A Gym Unlike Any Other

There are domes and then there is Cowboys Stadium.

There are domes and then there is Cowboys Stadium.

It's a stadium where all who enter can safely say they've never played basketball in a place like this.

"This is such a great environment. It's something different," Michigan forward Glenn Robinson III said. "I've been here once for one of the (NBA) all-star games, but a lot of people haven't been in a place like this. We have to take a look around and see where the scoreboards are. It seems like so much open space and it's a way bigger stadium than any of us have ever played in. It will be great and we are very excited."

For Kansas, Michigan, Florida and Florida Gulf Coast, this weekend's South Regional will be pressure packed with each team trying to advance to next weekend's Final Four in Atlanta, but after this experience that will seem like their home gyms.

The weekend is essentially a test run for next year's Final Four in Arlington and the shear magnitude of everything will likely be the focal point at first, but eventually, it will fade and it will be about business.

For the most part, aside from all the bells and whistles that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones' palace comes with, shooting will be the main concern this weekend, as every team will have to adjust to a far different background than one typically finds in any basketball game.

For the Jayhawks, it shouldn't be as big of an adjustment after playing in last year's Final Four at the cavernous Superdome in New Orleans.

"Just the experience, knowing what to expect from the lights and the background, but at the end of the day, it's just a basketball court. We all play on them," Kansas forward Kevin Young said.

It should be noted that the upper deck of the stadium, which opened in 2009 and already has hosted a Super Bowl and NBA All Star Game, will be curtained off, holding capacity to just over 42,000, though the building can seat over 100,000 for basketball in this configuration.

But, if that isn't enough, then you get the massive videoboard that is so big, it has a bigger width than the playing floor itself. It's no wonder that Thursday's shootaround was a little more business like than most are the day before a tournament game, as every player had to let the shock value wear off in time for Friday night.


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