Sunflower Showdown Sunday

1:40–Arrival at Bufaflo Wild Wings. Many tables are filled, but many are not. Two gentlemen at one end of the bar, but nobody else. Most of the crowd from watching the Michigan State-Virginia game has left. The San Diego State-Duke game is up now. A few fans, but nowhere near what it will be by 4:15 when the Jayhawks and Shockers tip off. 

1:45–My first round of Buzztime trivia begins. The last round of the short form seven question game for the day. At 2, it goes to the 15 question Countdown, the general knowledge game which is Buzztime’s signature. 

The friendly Sekou is tending bar this afternoon. Greeted me warmly and filled up my glass with Diet Pepsi right away.  Because I’m a regular, I don’t have to use the standard Buffalo Wild Wings glasses. I’m allowed to use my own drinkware. 

For a few months last year, it was a giant 52-ounce mug from 7-11, which we don’t have in western Kansas. By the end of the year, I felt a bit gauche about drinking out of a container that big, so I switched to a 24 ounce Tervis glass. It was LSU first,  and now I usually alternate between  the Arizona Cardinals and Milwaukee Bucks. I also have one for the Toronto Maple Leafs, but someone said she didn’t like Canada. Understood. 

First question fo the day: THe United States attacked Baghdad after learning of a plot to assassintate whom? The answer: George H.W. Bush, who was in his last days as President before making way for Bill Clinton. 

Second question: Which city burned in 64 A.D.? Of coruse it was Rome, which burned while Nero fiddled. 

It’s kind of warm at my bar seat. Glad I wore shorts. 

2 p.m.–First round of Countdown commences. Duke up 6-0 on San Diego State afte four minutes at the first television timeout. 

2:05 p.m.–Duke’s lead grows to 15-4. San Diego State calls timeout with 13:29 still to go in the first half. 

2:15 p.m.–A rash of music questions has allowed me to rack up points and take a 2,200-point lead over one of my trivia nemeses, RONDO. RONDO always sits alone at the bar and drinks Guinness Stout. He never orders food. RONDO only comes in on weekends, leaving me to wipe up during the week. 

2:22 p.m.–FOOTS is the winner. 14,181 to 11.985 for RONDO. RONDO’s score would win just about every game of Countdown at this Buffalo Wild Wings…but not this one. 

Another high score for the March Countdown board. I own nine of the 10. The tenth was done on March 2, before I started coming this month. 

2:25 p.m.–Went out to the patio for a second. It’s such a gorgeous day. Too bad Missouri still allows smoking on outdoor patios, or I might sit outside. 

Missouri will never adopt an indoor smoking ban, unless somehow a rash of left-wing legislators are elected, and that’s not likely, given the rural areas have nearly as much, if not more, strength than the large metro areas of Kansas City and St. Louis. 

Thankfully, Kansas City has adopted its own indoor smoking ban, or I might be stuck in Kansas all the time. The Sunflower State has banned smoking indoors in restaurants and bars which are not private clubs since 2009, the only good thing to come out of the eight years of the otherwise disastrous administrations of Kathleen $ebeliu$ and Mark Parkin$on. 

2:45 p.m.–My lead in Countdown Game 2 vs. RONDO is 2,253 points with five questions left. I’m in good shape.

San Diego State is not in good shape. The Aztecs trail Duke 37-24 at halftime. The Blue Devils are on their way to the South region semifinals in Houston Friday. 

It’s now 90 minutes to tip in Omaha between Kansas and Wichita State. Bob Davis and the Kansas radio crew have started their pregame show. 

The pressure in tournament games is usually on the higher seeded team. Not in this case.

I believe Wichita State has all the pressure. To the Shockers, beating KU would be armageddon, the end-all, be-all for their program. WSU constantly gripes about the Jayhawks avoiding them, but then again, why should KU play the Shockers? It would be a lose-lose for the Jayhawks. If they win, so what, it’s expected. If they lose, it would be the king of the mighty Big 12 losing to little brother from the Missouri Valley, a school whose overall athletic budget is less than half of KU’s budget for men’s basketball alone. Even when WSU had football, no major conference even remotely considered the Shockers for membership. 

4:10 p.m.–I took a round of trivia off after RONDO beat me, although his score was not high enough to get him on the top 10 list this month. I went back to it after he left just before 4. 

CBS is live from Omaha. Marv Albert, Len elmore and Chris Webber are setting the scene. We are only minutes away from tipoff. Surprisingly, there are open tables and open seats at the bar. No waiting. 

4:18 p.m.–No score after 69 seconds of play. WSU breakst he ice on two Darius Carter free throws. 

4:19 p.m.–Blocking foul against he Shockers’ Russell. Frank Mason III to the line, where he makes one of two. 

4:20 p.m.–Mason drains a three. KU 4-2. 

4:23 p.m.–First TV timeout. KU 8, WSU 5. 

4:30 p.m.–Tori just walked in. Loves my shirt. KU up 10-7 with 12:50 left in 1st half. 

4:36 p.m.–Tied at 12. Ron Baker misses 3 that would have given WSU the lead. Foul on the rebound against the Shockers. 

4:39 p.m.–Frank Mason III drains a trey to put KU up 171-2 with 9:35 left in 1st half. 

4:52 p.m.–Liz loves my shirt so much she wants to take a picture with me. Lovely. KU starting to assert itself, going up 24-16 with 5:08 to go in the first half. 

4:59 p.m.–Ron Baker drains a 25-footer, narrowing the gap to 24-23 with 2:59 left in the first half. TV timeout. 

5:06 p.m.–The Shockers just took a 29-26 lead on a Fred VanVleet three. KU had better get it together. 

5:09 p.m.–Halftime in Omaha with the Shockers up 29-26. Never dreamed that would happen. However, there’s still 20 minutes left. 

5:38 p.m.–The Jayhawk choke machine is in full effect. Shockers lead 37-30 a little more than three minutes into the second half, prompting Bill Self to call timeout. 

Bucknell. Bradley. Northern Iowa. Stanford. All have KO’d Self-coached KU teams on the first weekend of the tourney. Could Wichita State be joining the list? Looks like it unless the Jayhawks snap out of it. 

5:42 p.m.–Awfully quiet in here. Shockers up 41-30. If the Jayhawks lose, Buffalo Wild Wings outlets all across KC will have a totally dead week. No way Wichita State will draw that kind of interest 190 miles away. 

5:58 p.m.–KU is getting embarrassed. WSU leads 54-43 with 10:50 to go. The Shockers have led by as many as 14. The Jayhawks need to go on a run. NOW. 

6:08 p.m. –KU still trails 61-51 with 6:45 to go. Meanwhile, three of my trivia pals, Jane, Mark and John have arrived. Haven’t seen them in a couple of months. 

6:32 p.m.–The Jayhawks are officially an embarrassment. It’s bad enough to lose to Wichita State. It’s beyond bad to lose by 16 POINTS. Terrible KU. Just terrible. 

The 78-62 victory sends the Shockers into a Sweet 16 matchup Thursday at Cleveland vs. ACC champion Notre Dame. 

8:05 p.m.–I’ve seen so many posts on Facebook and Twitter about CBS showing Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback. And the round of boos he received from fans at Omaha. Mosts posts are anti-Brownback. 

I’m still playing trivia. Aside from the one game I lost to Rondo, I’ve been kicking a ton of rear ends. 

About David

I am a sportswriter for a group of weekly newspapers in small towns across northern Kansas. I grew up in New Orleans, went to college at LSU and wandered in the wilderness until Hurricane Katrina finally put me on the path to my current job.

Posted on March 22, 2015, in College Basketball and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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