Basketball and barbecue: a match made in Kansas City


Michael Alexiou flew in from Virginia for the Big 12 Tournament.

The University of Kansas alumni said a trip to Kansas City wouldn’t be complete without getting Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que.

“I graduated medical school in 1996,” said Alexiou. “That was the first year that Oklahoma Joe’s opened. I’ve been coming here every time I come back to Kansas City since.”

Just like Alexiou, many other fans stopped in to take part in the Kansas City tradition, which started in the early 1900s.

“It’s getting to be a pretty big event at the Sprint Center and it brings a lot of different fans from the different colleges here locally to Kansas City,” said Joe’s General Manager Jerry Taylor. “They all want to participate in the local barbecue trend.” 

Taylor said they prepare well to feed all the hungry fans in town for the tournament.

“We just make sure we schedule heavily and we just started cooking food towards the end of last week and our smokers are pretty much running 24/7 this week just trying to keep up,” said Taylor. 

Joe’s, Gate’s and Arthur Bryant’s are favorites, among more than 100 barbecue restaurants across the KC metro.

Add in basketball, and you have two fan favorites.

“It has definitely turned into Big 12 and barbecue,” said Taylor.  

There’s even a barbecue competition going on at the Sprint Center along with the Big 12 Tournament called ‘KC’s Big 12 Big Q‘.

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