March Madness is a truly American condition that occurs each spring with symptoms that include brackets and office pools, round balls and team jerseys.
The cure for March Madness includes a heavy dose of participation in this spectator sport – usually at sports bar and the bigger the big screen TV, the better.
Another sure fire cure for March Madness is a visit to Kansas City, where the NCAA was founded, and specifically a visit to the College Basketball Experience. It’s tempting to call this place a museum, but it is so NOT a museum. Do you leave most museums all sweaty and smelly?
Experiencing the College Basketball Experience
The experience begins as you ride the elevator to the second floor and hear the coach shouting a few last words of encouragement before leaving the locker room. Then the doors open, the pep band plays, the crowd cheers and your heart gets to pumping.
Shoot a 3-pointer, slam a dunk, and see how high you can jump, and then read about record holders and NCAA rules governing such behavior. Practice your free throw and measure your shoe size to Shaquille O’Neal’s.
Bring a few friends along and work the court in a friendly, or not-so-friendly pick up game.
Sit at the anchor desk of the real ESPN Sports Center and cruise the NCAA Coaches Hall of Fame.
While you’re doing it, take time to read some of the history of the game on the walls and in nearby kiosks. You’ll learn that the NCAA was founded just a few blocks from here and Kansas City has hosted more Final Fours than any city in the country.
Yeah, take that bit of trivia to your watch party!
And wear that sweat on your brow like a badge of honor as you head out into a world overcome by March Madness.
Years that Kansas City Hosted the Final Four
1940 1941 1942
1953 1954 1955
1957 1961 1988