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Back to 2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament coverage

2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Jayhawks head to Minneapolis in quest to repeat NCAA national championship

KU men's basketball coach Bill Self signs a poster for Children's Learning Center students Wednesday, March 18, 2009. Fans greeted the Jayhawks at Allen Fieldhouse as they boarded a bus to begin their journey north to Minneapolis, where Kansas will play the North Dakota State Bison in its first game of the 2009 NCAA tournament on Friday.

KU men's basketball coach Bill Self signs a poster for Children's Learning Center students Wednesday, March 18, 2009. Fans greeted the Jayhawks at Allen Fieldhouse as they boarded a bus to begin their journey north to Minneapolis, where Kansas will play the North Dakota State Bison in its first game of the 2009 NCAA tournament on Friday.

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KU vs. North Dakota State

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Complete coverage of KU's first NCAA matchup of 2009.

The Kansas University Jayhawks began their road Wednesday afternoon to defend the 2008 NCAA championship.

Although all five starters from the title squad are gone, that doesn’t mean fans have lowered their expectations.

“Good luck. Hope you win the championship again,” said Branden Patterson, 9, of Lawrence.

Patterson and dozens of his friends with the Children’s Learning Center’s spring break program met the Jayhawk players and coaches at Allen Fieldhouse, as the team boarded a bus headed for Forbes Field in Topeka.

The team opens up NCAA Tournament play at 11:30 a.m. Friday against North Dakota State in Minneapolis.

About 50 fans wished them good luck before they started their travels.

Dexton Nickey, 11, was in the right place at the right time to see his favorite team in-person. Dexton is on spring break from school in Philadelphia, Miss., and he’s in Lawrence visiting family.

“KU is going all the way,” said Dexton, after the team had signed a basketball for him.

Fans — even the youngest ones — said the No. 3 seed team will have a tough road to return to the Final Four.

Still, Wednesday’s sendoff was a thrill for fans.

“They’re taller in person, and I guess I barely get to see them,” said Austin Butell, 11, of Lawrence. “I was here just to root them on, tell them I was going to be watching them.”

Comments

railer1122 10 years, 8 months ago

Is it just me... Or did Cole in that video look really focused... I have a feeling he will be ready to play

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 8 months ago

I think he was listening to some MOTOWN on his IPod.

ParkerGirl 10 years, 8 months ago

If you are visiting Minneapolis for the games this weekend you need to know the best place to park when attending the games at the Metrodome.

Downtown East Parking Ramp!

The MOST convenient underground parking is across the street from the Metrodome and easy to find!

Go to 4th Street and Park Avenue with the entrance off Park and we will have the famous "Parking Girls" out in full force the entire weekend!

Call (612)338-2778 for more details.

Travel Safe and hope to see you this weekend!

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