March in Kansas City really is all about basketball. With the Big 12 Conference Tournament and regional matchups for the NCAA Tournament occurring at the Sprint Center, teams from all over the nation will be flooding the downtown area in the upcoming weeks. A great way to get you and your family into the spirit of March Madness is to visit the College Basketball Experience.
The College Basketball Experience is housed in a 41,500 square foot facility at the Sprint Center. The museum, which is owned and operated by the National Association of Basketball Coaches, is also home to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. There are many interactive activities in the facility. Upon entering the facility, fans will step out of the “Tip Off Tunnel” which simulates the true to life entrance of a college basketball team complete with inspirational speeches from your head coach, the blinding of flashbulbs, and the roar of the crowd. “Center Court” is home to a full-size basketball court where you and your fellow guests can participate in a pick-up game, shoot around, or basketball clinic. If you’re a little dejected over your lack of dunking ability, head over to “Throw It Down” where you can attempt to dunk a basketball on one of six heights of hoops. For those who have long had the dream of announcing , visitors can step into the “Call the Highlights” booth to call the closing moments of some of the NCAA’s greatest games. During March Madness, the CBE will be showing tournament highlights, full games, and bracket updates on the many screens located around the facility.
The National Collegiate Hall of Fame inducted its first members in 2006. The initial class included over 180 players and coaches including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Phog Allen, Bob Knight, and Roy Williams. Since then, the Hall has inducted at least six new members each year. The Hall acts as a companion to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA which has aided the College Basketball Experience in creating exhibits. To assist in the promotion of the College Basketball Experience, the Sprint Center hosts the CBE Hall of Fame Classic at the opening of each basketball season. Local teams have won the CBE Hall of Fame Classic three times with the Missouri Tigers winning twice and the Kansas Jayhawks winning once.
The College Basketball Experience is open on Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and on Sundays from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. The cost of admission is $12 for adults, $9 for youth (6 to 17 years) and senior citizens, and Free for children under three years of age.