The doors of Allen Fieldhouse swing open at 8 a.m. today for ESPN College GameDay, but the line begins forming earlier. Students hoping to be spotted by their parents watching at home want first crack at prime air-time positions.
The event is free to the public, and there is open seating in the east stands for the morning portion of the show. An ESPN SportsCenter tease airs at 9 a.m., and the live show airs from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Parking for the morning event is free, but the lots must be cleared afterward, in preparation for the 8 p.m. game against Kansas State.
The ESPN College GameDay set will be on the floor of Allen Fieldhouse, where the show's four faces - Jay Bilas, Rece Davis, Hubert Davis and Digger Phelps - will talk into headsets.
"Of all the places we've been to the last four years, this is by far the best," Phelps said before KU's Friday afternoon practice. "When we were here the first year we were (set up) outside the lobby. The students were incredible with the signs, the enthusiasm. ... They really have the right atmosphere. Kansas has always been the school for me that has had the enthusiasm and spirit."
GameDay again airs live from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., but only ticketed customers can gain admission.
This is the GameDay crew's third visit to the Fieldhouse. KU defeated Texas, 90-65, on Jan. 29, 2005, and Texas A&M; defeated Kansas, 69-66, last season.
Part of the show's charm lies in spectators scrambling in the background, hoping to attract a camera. Pointers for gaining an edge in that pursuit:
¢ Come dressed as Dick Vitale, and don't forget to wear the stretchy bald cap.
¢ Construct a sign that stacks four words on top of each other, with the first letter of each word spelling "ESPN" in loud, red marker.
¢ This one might be asking too much of a KU basketball fan, but it could work: Hold up a Player of the Year campaign sign supporting North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough, the most serious contender not named Michael Beasley, Kansas State's mouthy freshman superstar.