|That’d be the Phog and the Phog|
Phog Allen was born Forrest Clare Allen in 1885. Which would make him125 years old, yesterday.
Who is this man that led the University of Kansas to name their basketball arena after him? Well, he was pretty awesome. A quick browse of his Wikipedia page lets us know that he won three college basketball titles, helped found the NCAA tournament, led the football team to a 5-2-1 record at one point, helped recruit Wilt Chamberlain and coached something like four HOF coaches and also, Bob Dole.
So what is the big deal?
Well North Texas is going into a place where Kansas has won 86% of their games since it opened. Since 1994, they have lost only 12 games for a winning percentage of 95%. They are currently on a 61 game home winning streak, second only in program history to their 62 game streak in the mid-nineties.
It will be very very difficult to win at that place.
What to look forward to if you are at the game:
Aside from the historically praised ‘Rock Chalk Jayhawk’ chant, this is my favorite:
After singing The Star-Spangled Banner, while the opposing team is being introduced, the members of the student section take out a copy of the student-run newspaper, The University Daily Kansan, and wave the paper in front of their faces, pretending to be reading it in an effort to show disinterest in the opposing team. After the opponents are introduced, a short video, detailing the history and the accomplishments of Kansas basketball is shown, to get the crowd excited. As the Jayhawks are introduced, the students rip up their newspapers and throw the confetti pieces of paper in the air as celebration. Whatever confetti remains is typically thrown in the air after the first basket made by the Jayhawks.
Read more about Allen Fieldhouse in Doug Ward’s piece for Espn.
What to look for if you cannot be at the game:
Espn3 will have it, so will Jayhawk TV which is carried on ESPN FullCourt. Head to your nearest sportsbar if you are sans-access.
What happens if we win?
North Texas gets some serious publicity, and could be in line for a top 25 spot. Maybe. It certainly will vault them up the Mid-Major top 25 list (we currently stand at 21). That is good for a number of reasons: recruiting, money, fame, etc. Most importantly, our chances of getting into the Tournament go up (however slightly). As it stands, our only chance of making the NCAA show for sure is to win the conference tournament in March. Getting quality wins –as well as dominating the balance of our schedule — may be some insurance if we happen to lose said conference tourney.
What happens if we lose?
Not much really. Did I mention it is really difficult to win at the Phog? Well, it is. No one will really blame us for losing — not even losing big. It happens. Again, our road to Houston goes through Hot Springs. We really want to play well because that has benefits, also. I mean, we don’t want to play Rice feeling all bad for ourselves, do we?