Kansas figured it would get a jump on warm-ups by arriving nice and early to the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis for its Midwest Regional Final against North Carolina on Sunday.
The NCAA had other ideas.
Rules prevent teams from touching the balls for the shoot-around until there are 57 minutes left before the tip-off. So even though the Jayhawks had finished their stretching, they were forced to stand around on the court while tournament officials guarded the two racks of balls that were stationed in front of the scorer’s table.
Kansas forward Thomas Robinson was smiling and joking along the baseline, while fifth-year senior Connor Teahan kept asking the officials whether he could start shooting. Meanwhile, a few thousand early arrivers in the stands created a very awkward fish-in-the-fishbowl vibe.
It wasn’t until the clocks above the goals started counting down from 57 minutes that the officials finally released the balls, allowing the Jayhawks to continue their warm-ups.
North Carolina had its timing down a little better.
The moment Kansas players could finally put their hands on the balls, the Tar Heels emerged from their tunnel to begin their warm-ups, too. So much for that early advantage.
Follow Dave Skretta on Twitter @APdaveskretta