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Kansas City…….Here I Am!

March 23, 2013

Right now as I type onto my laptop, I am sitting in the lobby of the Marriott Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri on the off day of the 2nd and 3rd (yeah that’s stupid) rounds of the NCAA Tournament.  I am volunteering for the NCAA helping out in “media relations.”  It’s been a great time.  I love KC.  Next to my hometown of Des Moines, it’s my 2nd favorite city in the U-S of A.  Yes for those of you who know me, it’s because I am a true blue KC Royals fan.  It’s also the closest “big city” to Des Moines, just 2 and 1/2 hours south on I-35.  Sorry Omaha, I don’t count you.

Last April I attended the wedding of my old broadcast radio partner Larry Cotlar.  I sat beside the longtime SID of Drake University in Des Moines, Mike Mahon.  He mentioned to me about volunteering for the KC NCAA Tourney in 2013.  Right now I am in a “transitional period” in my professional life, so I was free.  After an email to the SID of the Missouri Valley Conference, Mike Kern….it became a reality (The MVC is hosting).

I had never been to a men’s tourney, so I was pretty excited.  I went to the women’s regional in Des Moines last year and I have also been to a couple of early round games when the Iowa State women hosted in Ames.

Now for the games:

Game #1:  Wisconsin vs Ole Miss.  The Badgers couldn’t buy a basket and were upset by a team that was fighting for their tourney lives one week ago.  Beauty of this event.  Rebels 57-48. 

Game #2:  Kansas State and LaSalle.  The Sprint Center was painted in Purple for this game for nearby KSU.  There may have been about 100 LaSalle fans who made the trip from Philly.  Great game, LaSalle took a big halftime lead before the Wildcats would rally to tie, only to lose in the end 63-61.

Game #3:  North Carolina vs Villanova.  Pretty good ball game.  UNC would take a sizeable lead in the 1st half (20 pts), before Nova would again make a furious rally.  Roy Williams squad would hold them off 78-71.  It was his 700th career win.

Game #4:  Kansas and Western Kentucky.  Dandy of a game.  Despite playing a quasi road game, the Hilltoppers made things VERY exciting.  A made shot or two by WKY and I might have been witness to the first ever 16 seed over a 1, but it wasn’t meant to be and the Jayhawks survived and advanced 64-57.

Whew.  The first game tipped off at around 11:40 and the last game completed about 12 hours later.  Long day, but a fun day.  Now for Sunday.  KU vs UNC in the reunion of Roy Williams against the school he left before coming to Chapel Hill.  Then two “Cinderellas” meet when LaSalle takes on Ole Miss.  (I wonder how many people will hang around for that game?)

8 inches of snow is predicted here by Monday morning.  Hopefully everyone will be able to get home safely.

(Behind the scenes before the Kansas/Western Kentucky game Friday night at the Sprint Center).

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2 Comments
  1. Tracey Lukasak permalink

    What an awesome opportunity! I’m so glad you got to go and had a great, although tiring, time! 🙂

  2. Thanks Tracey, it was loads of fun.

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