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!
Derby native Casey Combs walked across the stage at KU earlier this month, as she earned her Doctorate in Audiology. Casey is profoundly, or totally for a more practical term, deaf. Read full article and watch video
The Summer Venture in Business program is open to high-achieving 10th-, 11th- and 12th-grade minority students or those who would be the first in their families to attend college. Former KU student body president Stephonn Alcorn and his Student Senate coalition had proposed such a camp last year as one way to help increase campus diversity. Read full article.
Tom Eblen, who mentored a generation of journalists as general manager and news adviser for the University Daily Kansan, died Saturday at age 80 in Prairie Village. As general manager and adviser of the Daily Kansan, Eblen oversaw the newspaper’s business affairs and provided lasting advice to students on writing and editing. Read full article.
Perry Ellis was one of the many fan favorites participating in an exhibition game that featured more than 40 former KU players and coaches including 12 members of Kansas’ 2008 national title squad. Read full article.
Robert Cobb, a University faculty member and administrator for over 30 years, passed away last week at the age of 91. In his time at the University, Cobb was an English professor, department head, dean, executive vice chancellor, professor emeritus and more. Read full article.
The Sacramento Kings hosted a second pre-draft workout on Wednesday with last season’s National College Player of the Year – Kansas’ point guard Frank Mason III. Upon arriving in Sacramento on Tuesday, Mason caught the attention of social media for inviting a Jayhawks fan to meet him at his downtown hotel. Read full article and watch video.
For Elsa Rhae, body painter and 2013 University graduate in film and media studies, her senior year involved one fateful decision: which elective to take in order to fulfill her degree. Rhae, c’13, was featured on the cover of issue No. 5, 2014, of Kansas Alumni magazine. Read full article
Andy Anderegg, g’10, is featured in this article as a liberal arts success story. After receiving a master’s degree in fine arts from KU, Anderegg landed a job as a writer at Groupon and quickly climbed her way up the ladder. Read full article
Kevin Harlan, a KU School of Journalism alumnus, was a trending topic on Twitter and in sports blogs after his memorable call during the Rams-49ers game Monday, Sept. 12. Read full article and watch video.
An interactive exhibit created by Allison Metzger and Catherine Reinhart will be shown at the Iowa State University Design on Main Gallery in Ames from Oct. 1 to 31. The exhibit was funded through an Indiegogo campaign. Read full article
Former Kansas basketball player and ex-NBA star Scot Pollard, d’97, has been teammates with many people, but now he has teamed up with filmmaker and University film professor Kevin Willmott for a feature film titled “The Profit,” which premieres at Liberty Hall Sept. 24. Read full article
The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP named Phoenix partner Stephanie Quincy, l’91, as chair of the Phoenix office’s Labor & Employment Practice Group. Quincy was named to the 2014 list of “Top 25 Women” in Arizona by Southwest Super Lawyers. Read full article
Take a stroll down memory lane with Brian Hanni, the voice of the Kansas Jayhawks, as he catches up with former football player Micah Brown, c’09, as part of his Throwback Thursday podcast. Read transcript or listen to podcast
Becky Mandelbaum, c’13, has been named this year’s winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, and her collection of short stories will be published by the University of Georgia Press. Mandelbaum’s Bad Kansas will be available from the UGA Press in fall 2017. Read full article
The Los Angeles Lakers and former Kansas forward Thomas Robinson, ’13, agreed to a one-year deal; Robinson joins a full roster that includes fellow Jayhawk Tarik Black, who, in July, signed a two-year, $13 million deal to stay in Los Angeles. Read full article
Former KU point guard Aaron Miles, c’05, is settling in as an assistant coach at Florida Gulf Coast University, where he’s working under former KU men’s basketball assistant coach Joe Dooley. Read full article
Scot Pollard originally didn’t want to attend college anywhere east of California.
He took a few recruiting trips, and he verbally committed to Arizona. Then, he made a trip to Kansas.
“Late Night,” he says. “Come on, you just cannot touch walking in that building, there’s nothing like it in the whole world.”
And if you’ve ever been in Allen Fieldhouse, you know what he means. Fortunately, the atmosphere at the University of Kansas convinced him that this was the place to be, and Jayhawk fans for years have embraced the colorful character that is Scot Pollard, black fingernail polish and all.
That bond continues beyond college.
“The unique family atmosphere that you have when you go to the University of Kansas…it’s really grown even more, because everywhere I go in the whole world, and I’ve been around the world, I’ve stayed in a lot of different places, I’ve had some very unique experiences, it’s just different being a Jayhawk,” Pollard, d’97, explains.
He describes attending a Pacers game last year when Ben McLemore played. “I don’t know if I’ve ever shaken Ben McLemore’s hand, but he knows who I am, and I know who he is, and we know we have that common bond,” he says. “We’re in a family of Jayhawks.”
Jayhawk fans will have another opportunity to watch Scot Pollard—he’s a contestant on season 32 of the popular reality show “Survivor,” which premieres Wednesday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m. CT.
In a blog post titled “One Bad Loss” Paul Pierce shared his memories of the one that got away in 1997, and for Pierce, ’99, KU’s epic upset loss to Arizona still stings.
“Our team was just about unstoppable that season — we started the year 22-0,” Pierce noted. “ESPN was calling us the national title favorites. Our only loss during the regular season was against Mizzou in double OT, and we beat them by double-digits the next two times we faced them.”
The 1996-97 Jayhawks featured a line-up many consider the best in KU’s storied history, including future NBA stars like Paul Pierce, Raef LaFrentz and Scot Pollard, along with Jacque Vaughn, Jerod Hasse, Ryan Robertson and Billy Thomas to boot.
“We entered the 1997 NCAA tournament that year as the No. 1 overall seed and won our first two games convincingly. In the Sweet 16, we were set to face No. 4 Arizona. We had beaten them the previous season in the Sweet 16, so I felt like we were ready.”
But fate has a funny way of manifesting itself, and as KU relished the role of Cinderella in ’88, it would experience the madness of March in ’97 running headlong into eventual NCAA Tournament Champion Arizona, which had a date with destiny. Despite a thrilling comeback, KU would fall by three points, as a last-second shot clanged off the rim. As bad as the loss was for the rest of the team to take, it might have been harder on Pierce. Like all champions, Pierce wanted the ball in that clutch situation, and he remains haunted by those final seconds in which he never touched the ball.
A University Daily Kansan clipping captured the heartbreaking loss
“Coming all the way back from a big deficit and me not having a crack at the final shot made it hurt that much worse. I just remember crying in the locker room after that game. All of us were crying — the entire team was completely devastated. To us, it was a wasted season.”
KU Alumni and fans also shed tears along with Head Coach Roy Williams, who would call it the most painful loss of his coaching career. But as Pierce concluded, that’s why they call it March Madness.
“The tournament is unforgiving. If you have one bad game, that’s it. Throughout my career I’ve had many losses, but all these years later, this is one that still stings.”
Pierce’s full post, including pictures and video clips, can be read online at theplayerstribune.com. Danny Manning’s reflection on the ’88 championship, titled “It’s Over,” was featured earlier this year.
Student Alumni Leadership Board members had a blast working the 19th annual Rock Chalk Ball. This year’s theme was Jayhawks and Juleps, and seersucker suits, bright colors and derby hats were all on display. SALB members spent the night manning the auction tables and interacting with KU alumni.
“This year’s Rock Chalk Ball was so fun,” said Rachel Volk, SALB’s vice president for alumni relations. “I enjoyed being able to help organize this event for SALB members.”
Not only is Rock Chalk Ball a lot of fun, it’s a great opportunity for SALB members to see the strong community of KU alumni. With more than 900 Jayhawks in attendance, SALB members met all sorts of KU celebrities.
“I am a huge Celtics fan, so being able to meet Scot Pollard was the highlight of my night,” SALB member Madison Flint said.
Another KU celebrity students enjoyed talking with was Dean Neeli. She has so much enthusiasm and support for KU that being in her presence makes students feel empowered.
At the end of the night SALB members headed back to Lawrence and put another Rock Chalk Ball down in the books. It was a night to remember, and we can’t wait to see what next year’s event has in store.
–Autrin Naderi, vice president of communications, Student Alumni Leadership Board