The Kansas-Mizzou Border War rivalry returns with the break-up of the KU; To analyse


Hate bounces off the rafters and hits the eardrums and tastes like candy.

Hate comes fast, and never stops, the moment Thomas Robinson, uh, physical Block on Phil Pressey plays on the video board just as the Missouri basketball players run down the Allen Fieldhouse court, through Kansas forward Christian Braun appearing to disparage his brother’s former coach.

We have heard several chants that we cannot print here – who is your daddy was the most respectful – and the concrete steps of this old gym literally shook like an otherwise meaningless three-point pointer by a walk-on provided the final score of 102-65 in a Kansas blowout that looked unlike at no 37-point difference in college basketball history.

Deep breath.

It’s a lot.

Difficult time for the crowd we don’t care about this rivalry.

“It was the most fun I’ve had in my life,” Braun said.

“I couldn’t even really hear, for real,” said guard Dajuan Harris.

“The coach really put the emphasis on this,” said goalkeeper Ochai Agbaji.

Kansas City’s best rivalry – and, really, No. 2 could be Us vs. Random BBQ Lists We Don’t Rank First – is back after nine wasted years. KU still gets a sweet whistle at Allen Fieldhouse, but so many other things have changed.

Here’s an example: The world seems to be filled with a lot more hate in real life now, so letting the heart beat race during a basketball game was like a relief.

Here’s one more: Mizzou stinks, and there’s only a limited number of times this rivalry can tip like this when one side is so terribly outclassed.

“It was fun playing in front of a crowd like this,” said Mizzou forward Kobe Brown. “I haven’t had a lot of games in front of a crowd like this before.”

Those programs played two of the best games college basketball could offer in 2012. Kansas should have won the game in Colombia and missed it late. Mizzou should have won the match in Lawrence, and missed it late. A third game of the Big 12 tournament final was marred when KU lost to Baylor, but the Jayhawks reached the national final that spring.

They’re now ranked eighth and even busier than it might suggest, so that way not much has changed.


Mizzou won 30 games in 2012, the second most in program history. This team was a credit to sport, one of the most difficult to defend in years.

They are now 5-5 and have lost to the Kansas City Roos. So in this way, too much has changed.

It was terrible timing for the program in general and for coach Cuonzo Martin in particular. No one needs the reboot of one of the sport’s most significant and historic rivalries to show how far you have come.

“I guess if you keep the score it’s 1-0,” Martin said. “That’s it.”

Martin used his post-game time with reporters to play down pretty much everything about this game. Everyone marveled at the noise. Martin said “it’s a basketball game” and “I’ve been in loud places” and “I could communicate with my guys”.

In his defense, there wasn’t much to analyze. Mizzou has just been trucked. The game plan was to protect the paint and force Kansas to hit a contested 3. Even under the best of circumstances, it’s a strategy based a bit too much on hope, but it turned to ashes when Dajuan Harris hit the first 3 of the season (then two more, and KU shot 14). out of 27 in total).

But, really, it was never going to be close. KU is just too talented. Mizzou has far too little. That’s when we usually start looking at the head coach.

Martin is usually vague in post-game press conferences, so it’s unclear how self-protective his words could be. But he must know that the walls are closing. This is his fifth season, and while the adults in this conversation may recognize that he lucked out with the Porter brothers’ injuries, no one can argue that the program shouldn’t be in better shape now.

He’s 20-32 in the SEC over the past three seasons. Mizzou is currently ranked 151st by KenPom, the second worst among all Power 5 programs. Martin’s buyout went from $ 6 million to $ 3 million this spring, it will drop to $ 1 million on May 1, and it’s never good when the journalists search Google for the buyout of a trainer.

“We just lost the game, in my opinion,” said Martin. “We lost against a good team. We will learn from it and move on.

The soccer part of this rivalry resumes in four years, and the soccer numbers are leaning towards Mizzou. But that might be way too far away for Martin to use his suite in football matches.

Martin is a deeply admirable man. He represents and is motivated by the best ideals. But right now he’s scrambling, the tide is rushing against him and the issues have just been highlighted on national television with the greatest margin of rivalry since 1977.

Kansas City sports are best when Missouri and Kansas go head to head. It’s more fun when the rivalry isn’t limited to message boards. An arena full of old-fashioned and well-meaning sports hatred is a beloved and important American institution.

The hatred of the border war is on, and we’re doing better.

But now Mizzou has to make the game interesting again, one way or another.

This story was originally published 11 December 2021 6:48 pm.

Kansas City Star Stories

Sam Mellinger is a sports columnist for the Kansas City Star, where he has worked since 2000. He has won numerous national and regional awards for coverage of the Chiefs, Royals, colleges and other national and local sports.


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