Missouri seems always to be climbing uphill in this rivalry, often known as the Border War because the two states are neighbors.
Kansas has the tradition — the game's inventor, Dr. James Naismith, once coached there. Current coach Bill Self is just in his second year, but he once was a Jayhawks assistant and knows the stakes.
“There are so many bragging rights in Kansas City,” Self has said. “Not too many metropolitan areas are divided in half like that. With Illinois-Missouri you may have Chicago vs. St. Louis. But with this game it’s Kansas City vs. Kansas City.”
Former Missouri coach Quin Snyder was seen as one of the Boy Wonders of the sport because he is protégé of Duke’s icon, Mike Krzyzewski. So he grasped the importance of the rivalry early on.
“No one wants to beat Kansas as bad as I do,” Snyder said early in his Missouri career, quickly getting the hang of this hate thing.
Snyder gained instant credibility during his rookie season of 1999-2000 by belting No. 7 Kansas, 81-59.
Former Missouri coach Norm Stewart also could be relied on for a big win or two against the Jayhawks.
Sloan’s Tigers won Big 8 titles in ’90 and ’94 — which was unbeaten in league play — but a 96-94 double overtime win against Kansas was as big as it gets. The Jayhawks entered the game unbeaten (22-0) and ranked No. 1.
However, most of the highlights in this series belong to the Jayhawks, including two narrow victories over Missouri in the 1987-88 regular season that helped Kansas get into the NCAA Tournament with 11 losses. The Jayhawks eventually won the national championship under Larry Brown and led by Danny Manning.
Self got the hang of the rivalry in his first season, beating the Tigers three times, including an 84-82 nail-biter at Missouri. Freshman David Padgett hit the game-winner from the baseline with two seconds left, which Self called “... an unbelievable shot, as big a shot as I've had a freshman make.”
Kansas has one of the most renown college fight songs — “Rock Chalk Jayhawk” — plus cheerleaders, a pep band and a large, loyal alumni following that accompanies the team on its annual March cross-country jaunts.
Missouri has a group of fanatic students known as “The Antlers,” They wear wigs and makeup, cheer with gusto — and then some — and especially like to harass Kansas players. Sometimes it’s over the top — spitting and throwing things. Sometimes it's outrageous fun — holding up huge banners with the home phone numbers of the KU players displayed for the national TV audience.
Kansas fans don’t always have the most tact, either. In 2003, when Missouri guard Ricky Clemons was accused of beating a female acquaintance, a Kansas coed showed up at a game donning a black eye and a T-shirt that read “Ricky’s Girlfriend.”
In the end, the players also get in on the act.
“We always want to beat Missouri,” Ex-Kansas forward Nick Collison said. “We hate them and they hate us. I would love to beat them 100-0, but that just isn’t going to happen. It is really fun to beat them.”
Duke coach said that after winning his second gold medal in men's basketball would be his Team USA finale. That may not be the case anymore.
CBT: Turning the page on the Mike Rice scandal, Rutgers hired Louisville's Julie Hermann as athletic director on Wednesday. But, Hermann has a prior scandal of her own.
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