Everything You Need to Know About Big 12 Basketball in KC
Throngs of fans flood the Power & Light District, decked out in a rainbow of colors, from burnt orange to Cyclone red and Jayhawk blue. Meanwhile, 10 teams face off inside Sprint Center in a showcase of athletic talent and competition that serves as a prelude to the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament. It’s the Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Championship, one of the most exciting sporting events in Kansas City.
Here’s everything you need to know about Big 12 basketball in KC:
Where to Watch
Sprint Center. Duh. The fourth busiest arena in the United States has hosted the tournament eight times since 2008 and is slated to continue this tradition through 2020.
But if you can’t get tickets or are only in town for the fun, tons of places all over the metro are perfect watch-party locales. To soak up the festive atmosphere, post up somewhere in the Power & Light District. More specifically, hit up KC Live! Block, a covered, open-air space complete with a giant TV screen and a concert-quality sound system so you won’t miss a single inbound pass or rim-rattling dunk.
That’s not to forget all of the restaurants and bars surrounding the KC Live! Block stage (Leinenkugel’s, Johnny’s Tavern and No Other Pub are all standouts). Plus, with as many sports bars as Kansas City claims, you won’t having any trouble finding one you love no matter who you root for (for example, Iowa State fans know a thing or two about Kelly’s Westport Inn).
Join the Festivities
Believe it or not, there’s more to the Championship than just spectating. Huge rallies, family-oriented experiences and two races highlight four days of unforgettable spectacle. Show your true colors at your favorite team’s pep rally or party with hundreds of fans at the Miller Lite Basketball Fan Fest.
Put your cardio to the test in one of the Big 12 Run races or bring the kids out to suit up for interactive games, giveaways, music and more at the free Big 12 GameDay Fan Experience on Grand Boulevard. No matter what you decide to do you’ll find it to be an unforgettable weekend.
In between tipoffs, head over to The College Basketball Experience, a hands-on entertainment facility that celebrates the sport’s heritage and allows visitors to literally get in the game. Even sweeter: ticket holders receive discounted entry. And fans will love the Big 12 Big Q competition, a barbecue cookoff that celebrates one of the city’s tastiest pastimes.
Don’t forget about the KC Streetcar, either. Travel for free from one end of Downtown KC to another and experience some of the most vibrant and diverse neighborhoods in the city.
Where to Eat
Whether you’re grabbing a quick bite in between halves or settling down for an extended dining experience after a long day of basketball, Kansas City’s diverse cuisine satisfies appetites and taste buds with a bounty of options to choose from near Sprint Center.
In the Power & Light District, County Road Ice House dishes out delicious options fueled by Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que—a KC classic. Discerning diners enjoy Bristol—a KC institution where the seafood is flown in daily—while The Mixx attracts health-conscious professionals looking for fast-casual soups, salads and sandwiches.