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In a radio interview with 610 AM Sports Radio in Kansas City on Wednesday, Missouri head football coach Gary Pinkel said that Missouri and Kansas should continue to play every year in football and that the game should be played in Kansas City.
Pinkel praised the job that new head basketball coach Frank Haith has done with the Tigers this season, leading them to a 27-4 overall record, a 14-4 mark against Big 12 opponents and a second-place finish behind league-champion Kansas in the regular season.
It didn't take long, though, for the conversation to gravitate to football and the inevitable question about whether Kansas and Missouri would restart the Border Showdown in football at some future point.
"You know we're going to play again," Pinkel told 610 radio host Bob Fescoe. "We need to play every game in Kansas City. Every year we should play the first or second week in September. It would be awesome. Basketball should do the same thing."
You all know that's going to happen," he said. We're going to make too much money doing it. And the fans want it to happen."
Asked if he had any regrets about leaving the Big 12 for the Southeastern Conference, Pinkel said" "I wish the Big 12 luck. I'd never wish Kansas luck," he quipped. "I can't do that. That's against my principles, but I certainly hope the Big 12 does really, really well."-
The Border War has been so good this season that it's sad to think it is coming to an end. Is it too greedy to ask for one more game between these two storied rivals?
Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks have won at least a share of their eighth straight Big 12 title with this weekend’s big win over Missouri in the final Border War showdown of a regular season. With it comes the respect of the national media in seeing Kansas as a power player good enough to win it all.
After the defections of the Morris twins, Markieff and Morris, to the NBA along with Josh Selby and the graduations of solid role players, KU was expected to have to reload this season. The incoming class wasn’t stacked like it will be next season. Thomas Robinson was more potential than proven. Tyshawn Taylor had not yet emerged as a co-star. Looking back, it’s clear that KU is living an unexpected scenario.
Jay Bilas of ESPN writes, "The performances of Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor against Missouri were really impressive. In a game that could have gotten away from the Jayhawks, they battled back and went 17-for-31 in the second half and overtime and made big play after big play. Taylor had 24 points, five assists and just one turnover and hit two big free throws in overtime. Robinson was his usual magnificent self, and Conner Teahan hit for 12 points on just four shots. Kansas also got good contributions from Kevin Young against smaller and quicker Missouri.
“Eight Big 12 titles in a row is hard to imagine, but that’s why Bill Self is a Hall of Famer. And he has a team that can win a title this year, with a little luck and a good draw.”
The Jayhawks have already proven they can hang with anyone in the country, so at this point I would argue it’s more a matter of skill — the same with the Missouri Tigers, Duke Blue Devis, North Carolina Tar Heels or Kentucky Wildcats. KU is no different and Bill Self’s team has shown that luck and draw are simply bonus items for a team that’s better than anyone realized.
Watching the Kansas Jayhawks and the Missouri Tigers do battle in Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday was something that was truly historic. The "Border War" matchup will be the last one for the two schools as conference members as the Tigers prepare to set sail to the SEC next season. Berry Tramel of the Daily Oklahoman makes an interesting point for any Jayhawk fan to consider as to the greatest games in KU history.
All things considered — the 19-point comeback in a virtual conference title game, in what is the last scheduled game in an arch rivalry that is coming to an end — KU’s overtime win over Mizzou has to rank as one of the top five victories in the Jayhawks’ glorious history.
The KU win over Oklahoma in '88 and the KU win over Memphis in '08 both have to rank in the top 5, but a big win over the No. 3 team in the country and overcoming a 19-point deficit is huge. Makes us all sad that this rivalry has officially come to an end.
With the Kansas Jayhawks pulling off the thrilling (unless you're a Missouri fan) 87-86 comeback victory in overtime over the Missouri Tigers on Saturday afternoon, Bill Self has put his team in position to win their 12th Big 12 regular season conference crown in their history. Missouri's depth was exposed in a matchup of two of the top 4 teams in the country, but will have to recover quickly as they prepare to host the emerging Iowa State Cyclones in Columbia.
Iowa State is showing that the tutelage of Fred Hoiberg is paying off, as the Cyclones got a huge 65-61 win over the Kansas State Wildcats on Saturday. At 21-8 and an 11-5 conference record, the Cyclones have pulled into a tie for 3rd place in the Big 12 with the Baylor Bears.
Here are the full Big 12 conference standings as of Sunday, February 26:
Much can and will be said about the last Border War regular season game between the Missouri Tigers and the Kansas Jayhawks. The incredible come-from-behind win by Bill Self's team for at least a share of their eighth straight Big 12 title. The ascension of Missouri under Frank Haith to become a true contender for not only the Big 12 but the national title. The history that ended in such dramatic fashion. All of it was there and will be discussed ad nauseum.
But these pre-game videos tell a different story that reading about doesn't capture. For those who missed it, check out the videos that played before yesterday's incredible game started:
The last scheduled game in the Border War series between the Missouri Tigers and Kansas Jayhawks lived up to the hype that featured two top-five teams. Kansas had a poor first half and trailed by 12 points at the break, and a 19-point second half deficit. During the second half Kansas kept chipping away at Missouri's lead and never took a lead in the second half, but did tie the game when Thomas Robinson made a layup and then the following free throw when fouled to tie the game at 75 points with 16 seconds left in regulation.
So far the matchup between two top-five schools is going in favor of the No. 3 ranked Missouri Tigers who are up 12 points over No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks at the break. Marcus Denmon is leading three Missouri players in double figures with 13 points and has shot four-of-seven with three made three-pointers. Ricardo Ratliffe is also having a big game for Missouri with 10 points and 11 rebounds and the other Tiger in double digits is Michael Dixon who has came off the bench to score 11 points.
The No. 3 Missouri Tigers tip off against the No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks later this afternoon, yet even though the Tigers are the higher ranked team who already won the first of two this Big 12 conference season, Bill Self’s team is still favored in Sports Illustrated’s weekend college basketball predictions. Seth Davis has Kansas winning 80 to 70 in the final Border War showdown of the regular season.
Davis writes, "I realize Missouri would like to win this game, but I’m not so sure the Tigers really want to win. This team has done wonders with only seven scholarship players, but there were some tired legs on the court in Columbia Tuesday night when Missouri shot just 8-for-26 from three-point range in a 10-point loss to Kansas State.
“As impressive as Missouri’s win over Kansas was on Feb. 4, the Tigers needed a closing 11-0 run and a couple of questionable charge calls to escape with a three-point win. That was the game where Jeff Withey was a no-show for Kansas. I think he’ll show up for this one.”
If Missouri can complete the season sweep and hold fast in the Big 12 Conference tournament, they should be an easy No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament come selection Sunday. If Kansas can pull this off, they grab a share of the Big 12 conference title and it might have been among the top coaching jobs this year. Either way, this should be a great game to watch from beginning to end — not only for the tradition and the stories but the great basketball that will be played.
Today is the final regular season match-up of one of the most storied rivalries in college basketball history, so the weight of tradition will be resting upon the shoulders of the Missouri Tigers and Kansas Jayhawks as they tip off today at 3pm CT. The Border War has featured many great games, but this showcase of two of the top programs in the nation this season should be extra special.
Kansas head coach Bill Self even noted that he loves Missouri’s players and respects the incredible season they’re having with only two losses overall.
“Missouri’s got a terrific team,” said Self at a recent press conference. "I love their players. We recruited Denmon and Dixon. I love the personnel. I love how the Presseys play. Ratliffe’s having a monster year and English is having a great senior year. We really admire the year they’re having, without question. We went over there and played pretty well and put ourselves in position to win but didn’t close.
“To me, I don’t know that there’s any correlation between this game and that game because I expect them to play better. They played good enough to win over there, but it wasn’t one of their stellar games. We’re going to have to do a great job defending them again and put ourselves in great shape to win better than what we did over there — and what we did over there, I thought, was pretty good.
He also said his players were going to be ready to play for more than just the Border War.
“These kids will be fired up to play, no question, for a lot of reasons. It’s a chance to get a ring or at least a piece of it. It’s a chance to play Missouri. More importantly, it’s a chance to play a team that beat us the first time we played. That will be plenty of focus.”
Kansas State has defeated Mizzou twice in its two conference match-ups and Self said he was prepped to watch the game film of their recent contest for clues on how to handle the Tigers.
“It’s on my to-do list, but I haven’t seen it,” he said. “But one thing that K-State did that was so impressive the first time they played them was they were physical and got the ball in tight. Based on the little bit I’ve seen, I thought K-State did a great job the other night getting their lead early as far as getting the ball inside and getting in tight.”
While Self says he enjoys these games against Missouri all these years, he’s not going to wax nostalgic once the season is over.
“I love playing Missouri,” he said. “I’ve loved playing them since I was at Illinois. I love playing them here, but it’s not anything that I’m going to lay around or sit around and think about, ‘Oh, I wish.’ I don’t feel that strongly at all about it.”
This game between the Missouri Tigers and Kansas Jayhawks has much more on the line than the Big 12 regular season title. A No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament is at stake for the winner of this game. A win against a top-five team is a big coup when the selection committee decides if a team is worthy a one- or two-seed.
When these two teams met last it was a close matchup that went Missouri's way as they won 74-71. The home court played a factor for Missouri last time around, so Kansas gets that edge this time around. Missouri has not played well at Kansas and have not won since 1999, and if that streak continues then it would give Kansas their eighth straight Big 12 regular season title.
Unless these two teams meet in the Big 12 title game it will likely be the last time these two teams will play each other in a long time since Missouri is heading to the SEC, and ending a 150-year-old rivalry.
Game date/time: Saturday, Feb. 25, 4 p.m. ET
Location: Allen Fieldhouse Lawrence, Kan.
Online Streaming: CBSSports.com
The Border War will see its final chapter written on Saturday afternoon when Missouri and Kansas face off in Lawrence. What does this game mean for a pair of top 5 teams?