KU, K-State open Big 12 Championship play on stormy Kansas City night

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Big 12 Men’s Championship began its first full slate of games Wednesday in its expanded tournament of 14 teams.

That meant all the pep rallies for the tournament here to stay in Kansas City through 2031.

“I’ve been coming to the Big 12 Tournament since first grade with my family we come up every year it’s just such a good environment,” Elyssa Frieze, who will attend KU next year, said.

“Pretty excited this is a pretty cool atmosphere, cool to see all the different teams out here,” Cody Burnett, a Kansas State fan making his first trip to the tournament, said.

With Oklahoma, Texas leaving, 4 more schools make their way to Big 12

Evening games featured K-State defeating the Texas Longhorns 78-74.

Kansas also took on Cincinnati in late night action as neither team from the Sunflower State earned byes into the quarterfinals. That game ended with Cincinnati beating Kansas 72-52.

“Not the year we wanted but there’s a chance, it’s March Madness right?” Manny Martinez said.

KU great Tyshawn Taylor says this team reminds him of his that went to the National Championship in 2012.

“We probably aren’t that talented, but I think we have all the pieces to win,” he said during Wednesday’s pep rally.

Equally surprising as the seasons by the teams from the Sunflower state, for some fans, the night’s weather.

“I’m hoping the weather holds up because we didn’t bring an umbrella,” Brian Hake said.

It didn’t with lightning followed by downpours and hail, knocking out the satellite signal to some Power and Light bars in the final minute of the K-State game.

“Last time we went on vacation we got stuck in a rain storm so per usual we got stuck in some sort of severe weather,” said Doug Tetreault, a KU fan from Austin, Texas.

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