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University of Kansas Athletics

The University of Kansas, most often referred to as either KU or simply Kansas, is a public university located in the city of Lawrence, Kansas. Kansas is best known for its men’s basketball program, which is one of the most storied and decorated in the United States. Kansas also has a football program which has experienced success throughout its history, although not on the level of the men’s basketball program. Kansas has fielded strong men’s and women’s track and field teams in the past as well, and they field baseball, softball and golf teams.

Kansas’ nickname is the Jayhawks, and their mascot is a bird which is a combination of a blue jay and a sparrowhawk. However, the origin of the Jayhawk nickname date back to pre-civil war Kansas, and are not directly connected with a bird. Kansas wears the colors crimson and royal blue. Kansas plays in Division I, in the Big 12. Kansas’ chief in-state rival is Kansas State University, and their football rivalry especially is quite fierce. Kansas is also athletic rivals with University of Missouri and Nebraska, although both those rivalries have dimmed somewhat due to the other schools joining other conferences.

To cover Kansas athletics, it’s necessary to highlight the men’s basketball program. Kansas is an absolute giant in the sport of men’s college basketball, with its roots stretching back to its first coach, Dr. James Naismith, who happens to be the inventor of the sport of basketball itself. Kansas has won the national title in basketball three times, most recently in 2008, and has been the runner up another six times. Kansas plays their home basketball games in Allen Fieldhouse, named after its legendary coach Phog Allen, where the Jayhawks have lost only 14 games over the past 25 years. Allen Fieldhouse is notorious for the deafening levels of noise produced by Kansas fans, and the ‘Rock Chalk’ chant is a famous Kansas tradition before and after games.

Despite the fact that men’s basketball is king at Kansas, other athletic programs have experienced their own measures of success. The football program has won multiple BSC bowls, although never capturing a national title. Both the men’s and women’s track and field and cross country teams have experienced great success, with the men’s track and field team winning seven national titles between track and cross country and the women’s winning one.