I walk through a door, a bellman greets me and our photographer and the electronic keys are handed to us. I'm thinking, 'this feels oddly familiar..."
This time last week Jenn and I were in Kansas City for the Big 12 Tournament at Sprint Center. This week it's the NCAA Tournament at the Sprint Center and we are literally staying in the same hotel, three floors lower this time around.
K-State arrived Wednesday a little after 8 p.m. at their hotel and we chatted with Bruce Weber for a few minutes following. Said they had dinner at Dave and Buster's, Will Spradling owns the team record on Pop-a-Shot.
They watched the movie Zero Dark Thirty on the bus over from Manhattan. Wonder if Bruce and the Wildcats will take a militaristic approach to the weekend in Kansas City.
Last time K-State was here, they left with a bitter taste in their mouth, losing to Kansas in the Big 12 Championship game. Weber was quick to remind us that even though the last game hurt, they did play three really good games at the Sprint Center BEFORE Kansas got ahold of them that Saturday night.
I K-State is a good team. I really do. Obviously they are or they wouldn't be in the NCAA Tournament as a 4 seed. As I am typing this, K-State is watching Boise State and LaSalle battle each other for the final spot in the field of 64 and the chance to play K-State. Boise from the Mountain West Conference has some quality wins over UNLV, San Diego State and Creighton IN Omaha. MWC is the highest ranked conference in the country according to the RPI, second in terms of overall strength of schedule. LaSalle hails from outside Philadelphia and hails from the Atlantic 10 Conference or the A10. Weber said he has no preference for either team. Noted both teams have shooters but LaSalle has incredible guards.
K-State kind of has a disadvantage waiting to find out who they will play in the second round, instead of other teams who know from the minute the selection show is announced.
Rodney mcGruder took it as a positive because the other team has already played a game, now they must another game, saying they will have tired legs for the second game in Kansas City.
The play-in games are kind of ridiculous but VCU validated them by making the Final Four when the play-in games were introduced. Maybe LaSalle makes that kind of run, or North Carolina A&T does or even James Madison. Who knows? But why not play the play-in games in the arena where the next round will be, instead of flying to one place, play one game and then get set to fly to another in a day? Doesn't seem to make much sense, and adds a ton of extra travel time to these teams. But I don't make the rules....
The BBQ debate is still raging in the town and it may never end. I feel like if a politician in Kansas City came out with a favorite BBQ place to eat, he or she would either be ostracized or cheered for that place. Some pundits would find a way to point out how eating at that place tells you a lot about them and it either wins or loses them votes.
We arrived at the same hotel asking about eating some BBQ away from the Big 4 (Oklahoma Joe's, Jack Stack, Arthur Bryant's and Gates) and they pull out a complete list of places they deem worthy of our stomachs. Front desk guy gives us his recommendations, then the bellhop looks at the list and says, "oh that place is awful..." It never ends here.
We will be eating off the beaten path this week, my stomach and I will keep you updated.