You can’t walk into Allen Fieldhouse without being a little blown away that an arena like this even exists anymore. The windows at the top of the gym make you feel like you’re in the 1970s. The wooden bleachers make you feel like it’s the 1950s. Then you look up, and the championship banners go back to the 1920s.

I was walking around Pauley Pavilion at UCLA a few weeks ago, and it was great — the food trucks lining the outdoor concourse were particularly awesome — but it wasn’t 100 years of basketball history crammed into one sturdy old basketball church of a building.

I’d wanted to go to Kansas to see a game for a while now. It’s been on my bucket list since college, and maybe even high school. Too many people have raved about the entire experience — the fans, the stadium, the town of Lawrence — for me to not make it there. Saturday it finally happened for a game between no. 15 KU and no. 9 Oklahoma State.

The gym was half-full with students 90 minutes before tipoff, and the crowd was buzzing. Or booing, technically. After quick bursts of cheers for Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid when they came out for warm-ups, there were much louder boos for Marcus Smart when he emerged from the tunnel. College hoops is so much more fun in person. When you’re surrounded by college kids with painted chests harassing someone like Smart at the top of their lungs — while Smart bobs up and down loving every second of it — it’s impossible not to love this sport.

On TV, college games can be harder to love, full of stupid charging calls, bad turnovers, and painful stretches of clueless offense. In person, the raw energy of a big game renders all that irrelevant.