Feb 25, 2012; Lawrence, KS, USA; Missouri Tigers guard Phil Pressey (1) fouls Kansas Jayhawks guard Travis Releford (24) in the second half at Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas won the game in overtime 87-86. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE
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?
The first Missouri-Kansas game of this year was such an instant classic, it was hard to believe Saturday's rematch between the two teams at the top of the Big 12 could be any better.
Well, it was.
After a furious comeback by Missouri in the last three minutes of the first meeting between the two teams in Columbia, Kansas got its payback, rallying from a 19-point deficit in the second half of Saturday's game in Lawrence.
The Jayhawks defended their home court in the same way that the Tigers did earlier this month, with a little bit of help from the referees and a lot of help from the crowd.
Both games immediately joined the ranks of the greatest Border War games ever played and both contests were some of the best of the year in college basketball. It seems like this is the perfect ending to a historic rivalry, right?
Maybe I'm being greedy, but why shouldn't we hope that these two hated rivals match up one more time in the Big 12 Tournament Championship?
There are tons of reasons why I want to see these teams face off again, including:
This series screams the need for a third and deciding game
After Marcus Denmon's final shot was taken after the final buzzer on Saturday, the thing that kept playing through my mind was this: "There needs to be a third game to decide it all."
As I said, the two regular season games were kind of mirror images of each other, so why wouldn't college basketball fans want to see who would come out on top in a three game series?
Also, why wouldn't we want to see two top 5 teams go at it again? You could say that Kansas choked the first game away and that Missouri did the same in the second, but that would be discrediting the heart and effort shown by both teams in coming back from seemingly impossible deficits to get wins.
These teams have produced some of the best games of this college basketball season and a third game would be just the cherry on top of a great season series.
An opportunity to see great players on a big stage
Another constant from the first two games of this series were the unbelievable performances from each team's top player, Marcus Denmon for Missouri and Thomas Robinson for Kansas.
There is not much more satisfying that watching big players deliver their best on the big stage and that's what Denmon and Robinson did in both games. Denmon averaged 28.5 points per game (20-for-31 from the floor, 12-for-19 from three-point land) while Robinson averaged 26.5 poitns and 11.5 rebounds per contest.
Sure, there were other players that played well for both teams, but basketball is truly about great individual performances and these two stars delivered.
March Madness truly starts with conference tournaments and seeing these two players go at it again would almost certainly make for another instant classic.
A game where homecourt doesn't matter
Homecourt advantage was a big factor in both games because of the crowd and the favorable refereeing that came as a result of being at home, so it would be very interesting to see these teams go at it in Kansas City with less chance of that being a factor.
While there still could be some questionable calls on either end, they couldn't be blamed on the atmosphere the game was played in if the game is in Kansas City.
Watching the fans of both teams come together and watch this game would also make for an amazing atmosphere. Think of how crazy 2007 football was and you would be on the right track.
One last hurrah for the Border War
I keep saying this, but can you think of a better end to this great rivalry? These two teams facing off in an intense tournament setting with some hardware on the line would make for the most interesting conference tournament game of the season without a doubt.
If you are a Missouri fan, a Kansas fan, or just a fan of awesome displays of college basketball, you should want these two teams to face off at least one more time this season.
I want them to meet in the Final Four too, but maybe I'm getting greedy.
I love great college basketball. Sorry I'm not sorry.