LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Even for a school like Kansas, where excitement and hype surrounds every season, this 29th Late Night in the Phog was one to remember.
With perhaps the most-heralded class in school history making its debut, led by freshman Andrew Wiggins, fans started gathering en masse Friday morning outside Allen Fieldhouse.
"You're a little bit excited because how many places in America can there be 25,000 people waiting to get into a 16,300-seat building other than Lawrence, Kansas," coach Bill Self told the audience.
Many fans, some who drove for hours, didn't even make it into the arena. Others, such as Kansas senior David Powell, got in line at 7 p.m. Thursday and slept in a tent.
"I like to get the center court, front-row seats so we want to make sure we're the first ones here always," Powell said. "I didn't have a tent last year. I was just in a sleeping bag last year, so it was better than last year."
The Fieldhouse crowd broke into loud applause when Wiggins' name was mentioned for the first time. The evening contained its usual pomp and circumstance, complete with highlight videos, a Simon Says competition among fans and dances by the players and coaches.
KU fan and comedian Rob Riggle emceed the event, being carried by Kansas cheerleaders on an easy chair onto the court, dressed in a white tuxedo.
"This is madness, baby," Riggle said. "You have no idea how much I love Allen Fieldhouse. I used to sit up there and dream that one day I would be carried into Allen Fieldhouse in a white tuxedo on a white throne to 'Thunderstruck.'"
The most popular video spoofed "Old School" and featured Self yelling at the current transfers and freshmen — plus former announcer Max Falkenstien, dressed in gym shorts and a jersey for practice.
During the dance featuring Wiggins, set to Justin Timberlake's "Suit and Tie," Wiggins was the first to do a short solo number, drawing huge cheers.
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