Kansas coach Bill Self has heard about the cavernous and regal confines of Cowboys Stadium, the behemoth football stadium that will play host to top-seeded KU’s Sweet 16 game against No. 4 seed Michigan at 6:37 p.m. on Friday at the NCAA South Regional in Arlington, Texas.
Cowboys Stadium — nicknamed “Jerry World” for Cowbows owner Jerry Jones — is going through a trial run this weekend in advance of playing host to next year’s Final Four. And teams and fans will be treated to a viewing experience that includes a 60-yard, high-definition video screen hanging above the court and 42,614 seats for basketball.
“I know it's huge,” Self said on Wednesday after arriving in Dallas. “But I thought last year (in the Superdome) was pretty big, too. And when we played in Indianapolis, that place is huge. And when we played in Detroit, that place is huge. And so, we’ve been in domes. These players haven’t necessarily been in domes, but it’s a good problem to have, because if you're playing in domes that means you’re advancing in the tournament.”
By seeding, KU is the favorite in what could be the most entertaining of all four regions sites. In addition to No. 4 Michigan, No. 3 seed Florida will take on Cinderella story Florida Gulf Coast, the first No. 15 seed in the Sweet 16, for the Florida state title.
“It’ll be an interesting four-team field,” Self said. “There's four good teams playing, and we've got different story lines with each one of them. And I just want our guys to play with reckless abandon.”
• Self was also asked on Wednesday if he had any bad flashbacks while returning to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the scene of KU’s shocking loss to TCU in Fort Worth in February.
“I don't think we played in Dallas or Arlington this past year,” Self deadpanned. “ We played in Fort Worth, which is a big difference than Arlington.”