Don’t give up on Intrust Bank Arena’s NCAA dream

It was baffling and frustrating to see Intrust Bank Arena again fail to make the list of sites for early rounds of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, forcing the community dream to be deferred until 2016 at the earliest. Didn’t the strong attendance and fine hospitality Wichita showed for the 2011 NCAA women’s tournament make a favorable enough impression? Perhaps the selection team missed the electricity and record-setting house of the recent NBA preseason game – which prompted Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks to say, “There aren’t many non-NBA arenas as nice as this building.” Didn’t the NCAA at least hear about the big, enthusiastic crowds that have been drawn to the arena by the Wichita State University and Kansas State University men’s basketball games? Whatever the reason for the latest snub, arena officials and Wichita leaders must keep after the goal of hosting part of the big dance, which was part of what inspired the community eight years ago to build a downtown arena.