at least to some extent racial, ethnic and cultural barriers. This is not hype. This is not PR. This is not speculation. This is not folk tale. This is TRUTH.

    If I still recall my Dad’s remarks, Old Robinson Gymnasium and then Hoch were where Kansas basketball were played prior to Allen Field House. But don’t trust me. Read up on the legacy yourself. Remember: Phog’s legendary career and James Naismith’s years as coach and then AD all occurred BEFORE a spade was turned on Allen Field House. When you walk through the portraits of early greats of KU basketball, remember that Adolph Rupp, Dean Smith, Dutch Lonborg, and Ralph Miller (all future Hall of Fame coaches), Paul Endacott, Bill Johnson, and Clyde Lovellette (Hall of Fame players), two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Bill Hougland, Ray Evans (an all-American in basketball AND football I recall) and even former United States Senator Bob Dole never played a game in Allen Field House. Just the first 50 years of KU’s basketball legacy is wildly more amazing than the entire history of places like Duke, or UNC. KU had been great at basketball for nearly 4 decades before UCLA even opened its doors as a four year college and KU’s former chancellor, the great Franklin Murphy, is the guy who built UCLA into a world class university. Its an amazing legacy. Simply amazing. And its goodness rubs off on all that love and cherish it. This is the greatest legacy of the greatest basketball program of the greatest game ever invented.

    Rock Chalk!

  • @jaybate-1.0

    Unfortunately, Hock Auditorium burned down in 1991 and was rebuilt in 1997 and the interior does not resemble anything like the old building; it was rebuilt at the time as a state-of-the-art teaching facility.

  • Before mr. Bate’s personal history essay on Allen field house, (excellent reading I must say), this thread has quite a few painful memories of KU’s Tourney losses. This touches on arguably the most discussed topic on this site, I.e., As spelled out by HEM, a blue blood school SHOULD In Theory make the final four more often than KU has of late, and how important that is Measuring or evaluating a teams ultimate perceived success. And Which makes for LOTS of painful memories when we fall short… I personally have made my peace with KU and the tourney. The best teams quite often don’t win it or even make the final four on a statistically reliable basis. College kids Having to win 6 games in a row where all kinds of things can happen is just plain HARD no matter how great you seem to be on paper.

    Yes we are blue blood, yes we have a top tier legendary coach and yes get enough of a blend of top players at all positions pretty consistently. But that does not necessarily translate into making the final four or winning it all.

    SO is the Tourney essentially a source of probable pain for us? How much pain vs how much pleasure and fan fulfillment are you all getting out of it in comparison the the pleasure and fulfillment and excitement you get out of the regular season? Is it your favorite part of the whole season? For those who lean heavily towards the winning the-NCAA-is-the-only-thing-that-matters view of d1 basketball, pain and disappointment must be a familiar feeling.

    I’m sure one year in the next 10 to 20 years we will win it. But I dont expect it, so when we lose, it doenst stay with me as much as it does apparently with other people.

  • JayHawkFanToo said:


    Unfortunately, Hock Auditorium burned down in 1991 and was rebuilt in 1997 and the interior does not resemble anything like the old building; it was rebuilt at the time as a state-of-the-art teaching facility.

    How sad. Thank you for the memory augmentation. Regardless, it is spelled Hoch. Now the cob webs are starting to clear. They kept the facade virtually intact, so you can’t really tell any change as you drive down the boulevard. They did make the subtle facade change in the relief inscription from Hoch Auditorium to Hoch Auditoria and then called it Budig Hall, or something, out front, right? Ugh. Time marches on. A “state of the art teaching facility” sounds like one of those phrases like national security, or department of the interior, or department of defense, that mean anything but what they appear to denote. Hoch Auditoria is really just comprised of several large lecture halls behind the old facade, plus a few smaller ones, too, right? Yea. Nothing much state of the art about large lecture halls. They have been part of universities for a looooooong time. They are where the poor freshman and sophomores are sent, before they have paid enough tuition fees to justify getting a small enough class to have a meaningful relationship with a tenured professor. 🙂

  • @jaybate-1.0 My only class in Hoch was Chemistry with Jacob Kleinberg in 74-75. He was always saying, “So, let’s recapitulate.” We never capitulated, just re-capitulated.

  • @mayjay I took Chemistry there a few years later, 77-78, I believe, with Dr. Bricker.

  • I took chemistry in Budig in ‘97 (first year it was open I believe). It was in a 1000 person lecture room and at least an extra 300 showed up on day one trying to add the class. It was my first class at KU and pretty wild how big it was (I’m from a town of 1500). Bugid has 3 lecture halls; one 1000 person and two will hold 500 people each. It was cutting edge 20 years ago with a really nice sound system and some pretty cool projectors. (Nice seats too)

    I had no idea it was named after Gene Budig the baseball commissioner.

  • My roommate in the late '80s came home from his first day of class and remarked, incredulously, that his chemistry class was bigger than his home town.

  • Never had a class in Hoch. I did sing the Handels Solomon in there and had the huge review sessions from West Civ. Sitting in there I was trying to imagine a basketball game in there. Never could figure it out!

  • @jaybate-1.0

    You really should read up before posting. The name in the front of the building was left intact but the building itself was renamed Budig Hall in honor of the the Chancellor that was instrumental in getting the $23M needed for the rebuild.

    As far as not being State-of-the-Art and as you wrote…

    "really just comprised of several large lecture halls behind the old facade, plus a few smaller ones, too, right? Yea. Nothing much state of the art about large lecture halls. "

    Refer to this snippet about the project.

    When guests arrived for Budig Hall’s official dedication on October 31, 1997, KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway welcomed them to an entirely different facility, one that employed state-of-the-art educational and multimedia technology. According to the KU News Bureau, Budig Hall contained “one 1,000-seat and two 500-seat lecture halls, or auditoria. Each is equipped with three 10-by-14-foot video screens, upon which images from a variety of sources, such as the Internet, video or film, satellite link, laserdisc and 35 mm slide, can be projected.” And for science experiments, each room had “a covered floor trench [that] provides water, electricity, compressed air and drainage.” In addition to two underground floors devoted to library holdings, students could use Budig’s new 125-station computer laboratory and attend classes in, what was now, the University’s largest classroom structure.

    One could not but be impressed by the building’s high-tech, “Star Wars” interior, as the Topeka Capital-Journal described it. The University’s assistant provost, Richard Givens, told the paper “KU is one of the only universities in the country to have a facility like Budig Hall. Other schools also use the latest technology, but not to KU’s extent.” Back in August, the Kansan had reported that “the first days of classes” in Budig “left students and faculty in awe.” But the building’s exterior was equally remarkable, particularly because the architects were able to preserve Hoch’s gothic, limestone façade while incorporating flying-buttress-like glass atria on the east and west sides. It was a pleasing fusion of disparate architectural styles.

    Even 20 yeas later seems pretty State-of-the-Art to me.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Waiting for it . . .

  • @mayjay

    What is the line on the number of buffers… 😄

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