Sports

KCUR 89.3 covers community-related topics about sports in the Kansas City region. Do you have a story idea? E-mail News Director Maria Carter, maria@kcur.org.

Ian Echlin

When the NCAA basketball tournament begins today for the top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks, chances are they’ll successfully move on to the next round.  A No. 1 seed has never lost to a No. 16 seed.

But if the Jayhawks are upset along the way in a bid for their fourth NCAA title, it's not just KU’s season that will come to an end.  This tournament will be the finishing touch on 32 years of broadcasts by Bob Davis.

The top-ranked Kansas Jayhawks completed a successful college basketball weekend after being named the overall No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

It was academic after winning the Big 12 regular season and the tournament title in Kansas City over the weekend. But now that the Jayhawks have their No. 1 seed, this is the analogy coach Bill Self uses.

“It’d be like having a stellar high school career and it’s over, but when you get to college you got start all over again and go compete,” said Self.

The ones who figure to be most disappointed Friday by the quarterfinal results in the Big 12 basketball tournament are the Kansas City merchants since the Iowa State fans are heading home early.

Of the four games played at Sprint Center, only the last game of the day between Oklahoma and Iowa State went down to the final minute. The Sooners prevailed with senior Buddy Hield scoring 39 points. Fellow senior Georges Niang of the Cyclones scored 31. His biggest disappointment was not making it three years in a row for a Cyclone tournament championship.

SD Dirk / Flickr-CC

It’s hard to believe that the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship — the main event of March Madness — was, for years, boringly sane, with all of eight teams. Filling out a bracket probably wasn’t that exciting when the second round was also the Final Four.

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

Unlike the Kansas City Chiefs, success hasn’t meant promotions for Kansas City Royals management.

The Chiefs finished the regular season with 10 wins in a row and their first playoff victory since 1994. In January, the Philadelphia Eagles named Doug Pederson, one of the assistant coaches for the Chiefs, their head coach.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

It’s a new year, but the Kansas City Royals believe that spring training in Surprise, Arizona, is the starting point for making another run at a World Series championship. Familiar players are returning, but some newcomers are blending in, too.

No team in Major League Baseball has won back-to-back World Series titles since the New York Yankees won three in a row from 1998 to 2000. 

Mizzou Athletics

The University of Missouri women’s basketball team believes it has found the right mix to increase attendance — homegrown talent, and of course, winning.

With a record of 21-6, the Missouri Tigers are in the running for their first bid to the NCAA tournament since 2006. As far as local talent, Sophie Cunningham is the jolt the women’s program at Mizzou needed. She’s the first McDonald’s High School All-American to play for the Tigers, and she’s from Columbia. In her fourth game on the college level against Wake Forest, Cunningham scored 42 points.

Big 12

There might be some big changes coming to the Big 12 Conference as early as this summer.

Conference presidents and chancellors have been talking about the future of the league for a while.

But University of Oklahoma President David Boren let a little information slip out.

"We've sort of said to ourselves: Come this summer, we're going to have to finally make a decision about what we do. We cannot indefinitely postpone decisions," Boren told The Oklahoman. "That's what I had gotten frustrated about. I thought we were spinning our wheels."

Twitter - @Sluggerrr

As sports fans, we wear our hearts on our sleeves, and our team’s name over our hearts. We’ll sleep out for days to get tickets, travel hundreds of miles to watch exhibitions, spend thousands of dollars, quit jobs and skip weddings to be at the big game or tournament—without necessarily even getting inside. We’ll stand in freezing cold, blistering heat, pelting rain. We’ll paint our faces, shave our heads, don moose antlers … just to show how much we care.

Yes, it’s crazy. But is it love?

Keith Allison / Flickr Creative Commons

If you’re a professional baseball player, the last thing you want to hear is that you’re not running correctly.  But that’s what happened to one of the star players for the Kansas City Royals.

With spring training starting this month, outfielder Lorenzo Cain is still trying to adjust his running style.

That didn’t show in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series. Cain’s dash from all the way from first base to home on a single clinched the second straight American League pennant for the Kansas City Royals. 

Out of sync

In the last half of the Kansas City Chiefs season, everything seemed to go right — an 11-game winning streak to end the regular season and their first playoff win since 1994. But in the courtroom, an age discrimination case against the Chiefs was turning problematic.

Court documents filed this week indicate the Chiefs have now settled the case out of court. Neither the plaintiff, former Chiefs maintenance manager Steve Cox, nor his attorney would comment on the settlement. The Chiefs did not respond to a request for comment.

Courtesy Photo / HNTB

No, we haven't forgotten about the heartbreaking loss against the Patriots that took the Kansas City Chiefs out of the NFL playoffs.

But Kansas City will be represented in a big way on Sunday as the Denver Broncos face off against the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50.

Cody Newill / KCUR 89.3

It's been a pretty magical year for the Royals, hasn't it?

Months after hundreds of thousands of Royals fans descended upon downtown Kansas City in November for the team's World Series parade, thousands more are expected to fill Bartle Hall for the 2016 Royals FanFest this weekend.

Courtesy / Kansas City Chiefs

Wow. That was some game against the Patriots, huh? Twenty-seven to nothing at halftime. Tom Brady benched with nearly a whole quarter left. And how about Jamaal Charles?

Adam / Flickr--CC

For years, the Kansas City Chiefs dominated the hearts of local sports fans.

But we wanted to know how the Kansas City Royals’ recent World Series win and national attention changed the conversation, even as the Chiefs flirted with a chance at the Super Bowl.

When we asked Kansas Citians to draw a line in the sand and answer, “Is Kansas City a football or baseball town?” we suspect a little bit of “Midwestern nice” took over.  

courtesy: Kansas City Chiefs

The New England Patriots held on to beat the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday in the AFC Division Playoff game at Gillette Stadium. 

The final score: 27-20.

KCUR 89.3

 

Recent success from the Kansas City Chiefs and Kansas City Royals begs the question local sports fans have been waiting to answer their whole lives.

Tell KCUR: Is Kansas City a football or baseball town? Why?

Kansas Citians rallied for the Royals in 2015 when they won the World Series. And in 2016, the Chiefs flirted with the Super Bowl.

So, tell us, would you paint our town red — or blue? And don't forget to explain yourself.

Courtesy / Alex Smith Blake

Alex Smith has been married 15 times.

No, not the star quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs.

We found 15 Alex Smiths who have been married in Jackson or Johnson counties in the last 20 years.

The NCAA has slapped the University of Missouri men's basketball team with several penalties for violations going back to 2011.

The NCAA investigation found donors compensated several players and prospects with money, iPads and transportation through a summer internship program, among other infractions. 

Jeremy Bernfield / KCUR 89.3

In 1995, the Rams moved from Los Angeles to St. Louis. In 1999 they won the Super Bowl. And now in 2016, they are headed back to L.A., leaving the Kansas City Chiefs Missouri's sole NFL team.

Sandwiched between bigger programs in Lawrence and Columbia, the UMKC men's basketball team can get lost. But the program is growing and thriving under head coach Kareem Richardson, who came to Kansas City three years ago after coaching at the University of Louisville. 

Courtesy Kathleen Kunkler

Alex Gordon has called Kansas City home for every season he's been in the MLB, and it looks like the 32-year-old may spend the rest of his career here.

Gordon, a four-time Gold Glove recipient, has signed to a four-year, $72 million contract with the Royals.

Gordon helped the Royals win the World Series in 2015 as a left fielder and with crucial at bats, including a solo home run that led to a 1-0 series lead versus the New York Mets.

When the weekly college basketball rankings were released before Monday night’s game between the Kansas Jayhawks and Oklahoma Sooners, each team was ranked number one— KU in the AP poll and OU in the coaches poll.

Then the Jayhawks battled OU for three overtimes before winning 109-106.

Down by one with 12 seconds left in the third overtime, Oklahoma had the ball and the chance to end the frustration of 14 straight losses at Allen Fieldhouse. But KU guard Frank Mason stole the inbound pass and was fouled. His free throws then sealed the Jayhawks win.

The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Oakland Raiders Sunday, 23-17, to finish the season with 10 wins in a row and an 11-5 record.

But it wasn’t enough to overtake the Denver Broncos in the AFC West since they also won.

When the Chiefs players were on the field, the score of the Broncos game wasn’t shown on the scoreboard at Arrowhead Stadium. Chiefs coach Andy Reid claims they didn’t care.

“They wanna play. You put somebody in front of them. They go play,” said Reid.

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen gave its blessing to a measure aimed at keeping the St. Louis Rams in town.

Now, it’s up to the NFL’s owners to see if this potentially expensive gambit paid off.

After the first semifinal match between Texas and Minnesota Thursday at the NCAA women’s volleyball championship, the Kansas Jayhawks play the second match of the evening against Nebraska.

The Jayhawks are bracing themselves for a crowd that won’t be in favor of them. KU junior Maggie Anderson grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, and followed the Huskers throughout high school, so she knows the volleyball pulse.

Hannah Copeland / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City and Independence will host the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in January 2017.

The Sprint Center in downtown Kansas City will host the senior and junior championships, and the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena in Independence will host the novice, intermediate and juvenile level events.

Kansas City Mayor Sly James says Kansas City area is a good fit for figure skating.

“Kansas City as you all know is a tremendous sports city,” Kansas City Mayor Sly James said. “We have the best sports fans in the world in my personal opinion.”

University of Kansas

He sounds like he could be your grandpa, recounting a snow day long ago.

“I showed them two peach baskets I’d nailed up at each end of the gym,” says 77-year-old James Naismith in a 1939 radio interview recently unearthed by a University of Kansas professor, “and I told them the idea was to throw the ball into the opposing team’s peach basket.”

Jeremy Bernfield / KCUR 89.3

The year is winding down, and if this wasn’t already one of the greatest years in local sports history, here come the re-energized Kansas City Chiefs. The Royals took the crown, but as commentator Victor Wishna explains in the latest edition of A Fan’s Notes, this might really be “our time.”

So. how ’bout them Chiefs? No, really — if you'd asked a month or so ago, most would’ve said, “Uh…what about ’em?”

Courtesy of KU Athletics (Instagram)

This fall, the three area major college football teams—Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri—haven’t provided much to cheer about. That is, unless you think a bowl game for a team with a 6-6 record grabs your attention. But there’s a sport that’s been a hidden gem in the Kansas City area—volleyball.

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