Blog Entry

The Last Border War in Lawrence is the best

Posted on: February 25, 2012 10:03 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2012 11:56 pm

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Thank you John Brown, Bloody Bill Quantrill, Norm Stewart, Phog Allen -- and God.

If Saturday was the last Missouri-Kansas game, then it will be everlasting. YouTube, cell phone and video all will preserve the images. But there will also be memories. Good, old-fashioned remembrances that will be handed down from generation to generation. Synapses that will fire one on death beds one last time for some of the 16,300 who witnessed a classic -- and a shame.

In the 105th year of the rivalry, Missouri and Kansas played with the urgency that this was their last regular-season conference game against each other -- which was fitting. If this is truly it for the Border War, the hoarse, sweat-drenched fanatics who jammed Allen Fieldhouse will go to their graves knowing these teams never played this hard against each other.

Until Saturday.

"It's a shame that it's going to end," Kansas' Bill Self said, "but it’s definitely going to end. Playing them once a year with nothing on the line doesn't carry the same value as playing twice a year with a championship on the line."

That was the central theme Saturday with Missouri leaving for the SEC after this season. No matter what happens, it's just not going to be the same anymore. Post SEC announcement, the Kansas stance has been: "Missouri is the one leaving the conference, why should we do them any favors by playing them in the future?" Missouri's general retort: "Why are you throwing away all this tradition?"

Nothing is scheduled and may not be for a while -- if ever.

So it terms of a walk-off to the rivalry, it was David Freese in Game 6. It was Kanye dropping rhymes, then dropping the mic and walking offstage. It was a kick in the jewels to tradition.

In the 267th meeting between these two eternal rivals, KU-MU played one that could have lasted from here to eternity. In the end, it was elongated by one overtime and won by one point. Kansas, 87-86. 

Missouri could have been a contendah, stealing the last Big 12 title they would ever play for and keeping it forever. Instead, Kansas clinched at least a share of the conference title for the eighth straight year. For the Tigers, SEC-ond place never felt so bad. 

“That was as good as it gets,” Self said. “Plus, recruits were here so I was hamming it up too.”

Self saluted the crowd in is own walk-off [the court]. They did their part raising the decibel level somewhere between 747 takeoff and Who concert. Jayhawkers couldn’t have stood for Missouri winning its final game in Lawrence. One woman sprinted down an aisle in the final seconds with a sign stating: "Missouri Forfeits A Century-Old Tradition. Kansas Wins."

For now. Yes, the series is over but with an asterisk. We should all root for a rubber match in next month's Big 12 tournament. That would probably be in the championship game. Talk about walk offs.

They're both good enough that a fourth meeting in the NCAA tournament is not out of the question.

"I wouldn’t have a problem playing them again," Kansas’ Tyshawn Taylor. "Sign me up."

But the series is definitely over in Lawrence which already begs the question: How long will all this be remembered? Just recall how the rivalry started, amid the bloodshed of the Civil War.

There was a fan dressed up as John Brown, the revolutionary abolitionist. NCAA national championship trophy in one hand, 2008 Orange Bowl trophy in the other. Noted pro-slave terrorist Quantrill and his raiders -- thankfully not portrayed on Saturday -- burned Lawrence to the ground 160 years ago. Of the four persons listed in the lede of this blog -- both real and basketball Border War participants -- only one is still alive.

And good, old Norm, bless is heart, just turned 77.

So roll over Phog Allen, tell Bill Self the news.

It wasn't just the best game of the college basketball season, it was arguably the best of those 105 years. Missouri was up 19 in the second half. The last time Missouri led at Kansas by 19 was the Paleozic Era, or at least 1999. That was the last the Tigers won here.

Kansas made less than half its free throws in the first half which had to delight the Missouri fan at the top of Section 15. Each time a Jayhawk would go to the line he'd scream "S-E-C." Kansas fans were beside themselves. Amid the silence providing their beloved Jayhawks with the needed concentration, they couldn't respond.

It was the perfect strategy until Kansas made everything, scoring 55 in the second half and overtime.

Kansas' Thomas Robinson ran into foul trouble, then played himself back into the national player of the year conversation with 28 points and 12 rebounds. If T-Rob does nothing else the rest of his career, they will commission paintings of his swat of Phil Pressey’s driving layup as time expired in regulation.

The ball landed somewhere east of here in DeSoto, Kan. OK, that was hyperbole. The painting, though, was actually the real deal. There was an artist in a corner of the old gym going Leroy Neiman on a canvas as the game went on.

"Playing Missouri, unfortunately, does mean something," Self admitted. "It means something to me. I was at Illinois and coached against Missouri when I was there. I hated nothing more than losing to Missouri."

That hate may never be felt on the court again. Kansas will continue to be a national power. Missouri basketball will fit nicely into the SEC. But now it’s over, at least in Lawrence. We'll just have to remember Saturday being the best.

"I read an article … it said pretty much how I feel. It's not the same," Self said. "Missouri has got to market their future. We're their past.

"[But] for it to end like this is pretty cool."

Category: NCAAB

Since: Feb 27, 2012
Posted on: February 27, 2012 10:49 am

The Last Border War in Lawrence is the best

Wow the MU KU rivalry is for real.  However, I do get tired of the KU big talk.  Just to set the record straight about KU athletics.  No one wants you in a real conference and I know that hurts.  Your football is a joke and one decent year in the last 100 does not count.  No one cares about the orange bowl unless it is for the BCS championship (just like no one cares about Virgina Tech or Illinois in the rose bowl). With respect to basketball lets keep KU bball in perspective.  Big 12 bball is not all that  ( National Champs since 1990 SEC has 5 and the Big 12 has one) and KU has one this century (Florida has 2).  Ku won another in 1988 before most of you were born and they had to sit out the next year because they cheated.  KU = most overhyped bball team just ask Bradley, Bucknell, Northern Iowa, Rhode Island or VCU.

Go gators

Since: Feb 25, 2012
Posted on: February 27, 2012 5:02 am

The Last Border War in Lawrence is the best

Guys, it is very simple. The league title was decided on a mugging that wasn't called.

We can dispute into eternity whether earlier calls, in either game, should have been called. Or not called.

But in the absolute most critical, most obvious moment of the season, an absolute mugging by KU was not called, and two light touch fouls on Mizzou were called.

Which resulted in an "undisputed" league title for KU.

I've watched Big 8/Big 12 basketball for 43 years, when my family moved to KC on the Kansas side. (And I rooted for KU Final Four teams against Missouri.)

But I'm sorry, that was the most ridiculous, worst officiated ending of any league game I have ever seen in an important, title-deciding game. It was so bad, especially on the Robinson "block," that it made me wonder later if the "fix" was in.

Literally ridiculous. It screwed Mizzou out of a probably share of a league title, and screwed KU out of a legitimate, unquestionable solo league title. Instead, it will always be bogus.   &nb
sp;     &n
bsp;     &

Since: Jun 26, 2007
Posted on: February 27, 2012 4:12 am

The Last Border War in Lawrence is the best

Come on Guys, one play doesnt decide a game, Robinson went to the bench in the first half on a charging call worse then the call at the end of the game he was completly under cut and fouled.  That wasnt a charge, which allowed Mizzu to gain the 19 point.  If that call had been called correctly it could have been a different game.  1 call never decides a basketball game.

Since: Feb 25, 2012
Posted on: February 27, 2012 2:41 am

The Last Border War in Lawrence is the best


Through sophisticated computer modeling and collision force predictioning, scientists have determined that Mike Dixon would have to "bump foul" Thomas Robinson 20 times and, combined with Phil Pressey "touch fouling" Taylor 20 times, to equal the force that Thomas Robinson exterted once while completely "mugging" Phil Pressey on the "not a foul" call that gave KU an "undisputed" Big 12 title.

The most nonsensical, worst noncall in the history of the Big 8/Big 12 conference.

Since: Apr 10, 2009
Posted on: February 27, 2012 1:13 am

The Last Border War in Lawrence is the best

I did watch it. TRob went up in complete control, Pressey slammed into him, his arm came down on TRob first which caused his body to go off balance bringing his arm down on Pressey. Plain as day. I think you're the blind one.

Since: Feb 25, 2012
Posted on: February 26, 2012 10:19 pm

The Last Border War in Lawrence is the best

Regarding the verticality thing, all one has to do is look where Robinson started on the block, and where he ended up. He ended up three to five feet, if not more, past where he initiated his jump. He was out of control, flailing away, made boneheaded play, and got a historic bailout from the refs. Come on guys.

Since: Feb 25, 2012
Posted on: February 26, 2012 10:15 pm

The Last Border War in Lawrence is the best

Guys, if you think that wasn't a foul, then you're either 1) blind, or 2) blinded by your loyalty, and thus unable to see clearly.

Or, you didn't see the correct replay -- the one from behind the basket, ground level.

Guys, reporters and national commentators don't make comments, as you see below in various strings I posted, unless they see something pretty obvious. It was obvious. You're unable to put aside your partisanship.

Sorry, the "taking care of business" thing is horseXXXX. Seasons come down to key games.  TRob obliterated the guy; Mizzou should have won. Any reasonably objective person could see that.

Truthfully, it the tables were reversed and the officials blew such a critical, obvious call at that type of moment, with the league title on the line, it would take away my sense of accomplishment.

Who the hell wants to win a league championship on one of the worst calls/noncalls in league history?

Apparently, KU fans do.

When I was in college, Mizzou won four straight Big 8 titles. Fortunately, we never had one marred by a disputed critical call that cost the other team the championship-deciding game. We won them fair and square.

This was terrible.        
;     &nbs
p;     &nb

Since: Mar 19, 2011
Posted on: February 26, 2012 9:19 pm

The Last Border War in Lawrence is the best

Mark.....bro, the non-call at the end of one game didn't decide a conference championship. Your other 3 losses decided that. KSU-OSU-KSU. Take care of your business --- especially at home like champions do --- and the non-calls on the road are a moot point. (just ask KU!!)

Since: Apr 10, 2009
Posted on: February 26, 2012 8:46 pm

The Last Border War in Lawrence is the best

I got to see the replay and your whole argument is bogus. Pressey was not "hammered" even before he released the ball. TRob went strait up employing the rule of verticality which a defensive player is entitled to. Pressey initiated the contact and his lack of control placed him in a proximity that made it impossible for TRob to miss him while he was coming back to the spot he left when he initiated his jump. Per the rules of basketball, a player is not allowed to occupy the same spot a player has established simply because the player has jumped. I was listening to ESPN radio and the announcers there were praising the officials for not calling the foul, that it was the right call. So your stupi whining is to no avail. Pressey try to take the spot TRob had established and he was lucky he wasn't called for charging to boot. Probably would have if he had more girth to him and wouldn't bounce so easily off of TRob. 

Since: Feb 25, 2012
Posted on: February 26, 2012 7:21 pm

The Last Border War in Lawrence is the best

Here is what is at work. The league was falling apart. If Oklahoma and Texas had bolted, the rest of us might have been left without a conference. After last summer, Mizzou got freaked out over an Oklahoma press conference, where David Boren, former senator and now chancellor of OU, said they were exploring all options. At the that point, Mizzou decided to look elsewhere. It couldn't stay in limbo forever, especially with the Longhorn Network becoming reality. Nebraska, Colorado and A&M had already voted with their feet. Mizzou was afraid of being left in no major conference, so it approached the SEC. The SEC saw two major media markets in KC and St. Louis and said yes.

Since then, KU's stance has been, "You spurned us. We're jilted. You didn't want us." Basically, KU believes that Mizzou should have viewed KU as being so important that Mizzou should have been willing to put up with a dysfunctional mess of a league just to keep the KU games.

Mizzou didn't spurn KU. It spurned a league that has been a mess for several years. As the head of the SEC said when he welcomed Mizzou, their league has about two sentences dealing with departures. The reason? Nobody ever wants to leave.   


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