Sports

Welcome to Cubs Country, Wichita

This is Royals country.

And probably Cardinals country.

Maybe a little Rockies interest.

Rangers, too. Some, not much.

So it was an eye-opener to get word last week that KGSO, 1410-AM and the city's only full-time sports radio station, was becoming an affiliate of the seventh-closest major-league club to Wichita — the Chicago Cubs.

KGSO general manager Todd Johnson says the station will air at least 100 Cubs games this season, and probably more.

There are benefits from having a Cubs radio affiliate in Wichita. For one, we'll get daily live updates on catcher Koyie Hill, a former Wichita State player.

And, as Johnson figures, we'll hear 18 Cubs-Cardinals games.

When KGSO and the Wichita Wingnuts couldn't come to an agreement to broadcast the team's third season — the Wingnuts will be on Wellington's KWME, 93.5-FM — Johnson went looking for baseball. His first call was to St. Louis, but the Cardinals didn't want to infringe on Kansas City's broadcast map.

Johnson knew that a Pittsburg station, KSEK-AM, was pleased after joining the Cubs network in 2009, so he called Chicago and was warmly welcomed to Cubs Nation.

"We had a deal done in about 10 minutes," Johnson said.

There are probably many Cubs fans in the area, either fans of Hill or longtime Wrigley watchers on cable's WGN television.

It'll be a pleasure to hear Cubs radio voices Pat Hughes and Ron Santo, the former Cubbie third baseman who lives and dies daily with his team.

Let the madness begin — Feb. 28 for basketball fans is always the day to take a deep breath.

March begins Monday.

There's exactly one day in this 31-day Cavalcade of Hoops where there are no college basketball tournaments being played — the 31st. You can take another breath then.

Four black, four purple, four blue — Wednesday begins The Eagle's celebration of the state's Division I success this season with the first of 12 full-page photos of its teams.

Wednesday through Saturday will feature full-page Wichita State photos. Kansas State photos follow March 10-13, followed by Kansas photos March 17-20.

Dreaming big — Let's say the Shockers go to St. Louis and win the conference tournament there for the first time, earning an automatic NCAA Tournament bid.

Their RPI will improve at least 10-or-so spots into the 40s, which would probably make them a 9- or 10-seed.

Those two seeds would be placed in a regional pod with 1- or 2-seeds.

You know where I'm going with this. Oklahoma City. KU. K-State. WSU.

My goodness, I-35 would become a drag strip and the Ford Center would be a ticket scalper's Mecca.

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