Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Woodling: O, those Omaha hoops


Notes and quotes while wondering how many people - in addition to me - have the same shirt size as Super Bowl XL. :

Omaha OK: Channel flipping the other day, I came across the Creighton-Wichita State men's basketball game. I stuck with the Missouri Valley Conference contest for a while, wondering if former KU walk-on Nick Bahe would be sitting on the Creighton bench.

Sure enough, following a basket, the camera panned to the Bluejays' bench as Bahe, dressed in street clothes, leaped into the air just like he did for two seasons at KU when he and Stephen Vinson outcheered the cheerleaders.

I later learned the attendance in Omaha's new Qwest Center was announced as 15,678, making it the largest crowd ever to watch a basketball game in Nebraska.

That's a record Nebraska University cannot break unless it builds a bigger arena. NU's Devaney Center holds 14,000 and change. Qwest Center officials say the two-year-old arena will hold 17,560 for basketball, an obvious reason why the NCAA awarded Omaha a first- and second-round men's tournament site in 2008.

Two Rings for Cromwell?: Kansas University added former quarterback Nolan Cromwell to its Memorial Stadium ring of honor last October. Now Cromwell, who has been the Seattle Seahawks' wide receivers coach for the last seven years, has a chance to earn a Super Bowl ring. Cromwell is the only player with KU ties involved in Super Bowl XL.

Fear and Loathing in Lubbock: How bad is Texas Tech's men's basketball attendance? The Red Raiders rank 10th in the Big 12 Conference with an average 6,899 fans per game. Only Kansas State (6,338) and Colorado (3,979) are lower. At the same time, the Tech women are averaging a Big 12-high 11,000-plus per game. Sounds like the folks in Lubbock are weary of waiting for Bob Knight to produce a winner : or toss another chair.

Thanks for the Memories: Max Falkenstien, now in the backstretch of six decades of broadcasting KU football and men's basketball, may have seen everything, but he hasn't seen hosts of fans wearing T-shirts honoring him. Now comes Larry Sinks, who is marketing "Thanks for the Memories, Max" Ts and hopes the fieldhouse will be full of them when Falkenstien calls his last game in Allen Fieldhouse on March 1 against Colorado. Check them out at

Unofficial Record?: KU's women have to be one of the few teams to have won a game by 50 points and lost a game by 50 points in the same season. In December, the Jayhawks waxed New Orleans, 100-50. Then Saturday, they lost to Baylor, 90-40.

Nine Donuts: Hard to believe that only three of the Big 12 men's basketball teams boast dependable big men. After LaMarcus Aldridge of Texas, Taj Gray of Oklahoma and Joseph Jones of Texas A&M;, the next best big men are probably Wes Wilkinson of Nebraska and Kevin Young of Missouri. Still, Kansas has arguably the league's best big-man committee in Sasha Kaun, Darnell Jackson and C.J. Giles.

With Aldridge, Gray and Jones likely to earn first-team All-Big 12 honors and with Iowa State's Curtis Stinson a virtual lock, who'll fill the fifth slot? Colorado's Richard Roby? K-State's Cartier Martin? Missouri's Thomas Gardner? Texas' P.J. Tucker or Daniel Gibson? KU's Brandon Rush? Good luck, voters.


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