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
Comments

Since: Apr 2, 2007
Posted on: February 26, 2012 5:04 am
 

The Last Border War in Lawrence is the best

The only thing sweeter than another big 12 title is the tears of these whiny Mizzou fans



Since: Apr 2, 2007
Posted on: February 26, 2012 4:58 am
 

The Last Border War in Lawrence is the best

If KU blew a 19 point lead by chucking up 29 three pointers, not running any offense for the last 10 minutes of the game, and not playing any defense for the last 10 minutes of the game, I would probably blame the refs too. Just tuck your tails and run off to the SEC, where maybe you can compete in basketball, unless Kentucky makes you their bi-atch like KU did since the inception of the big 12



Since: Nov 17, 2010
Posted on: February 26, 2012 4:54 am
 

The Last Border War in Lawrence is the best

Mark you're embarrassing yourself. You are about as objective as any other fan. I know a friend of my cousins ex boyfriend who grew up in Missouri,(this is the part that is supposed to give my argument credence, but to intelligent readers only makes me sound desperate). Cut and dry, you blew a massive lead in the toughest venue in the country. Even getting it was impressive, but you were treated no worse than ku was in Columbia. I'm objective cuz I've driven through Missouri a bunch(oh there I go again) I know this team was the equivalent of our 08, but it just wasn't your time. Good luck in the SEC, at least your alignment will match all the shirts you've been wearing all year.



Since: Feb 25, 2012
Posted on: February 26, 2012 4:54 am
 

The Last Border War in Lawrence is the best

From award-winning columnist's Joe Posnanski's article in the KC Star:

"Missouri’s Phil Pressey beat his man to the basket and took the potential game-winning shot. Kansas fans (and the officials) will say his final shot was blocked clean by Thomas Robinson. Missouri fans (and various replay angles) will say that Robinson fouled Pressey on the block follow-through."

Actually, he completely destroyed the guy even before the shot was released. But I won't quibble.

A foul if a foul. Unless, that is, the refs completely blow the obvious call.

Enough said. It was perhaps the worst noncall I've ever seen in collegiate and professional sports at the very end of a title-deciding game. A total mugging that wasn't called.

The players deserved better.   
  




Since: Feb 23, 2010
Posted on: February 26, 2012 4:48 am
 

The Last Border War in Lawrence is the best

I like how you say you're being "objective" when you completely dimiss some of the questionable calls against KU(This game and @ MU). I understand why you are biased, but you can't be objective when you are so obviously biased. You're starting to sound like a broken record. If you don't agree with the calls, fine. I didn't agree with the fouls in the 1st half today and when they played @ MU down the stretch. Trying to convince other people you are right doesn't change the fact MU lost today. If anything take it as KU should of won @ MU and MU should of won @ KU. Please move on...



Since: Feb 25, 2012
Posted on: February 26, 2012 3:38 am
 

The Last Border War in Lawrence is the best

Horse manure. It's very simple. Again, the only reason that Mizzou was up 19 was because KU kept bricking free throws. Mizzou is NOT 19 points better than Robinson and Taylor; nobody is.

KU finally got its act together and stopped stopping itself.

But Robinson screwed up on the last play of regulation. If you see the correct replay, behind the basket, if you are objective, it will make you shake your head in disbelief and wonder how they could possibly have not called a foul. That play decided the Big 12 title. Disgraceful.

Compare that play with the "foul" that was caused on the Taylor drive with 8 seconds left.

Disgraceful. Earn your titles, like the previous seven years. I object to you being "given" them. Our seniors, who stuck around, deserved better than this kind of officiating.    
;     &nbs
p; 



Since: Feb 23, 2010
Posted on: February 26, 2012 3:17 am
 

The Last Border War in Lawrence is the best

How is there not any comparison? That "bogus" charge on Robinson changed the game. Moore's feet were clearly not set. Also, you are ignoring the fact they lost a 19 point lead. Are you freaking kidding me? The refs didn't miss all those shots. MU settled for jumpers. You keep trying to make excuses but at the end of the day, you still lost. Get over it. 



Since: Feb 23, 2010
Posted on: February 26, 2012 3:16 am
 

The Last Border War in Lawrence is the best

How is there not any comparison? That "bogus" charge on Robinson changed the game. Moore's feet were clearly not set. Also, you are ignoring the fact they lost a 19 point lead. Are you freaking kidding me? The refs didn't miss all those shots. MU settled for jumpers. You keep trying to make excuses but at the end of the day, you still lost. Get over it. 



Since: Feb 25, 2012
Posted on: February 26, 2012 2:10 am
 

The Last Border War in Lawrence is the best

Dude, there is NO comparison between the blocking calls in Columbia, which I felt were valid, and the missed calls at the end today. I play basketball. Robinson and Taylor kept doing one-on-one spinning moves in the lane in Columbia, were out of control, and ran into Mizzou players whose feet were planted. I never understood the objection to those calls. Duh?

The Robinson "block" was an obliteration.    

   



Since: Aug 25, 2008
Posted on: February 26, 2012 2:05 am
 

The Last Border War in Lawrence is the best

Dude grow up and get a life. You say you're objective, but the calls in Columbia were just as "bogus". But you don't, won't and can't see it that way. They were the "right" calls in your mind in Columbia, even tho virtually all the national commentors even said they were bad cals. Now, the shoe is on the other foot in Lawrence and all you wanna do is boo-hoo. Fact is you're not objective whatsoever and you can not handle losing. You lost. If our win today was bogus, it's no more so than MU fans crowing about their "bogus" win in Columbia. Life ain't fair and paybacks a bit*h.



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