If you’re like me, you’re going to be wired for just a wee bit longer this evening – I still think my heart rate is hovering above about 300 beats per minute after watching that three-overtime, instant classic victory. As we finally exhale after exulting, I’d like to take a moment to offer a tip of the cap to the fans at Allen Fieldhouse.
Over the next day or so, much will be written about KU, OU, the game, what woulda coulda shoulda happened, the Big XII, the anticipated rematch in Norman, and more. Personally, I think we should just end the regular season now because I can’t imagine another game topping this one, but I’m not going to comment here on the action between the lines (okay, just one comment: To anyone suggesting a controversy because of how close Mason was to Hield on the final inbounds play…just stop it. I see your inbounds play and raise you with the foul called on Mason that was a clean strip, the subsequent technical on Self, and a blow to Mason’s head at the end of OT that wasn’t called.) – I’m instead going to comment on what happened afterwards.
As usual, the Allen Fieldhouse Faithful received their typical lauding for their passion, intelligence, and volume. But check out the above picture – not only were fans quiet and respectful while Buddy Hield gave a postgame interview while seated on the court following the loss, but the fans also gave Hield a standing ovation when he wrapped up and came over to briefly talk to Dick Vitale. This continued as Hield made his way through Allen, with KU fans even asking for pictures and autographs.
Although since I wasn’t at tonight’s game I’m not able to directly compare the fans’ show of respect for Hield, it does bring to mind when Kevin Durant came to Lawrence in 2007 and played out of his mind during the first half of KU’s eventual win, scoring 25 points despite being double- and (at least once) triple-teamed. I sat a few rows behind the Texas bench that game, and as they headed to the locker room for halftime, the entire southwest side of the Fieldhouse around the tunnel gave Durant a standing ovation as he left the court, simply in awe of his effort.
Tonight’s effort was well-played, Kansas faithful. Hopefully you make the team as proud of you, as you are of the team.
Rock Chalk Classy Jayhawk, Go KU!