Kansas student goes viral for Allen Fieldhouse camping video | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Friday / June 21.
  • Kansas student goes viral for Allen Fieldhouse camping video

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    Camping out before games has been a Kansas basketball tradition since the 1970s. But with an upcoming top-5 matchup between KU and UConn — the two previous national champions — KU students have taken camping to the next level.

    The KU basketball camping leadership team said that over 85 camping groups have been created for the game, and they expect that number to grow to over 100 by Friday afternoon.

    “This is definitely larger than usual,” KU basketball camping leadership said. “For the last few years, typical games usually have somewhere between 50-70 camping groups.”

    Among the enthusiastic bunch of KU students camping out is senior Austin Eckert — who captured a viral video of the 6 a.m. atmosphere inside Allen FIeldhouse to kick off the camping for UConn on Wednesday morning.

    The video, originally posted on Eckert’s X page, quickly found its way to Barstool Sports, Bleacher Report, CBS Sports, ESPN and several other popular sports social media channels. The video on Eckert’s page alone has over 680,000 impressions on X.

    “I wasn’t expecting it to go off as much as it did,” Eckert said. “But no, it was crazy for sure. It was hard to stay off my phone.”

    Eckert, on top of filming the viral video, was rewarded with the No. 2 camping group spot — which he mentioned will be the closest he’s ever been to the action.

    Now, for those wondering how camping at KU works, there are a few steps. First is the lottery process.

    The lottery process is held the morning after the last home game. Depending on the day, doors to Allen Fieldhouse open between 5:30 and 7:30 a.m., with the lottery commencing promptly 30 minutes later.

    To participate, students must be present from the start of the lottery, as entry is barred for latecomers. The location for the lottery alternates between the north end of Allen Fieldhouse and, if unavailable, outside the south end of the parking garage.

    Students register online an hour before the lottery, and groups check in upon arrival to receive a draw number. The number that is drawn determines camping order, and one chance to draw is allotted to a camping group for every five members present. There is a maximum of six draws per group.

    As for the camping itself, the rules are pretty stringent. “Roll call” can occur anytime during designated camping hours (6 a.m.-10 p.m. on weekdays, 8 a.m.-10 p.m. on weekends), and each group must have at least one member present for the call. The final roll call happens three hours before the game, after which students can leave the Fieldhouse and return two hours before tipoff.

    Roll calls are announced loudly and all groups are required to respond. Missing a roll call leads to a group being crossed off the list, a decision that can be disputed by a majority vote among present groups. Roll call simply ensures that groups are committed to the cause and present for camping hours.

    Another aspect of camping is suspensions, due to events like other KU sports games or extreme weather. Suspensions effectively end camping for the day and are categorized as mandatory or non-mandatory. A unanimous group vote is required for a non-mandatory suspension.

    The camping craziness and energy shown so far this week could make for quite the atmosphere in Allen Fieldhouse.

    Tipoff for No. 4 UConn vs. No. 5 Kansas is set for 9 p.m. ET on Friday.

    “This is a battle of the national champions and its going to take place at the best college venue in the entire country,” Eckert said. “I think it’s going to be electric.”

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