Friday, February 27, 2009

Kansas-Missouri preview

The "Border War" tomorrow between Kansas and Missouri will pit the #15 hoops team in the country against the #11 team. It is also the 261st meeting between the two bitter rivals.

Series history:
- Kansas leads the overall series 166-94.
- Kansas leads the series in Lawrence 85-33.
- Kansas leads the series in Allen Fieldhouse 38-14. The last Missouri win in Lawrence was in 1999.

Keys to victory:
- Turnovers: If Kansas has 16 or fewer turnovers, expect a Jayhawk win. In the first game, Kansas had 26 turnovers, 12 of which were committed by starting guards Sherron Collins and Tyshawn Taylor.
- Guard play: KU fans must hope that Taylor's game against Oklahoma on Monday was a preview of what to expect on Sunday. Kansas must also get solid efforts from Brady Morningstar and Tyrel Reed.
- The Kansas crowd: Expect the Jayhawks to jump out to a quick lead. It's what happens next, after the 12 minute mark in the first half, that will be critical for Missouri.
- MU's big men: The Tigers have a deep bench and fouls to give against Cole Aldrich. Kansas will need a solid effort from one of the Morris twins and there would be no better game for Mario Little to come out of his recent funk.
- J.T. Tiller: The likely defensive player of the year in the Big 12 only scored three points in the first game. But, he had four steals and constantly seemed to be disrupting Kansas' offense. KU's guards must find a way to withstand Tiller's quick hands and length.
- History: The last time the Tigers swept the season series was in 1994. (In other words, it hasn't happened very often...)

- When is the last time that Kansas has lost a game when a jersey has been retired at halftime? This Sunday, Kirk Hinrich's jersey will be retired.
- Both teams are playing not only for the conference crown, but for a high seed in the NCAA Tournament. Currently, Joe Lunardi of ESPN has Kansas as a two seed and Missouri as a three seed.
- Kansas has had time to prepare--their last game was the Big Monday contest against Oklahoma. Missouri played on Wednesday night, at home, against Kansas State.

Kansas 82, Missouri 71

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