Those of you that like to keep (or buy) recordings of KU basketball and football games are probably well aware of NCAA OnDemand. The pickings are slim as far as KU football goes. Sadly I was hoping to find last year's Insight Bowl but I didn't see it. Anyone know if that game is commercially available on DVD?
Anyway, while I didn't find the Insight Bowl DVD I did find (and purchase) a great DVD made by ESPN and available at NCAA OnDemand. It's called "Kansas Basketball: Greatest Games" although ESPN should have called it "Greatest Games that aired on our family of networks" as all the games were either on ABC or ESPN. There are 6 games on 3 DVDs.
KU at NC State from December 1987. Aired on ABC Sports. Announcers are Keith Jackson and Dick Vitale (who we have to hear drool over fellow Italian-Americans Jim Valvano, Vinnie Del Negro, and Chris Corchiani) . Interesting thing about this game is you see the starting 5 Larry Brown originally hoped he would have that season. The starting 5 was Otis Livingston, Manning, Pritchard, Marvin Branch, and Archie Marshall. Piper and Newton were backup players. As we all know, Livingston, Branch,Marshall, and reseve Mike Massuci would all be injured or off the team before the great run to the championship. Other intesting thing about this game is NC State's court. At the time they had a rubberlike tartan court instead of a wood floor. I suppose some out there are probably too young to remember that.
KU at K-State from February 1988. Aired on ESPN. Announcers were Roger Twibell and Larry Conley. This is the famous game where Willie the Wildcat on his roller skates ran into Roger Twibell while he and Conley were on the court giving their preview of the game. This happened live. This was the last year of Ahearn Fieldhouse so watching this game recently marked the first time I had rewatched a game played in Ahearn Fieldhouse since basketball moved to Bramlage. I have to say it was kind of cool watching a game played in Ahearn again. I'd forgotten what it was like. For those who don't kow, think of Ahearn as a slightly smaller prototype of Allen Fieldhouse. While I was a already diehard KU fan back then, I was also a KSU fan (had to be since most of my family went there) and their 1988 team was a good one. That team had my all-time favorite KSU basketball player (assuming it's possible for a KU grad to have a favorite anything from KSU). You're probably thinking Mitch Richmond. Wrong. It was Steve Henson. Loved how that guy played.
Georgia Tech at KU from New Year's Day 2005. Aired on ESPN. Announcers were Dan Shulman and Dick Vitale. Everyone probably remembers the story here. This game was played the year after GTech eliminated Bill Self's inaugural KU team in the Elite 8. This game was played without an injured Wayne Simien (it was the thumb this time). KU trailed by 16 at one point before coming back to force OT where Langford hit a last second shot to win the game. Jarrett Jack once again lit up KU. CJ Giles started in place of Simien and fouled out in like 10 seconds. Galindo and Moulaye Niang also played several minutes in this game. KU's frontcourt that day was Giles, Moody, Niang, and Galindo (when KU went small) with a little bit of Kaun and Jackson. I can't believe we won that game.
Big 12 Tournament Championship: KU vs Texas in 2006 in Dallas. Aired on ESPN. Announcers were Ron Franklin and Fran Fraschilla. KU avenges the beatdown UT put on the baby Jayhawks in Austin. That was a stacked Longhorn team too with LaMarcus Aldridge, PJ Tucker, Daniel Gibson, Royal Ivey, Brian Boddicker, and freshman AJ Abrams.
KU vs #1 Florida in Las Vegas in November 2006 (same day we lost to Mizzou in football in Columbia). Aired on ESPN2. Announcers were Shulman and Vitale. If there's one game of the 6 included in this DVD set that folks probably already have a copy of I would guess it's this one. Not much need to summarize this game. It's probably relatively fresh in everyone's mind. Julian Wright put on a show.
Big 12 Tournament Championship: KU vs Texas in 2007 in Oklahoma City. Aired on ESPN. Announcers are Franklin and Fraschilla. This game saw Durant go nuts on KU (again) to the tune of 37 points. And once again it wasn't enough as KU stormed back from an early hole (this time the deficit was 32-10) to win.
So what's missing from this compilation of games? Obviously, any classic game that did not air on ABC or an ESPN channel. Other than that, I do find it odd that there are no games from the Roy Williams era. I would have thought the KU vs Indiana game in 1993 (the one where Vaughn hit that last second 3-pointer in OT to win) would have been on here. I'm pretty sure that game was on ESPN but maybe I'm mistaken.
Sorry to sound like an infomercial for ESPN, but if you'd like a pleasant stroll down memory lane this is a nice DVD set to have. I especially like it because it's hard to find old regular season games available commercially. Most of what's available at NCAA OnDemand are just NCAA tournament games.