Posted on Apr 4, 2013 in Alumni News, News, and Sports
We’ve enjoyed reading KU fans’ memories of the 1988 NCAA championship game. Many of our future staff members were at the game or the celebrations that took place afterward, and they shared their memories also.
Lynn Loveland, assistant director of Kansas programs:
I went to the games and had a great seat on the floor. Very exciting–after the games we went to the Plaza to celebrate. I thought Kemper Arena was a great place to hold the game. Though the revenue wouldn’t come close to what they make now, everyone could actually see the game from their seats with no big screen needed.
David Johnston, director of internet services and marketing:
We got tickets to the championship at Kemper from disgruntled Duke fans. My seat ended up being right next to the junior high basketball coach who cut me during tryouts the previous year, effectively ending my basketball career! He was incredibly knowledgeable about the game, and we had a great time. At halftime with the score tied 50-50, he turned to me and said “that was the greatest half of basketball I’ve ever seen in my life.” Unforgettable experience.
Susan Younger, creative director:
The night of the win, we headed to campus and were stuck in our car for hours on Oread Avenue. Our kids sat on the window sills of our car and slapped thousands of hands. Everyone had their hands out the window and a steady stream of students ran by slapping them. My palms hurt for a couple of days. For the parade on campus, I took my sons out of school. We were on the boulevard in front of Snow Hall. My 8-year old Garrett said, “I wish someone would throw ME in the air.” A guy next to me grabbed him and before we could do anything, he was being tossed in the air. He was small, so he was being thrown up high and made it all the way down the mob to the front of Strong Hall, then they started to throw him back my way. The boy who grabbed him in the first place grabbed him back and said to me, “I’m so sorry ma’am, I should have asked if that was okay.” My son was a little scared but also excited.
About four guys came down the road carrying a yellow VW beetle and put it in the garden in front of Hoch. Trees in front of Wescoe were so overloaded, you could hear the trunks splinter and see them cracking in half. We were drenched in beer showers. People were shaking cans and spraying beer over the crowd. It was amazing!
Marcia Wilson, office assistant:
I was at the game and then at the team’s hotel after the game for the celebration in the street. The Oklahoma fans were watching from their hotel across the street. It was awesome!
Julie Lowrance, records specialist and license plate administrator:
I was a junior in high school in 1988. I remember watching the championship game at home with my parents and was so excited when KU won. There was a parade on Massachusetts Street a few days later. They let us out of school for the afternoon and we got to go and see it. It was so awesome! A great memory to have from my youth! I also remember my parents buying me a “Danny and the Miracles” t-shirt after KU won. Wish I still had that shirt!
Michelle Lang, assistant director of Kansas programs:
I was nine years old at the time of the 1988 championship game but I have some pretty clear memories of the night. My family watched the game at my aunt and uncle’s house near downtown Lawrence and I remember right after KU won we went outside and could hear people shooting off fireworks. Then we hopped in the car and drove through campus…that was the thing to do then instead of going to Mass Street.
Tim Brandt, director of the Adams Alumni Center
I was alive and in my prime at 37. We were suited up in the bar in the Marriott, where the team was staying. We had just completed a full day of drinking beer at the opening day of Royals baseball and were settled in. Oklahoma, a one seed and KU a one seed — both big 8 schools — not sure the rest of the basketball world cared much. After the game there was a solid mob assembly inside and outside the hotel. The rest was just a blur — the next day was not quite so much fun as we had to drive back to Wichita.
Photos courtesy of University Archives