The KU men’s basketball team won the 1988 NCAA Divison I Men’s Basketball Tournament on April 4, 1988. The Jayhawks defeated Big 8 foe Oklahoma 83-79 in Kansas City’s Kemper Arena. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the 1988 National Champions, we collected everything we’ve ever written about that season: the players, the fans, the students, and the history of one of the greatest runs the NCAA tournament has ever seen.
After a season filled with ups and downs, a 14th straight conference championship and a trip to the Final Four, the Jayhawks fell to the Villanova Wildcats Saturday night in the national semifinal.
KU fans gathered in San Antonio, Allen Fieldhouse, and at watch parties from coast to coast to watch the Jayhawks in the Final Four.
At the Final Four
More than 5,000 Jayhawks started their game day right outside the Alamodome for the pregame party hosted by the KU Alumni Association and Kansas Athletics. The KU band, Spirit Squad and mascots held a pep rally, with food trucks and cash bars nearby.
Back home in Lawrence
Dozens of Lawrence-area bars and restaurants hosted watch parties, but the most popular site for a big KU game remained the same. Thousands of fans flocked to Allen Fieldhouse to watch the game on the video board. Students filled the student section, and threw shredded Kansans into the air for pregame introductions.
Wherever Jayhawks may be
Alumni networks hosted more than 75 watch parties around the country. Many network leaders claimed it was their biggest turnout in years. The Denver Network alone hosted 1,000 Jayhawks at Stoney’s Bar and Grill.
Although we hate to see the season end, the Alumni Association is proud of this team, and we are always proud to be a Jayhawk.
Jayhawks, your wishes have been granted: You can watch the the Final Four with announcers who love the Jayhawks as much as you do.
When KU plays Villanova in the Final Four Saturday night, tune in to TNT to watch the Kansas TeamCast. It will feature familiar faces Dave Armstrong, Scot Pollard and Rob Riggle breaking down the action.
TeamCast presentations are telecasts tailored to the schools participating in the Final Four national semifinals. The concept brings local flavor to the game with additional cameras and team-centric replays, custom halftimes, comprehensive team and player storylines and more.
Armstrong, ’83, will serve as the play-by-play announcer, which he’s done for the Jayhawks since 1993. He’s also served in the same role for multiple professional sports teams.
Pollard, d’97, partners with Armstrong as the color analyst. He’ll provide a unique perspective after a four-year career as a member of the Kansas men’s basketball team. Pollard finished his career in KU’s top 5 in rebounds and blocked shots and spent 12 years in the NBA.
Riggle, c’93, rounds out the team by reporting from the sideline on head coach Bill Self and the Jayhawks. (No word yet on how serious the KU actor and comedian will take his job.)
The regular telecast will be available on TBS, with Villanova’s TeamCast airing on truTV. Tip is expected to be 7:49 p.m. CDT Saturday night, or 40 minutes after the conclusion of the Michigan-Loyola Chicago game which begins at at 5:09 p.m.
If Scot Pollard’s enthusiasm in a video he posted to Facebook is a preview, the trio of Jayhawks are sure to have a fun night—as will we!
Join fellow Jayhawks for a Final Four pregame party hosted by the KU Alumni Association and Kansas Athletics.
The party takes place from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, March 31, in the parking lot of Tower of Americas, 736 Cesar E. Chavez Blvd. The parking lot is across the street from the main security entrance for the Alamodome—just look for Super Jay!
Festivities include a pep rally at 3 p.m. featuring the KU band, Spirit Squad and mascots. A beer garden, cash bars, food trucks and a DJ will also be on site. KU merchandise will be available for sale from Rally House.
Entrance to the pregame party is $10 per person. Tickets can be purchased in advance online and picked up during the following times. Tickets can also be purchased in-person.
Marriott River Center, 101 Bowie St.
Thursday, March 29: Noon-6 p.m.
Friday, March 30: 9 a.m.- 3 p.m.
Saturday, March 31: 8-11 a.m.
Remaining tickets will be sold at the entrance of the pregame party. Pregame party tickets are included in the travel packages for guests traveling with the Williams Education Fund/Kansas Athletics travel groups.
KU Alumni Association members can show their membership card at the KU Alumni table to receive a special members-only gift. Plus, enter to win a Jayhawk print by alumni artist Megh Knappenberger, f’04.
The KU basketball team will hold an open practice on Friday, March 30, from 1-1:50 p.m. at the Alamodome. The semifinal games tip off at 5:09 p.m. CDT with Loyola-Chicago taking on Michigan. The Kansas vs. Villanova game will follow at approximately 7:49 p.m. CDT.
When the KU Men’s Basketball team sent out the call, Jayhawks delivered.
After hours of pandemonium on Massachusetts Street, thousands of students, fans and alumni made the trek to Allen Fieldhouse to welcome the Final Four team home.
Fans were treated to a replay of the Elite Eight game, reliving Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk’s game-tying basket that sent the game to overtime and Malik Newman’s overtime scoring barrage to clinch a trip to San Antonio.
As the seconds ticked away on the replay, the video board transitioned to a highlight package of the game, mixed with fan videos from social media and the party on Mass Street. When the video ended with the Final Four logo, the crowd roared as the Jayhawks walked in.
With Devonte’ Graham leading the team in while holding the regional trophy, Head Coach Bill Self addressed the crowd first, asking the question everyone was thinking: “Did these guys play like men today, or what?”
Graham, Newman, and Mykhailiuk all spoke as well, thanking the fans for their support, and asking fans to continue that support at the final four.
“I hope all y’all can get to San Antonio,” Graham said, “and hopefully we can win two more for y’all. Rock Chalk.”
With a trip to the Final Four on the line, Jayhawk fans came out in full force. More than 70 watch parties around the country brought Jayhawks together in bars and restaurants from Ann Arbor to Washington, D.C. The game lived up to the hype, with KU defeating Duke in an instant classic. Check out some photos of just a few of the watch parties!
The Richmond ’Hawks wave the wheat at Carolina Ale House.
The Boise Jayhawks had a record turnout, with 35+ fans gathering to see the big game.
The Charlotte Jayhawks were deep in enemy territory, but that didn’t stop them from Rock Chalking it up after a big win over the home state’s Blue Devils!
Washington, D.C. fans fill Mackey’s for big games, but an Elite Eight game calls for a full Jayhawk takeover.
The Tampa Jayhawk Alumni Network is ready for the Final Four.
Seattle Jayhawks celebrate KU being Final Four bound!
The San Antonio Jayhawks were hopeful for a KU win, and now they get to welcome Jayhawks from everywhere to their city.
Keep an eye out for information on pep rallies and other festivities in San Antonio, as well as watch parties in a network near you! Visit our ’Hawks ’n Hoops postseason hub for more details.
After two consecutive losses in the Elite Eight, KU basketball fans were thrilled to storm Massachusetts Street in celebration. KU beat Duke 85-81 in overtime and at the sound of the buzzer Jayhawks knew what to do: sprint to Mass Street. Within minutes, fans filled the street and began to commemorate the long-awaited trip to the Final Four.
After Saturday’s 74-72 win over Texas Tech, the 2017-18 Kansas men’s basketball team clinched a 14th consecutive Big 12 regular-season championship.
The streak, which began with the 2004-05 team, is now the longest in NCAA history, passing UCLA’s 13 consecutive Pac-10 titles from 1967-79. The conference title is KU’s 61st, extending its own NCAA record.
Kansas Athletics commemorated the accomplishment with a video featuring the people that made KU’s legendary run possible:
In 1988, a couple of KU students hatched an idea, created a banner and left a legacy that has come to define KU’s storied Allen Fieldhouse, known to many simply as “the Phog.” Thirty years later, the friends and KU alumni reunited to reminisce about the banner and how it all came to be.
“I was in class one day and had been thinking about it for a while,” Todd Gilmore revealed in a recent article in the Kansas City Star. “Then we started talking about building it.”
Gilmore, a’88, and classmate Michael Gentemann, a’88, went on the record in a short documentary aired by ESPN this week, sharing the story of how their partner in crime, Tom Kippenberger, a’88, managed to secure ten shower curtains from McCollum Hall, pinning them together to form one massive banner.
Gentemann did the honors by sketching out the now-famous phrase while a group of friends painted the sacred text on the banner sprawled across the floor of a hallway in Marvin Hall.
The banner was first hoisted into the rafters of the fieldhouse on Feb. 20, 1988.
“I’d never ever heard the words ‘the Phog,’ and he coined it,” Gentemann said of Gilmore’s reference to Forrest Allen’s nickname, now synonymous with the fieldhouse that bears his name. “It took off from there. Now it’s on T-shirts, coffee mugs, credit cards… it’s on everything.”
The short documentary can be watched in its entirety here, with comments from Coach Bill Self, ESPN College Game Day Analyst Jay Bilas and Allen’s own granddaughter, Judy Morris, c’60.
“What it has done is not only give the opposing team a little shudder maybe as they come through the doors,” Morris reflects in the mini-documentary, “but it also puts my grandfather’s name, “Phog,” out there and makes people remember him.”
Phog Allen’s legacy, and the phrase inspired by his name, live on inside Allen Fieldhouse where a vinyl version of the banner has replaced the original. It hangs in the Booth Hall of Athletics, enshrined behind glass, where Gilmore can admire their handiwork and marvel at that magical time in 1988.
“To win the national championship our senior year, Danny’s last year, we had this banner put up, what a perfect way to end a college career,” he said. “Can’t get any better than that.”
ABOUT THE VIDEO:
Curtis Marsh, director of the DeBruce Center, shared some behind-the-scenes information about the making of the video.
“We hosted the film crew in the DeBruce Center, along with a sizable group of the guys who created the banner. It was great to see a collection of alumni who still remain close and connect regularly. They were a treat to have in the building, and we did all the interviews on the DeBruce Center third floor, just steps away from where the men’s and women’s basketball teams eat their evening meals.”
So, about the footage of the students creating the banner…
“The following day, a group of current students were filmed painting a replica of the Banner, pretending to hang it in the Fieldhouse and even pretending to steal the shower curtains. The film crew did such a great job with the video reenactment that many viewers think it’s the real footage from the 80s! Some clips came from a video from that time period, but the banner footage is from 2018.”
The creators of the famous “Beware of the Phog” banner, hanging at Allen Fieldhouse, home of the Jayhawks, tell you how they did it in this interview with Jesse Newell for the Kansas City Star.
As the 2017-2018 Kansas basketball season enters conference play, the “Commemorate the Gr8s” tour continues to provide fans a behind-the-scenes look at the history of KU Basketball.
The exhibit celebrates the anniversaries of the 1988 and 2008 title teams with memorabilia from KU’s national championship seasons. Thanks to a partnership between the University of Kansas Libraries and the KU Alumni Association, the exhibit is making its way across America on a 28-city tour, visiting watch parties and other Jayhawk alumni network events.
LeAnn Meyer, assistant director of advancement at KU Libraries, has seen firsthand how the Jayhawk connection brings people together on the tour stops.
“Connecting with alumni, both near and far, has been incredibly rewarding,” Meyer said. “Jayhawk pride can be found coast to coast, and these events provide an opportunity for friends and alums to mingle with one another while perusing iconic photographs and memorabilia from the University Archives. The exhibit items often spark fond memories, and the stories shared create bonds between local Jayhawks.”
The exhibit includes the newspapers and magazines chronicling Danny and the Miracles’ amazing run and Mario Chalmers’ tying shot against Memphis, pictures from before, during and after the games that made the titles possible, and other artifacts from the championship teams.
“I have had the opportunity to see the last three KU Library exhibits that have been here in Colorado Springs and each of them have been fun and interesting,” Merriman said. “The library staff has a track record of putting together amazing presentations of artifacts and memorabilia. Those of us living out of state truly appreciate the chance to view and relive those moments.”
The stops on the tour also provide a chance for local Jayhawks to get to know fellow KU alumni who live in their area. Visit our networks page to find a Facebook group with nearby Jayhawks, and visit kualumni.org/commemorate to learn more about the tour and see when it comes to a city near you.