Kansas City hosted a thrilling all-SEC Elite Eight matchup this past weekend in the 2019 NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional Final. Auburn defeated Kentucky in overtime, ending the 2019 college basketball season in Kansas City, but the three games in the regional final were hardly the only basketball taking place in KC.
Let me say this strategically; Allen Fieldhouse is the best college basketball arena, if not the best home of any sports team, and anyone who would argue otherwise is a close-minded homer. Only a Kentucky fan would argue that Rupp Arena is on the same level as “The Phog”. Only someone wearing a UNC or Duke shirt would say the Dean Dome or Cameron Indoor are equivalent to the Jayhawks home court. Pauley Pavilion, The Pit, Assembly Hall, all fall short of the glory that is the temple of college basketball, where the Jayhawks play on a court named for the inventor of the game (James Naismith, who was the first KU coach), and in a building named for a man who is given credit to creating modern basketball coaching (Forrest Allen, winner of three national titles). The Jayhawks are privileged to have the best home court advantage in all of major American athletics.
The Kansas State Wildcats have been a team of extremes for decades, either making a run of Final Fours from 1948-1964 or missing the tournament entirely for a dozen straight years in the 90s and 00s. The fans pack the “Octagon of Doom” when the hated Jayhawks are in town, but you could have a bleacher to yourself if you attended many other games. That makes Bramlage either one of the loudest venues in college basketball, or one of the tamest.
Municipal Auditorium is one of the most historic homes for basketball in the country, even eight decades since it opened. If you have a chance to see a hoops game here, you’ll be glad you made the journey.
Children’s Mercy Park is a tremendous stadium. Located just off the figurative yellow brick road of Kansas (Interstate 70), in an immense shopping, restaurant and entertainment district known as Village West, the home pitch of the Sporting KC MLS team is one of the best venues to watch a sporting event of any kind.