The Kansas Jayhawks and Missouri Tigers have met 270 (or is it 269?) times in men’s basketball throughout the years, yet not once in the NCAA Tournament.
The Jayhawks, according to KU’s record book, lead the all-time series, 175-95, the series beginning with MU’s 34-31 victory in 1907 in Lawrence. The Tigers’ record book has it 174-95 in favor of KU. At dispute is a hastily-arranged postseason benefit game for the 1924 U.S. Olympic Team held on March 26, 1924, at Convention Hall in Kansas City.
The Jayhawks won that low-scoring contest, 15-14.
MU’s 1924 Savitar Yearbook had no mention of that game; KU’s 1924 Jayhawker Yearbook did chronicle the game, as did the Kansas City Times and Lawrence Journal-World newspapers.
The most recent Border War battle between the teams was played a year ago as the opening game of a six-year, six-game series.
It was not much of a game as the Jayhawks rolled 102-65. Kansas’ 37-point victory was the largest margin of victory by KU in the series since the Jayhawks’ 47-point victory (96-49) on Dec. 28, 1977, in Kansas City. The KU win was the third largest margin of victory in the series, trailing only the game in 1977 and a 44-point KU win (98-54) on Feb. 15, 1966, at Allen Fieldhouse.
The victory a year ago in Lawrence did not resemble what at one time was billed as the final regular-season contest to be scheduled between the schools in men’s hoops. KU on Feb. 25, 2012, prevailed 87-86 in overtime in Allen Fieldhouse.
The squads did play an exhibition game for hurricane relief on Oct. 22, 2017. KU won 93-87 in the Sprint Center, now known as T-Mobile Center. That game definitely does not count in the record books of both schools.
Here’s a look at 10 memorable games in the Border War series to peruse as Saturday’s game in Columbia (4:15 p.m., ESPN) nears.
Ten memorable games in history of Border War basketball
Kansas 93, Missouri 80, Feb. 26, 1972: Isaac “Bud” Stallworth, a 6-foot-5 senior from Hartselle, Alabama, scored 50 points in KU’s 13-point victory at Allen Fieldhouse. Stallworth hit 19 of 38 shots and went 12-of-13 from the line.
His performance came before a packed house that included his mother, who traveled from Alabama to watch him play in Allen Fieldhouse for the first time. Members of KU’s 1952 NCAA title team also were in town for a 20th-reunion celebration.
Stallworth’s 50-point game trails only Wilt Chamberlain, who scored 52 points against Northwestern on Dec. 3, 1956, on KU’s all-time single-game scoring charts. It remains the most points a Jayhawk has scored in a conference game.
Missouri 81, Kansas 74, Feb. 20, 1994: The Tigers trailed KU for most of the game at Allen Fieldhouse. However, MU guard Melvin Booker wouldn’t let the Mizzou lose. Booker, who finished with 32 points, scored 24 in the second half and 17 in the final 8 1/2 minutes.
His three with 2:10 left snapped a 69-69 tie and gave MU the lead for good. KU hit 9 of 22 free throws to Mizzou’s 24 of 30.
“It seems like every time we play Missouri, they have somebody who goes crazy against us. This time we weren’t able to beat them like a couple times in the past,” KU coach Roy Williams said after the game.
He was referring to not only Booker’s 32 points, but also MU’s Mark Atkins scoring 30 points in KU’s 86-69 win in 1993 in Allen Fieldhouse, plus Anthony Peeler erupting for 43 points in KU’s 97-89 win in 1992 at home. The Tigers went on to finish the 1993-94 Big Eight season 14-0.
Missouri 96, Kansas 94, 2OT, Feb. 4, 1997: KU came to the Hearnes Center with a 22-0 record and No. 1 national ranking. MU took the Jayhawks to double overtime, and the game was tied with just seconds left. MU’s Corey Tate made a 16-foot jumper with 5.6 seconds remaining to pull off the upset.
There were some fantastic individual performances. KU’s Jacque Vaughn had 19 points and 10 assists and played good defense on Dibi Ray (three points, two assists, 48 minutes). KU’s Raef LaFrentz had 26 points and 16 rebounds. MU’s Kelly Thames had 24 points and 11 rebounds while the Tigers’ Derek Grimm hit four threes. Paul Pierce had just four points in 17 foul-plagued minutes for KU.
Not only did Tate hit a big shot in overtime. Jason Sutherland of MU, who drew the ire of KU fans in games through his career, answered a Billy Thomas three that gave KU a 89-86 lead to open the second overtime. Sutherland was positioned so far in the corner he had to place it over the corner of the backboard. It went in.
Kansas 83, Missouri 82, March 5, 2000: KU freshmen Drew Gooden and Kirk Hinrich made two free throws each over the final 12 seconds at Allen Fieldhouse. Gooden was intentionally fouled by MU’s Jeff Hafer as Gooden stormed in for what would have been a layup. The free throws turned an 80-79 deficit into an 81-80 lead for the Jayhawks. KU kept possession off the intentional foul all and scored two more on a pair of Hinrich free throws that gave Kansas an 83-80 lead with 7.6 seconds left. MU’s Clarence Gilbert tipped in a Keyon Dooling miss with one-tenth of a second left.
“I was under a lot of pressure. It was like a dream,” said Gooden. He scored 20 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. “I’ve never been in that position before in my whole life.”
Because Hafer was charged with an intentional foul, the Jayhawks retained possession. Freshman guard Hinrich was fouled and calmly canned both shots.
Missouri (17-11, 10-6) had erased a 14-point second-half deficit to take a one-point lead on T.J. Soyoye’s free throw at the 1:40 mark.
Of the intentional foul call, Hafer said: “I didn’t want him to get an easy two or have an opportunity for a three-point play. It’s something I did and it turned out not to be a very good play.”
Kareem Rush scored 20 points for MU, which battled back from a 14-point deficit and led by one point with 1:40 remaining. Gooden had 20 points, 13 rebounds and four assists for KU.
That was the game in which Dooling flushed a highlight reel dunk over Ashante Johnson. Dooling was called for an offensive foul on what’s been referred to as one of the greatest dunks in the fieldhouse.
“We saw him fly … all of us,” Roy Williams said of Dooling.
Kansas 95, Missouri 92, March 3, 2002: The Jayhawks clinched a 16-0 Big 12 record with a win over the Tigers in the Hearnes Center. Nick Collison scored 28 points and grabbed seven rebounds and Hinrich added 25 points and nine boards for the No. 1-ranked Jayhawks.
That 2002 Kansas squad is the lone team in Big 12 history to win all its Big 12 Conference games.
Missouri (20-10, 9-7) trailed by as many as 11 points in the second half but twice rallied to tie it and briefly led after Arthur Johnson’s three-point play made it 92-91 with 1:57 to go.
Collison hit a jumper with 1:36 left and Gooden’s tip rolled in with 26 seconds to play for a three-point lead.
Rush missed a turnaround jumper with 1:14 remaining and a chance to take the lead, then his errant pass was intercepted by Jeff Boschee with 0:15 left and KU up three.
Rickey Paulding blocked Boschee’s layup with about nine seconds left and MU called a timeout with 6.2 seconds remaining to set up a final play But Clarence Gilbert, who had 27 points, hit the backboard (but not the rim) on a three-point attempt.
“It’s a happy locker room,” KU coach Williams said after the game. ”The kids, they never had a goal to be 16-0, but as it came closer down the stretch they were asked about it so often. It never became a goal of mine until after the Kansas State game, but it feels good to do it now.”
Kansas 79, Missouri 74, March 10, 2003: Aaron Miles hit a 23-foot three-pointer and Hinrich followed with an even deeper three from 25 feet on ensuing possessions to turn a three-point deficit into a late three-point lead in Columbia. The victory was huge; in fact, it wrapped up the undisputed Big 12 title.
“I ain’t gonna lie. It was luck, pure luck. I smiled after I made it. I knew it was luck,” said Miles, a 6-1 sophomore point guard.
Miles, a 23% three-point shooter, accepted a pass from Keith Langford and released a line-drive bullet over MU’s Ricky Clemons with the shot clock down to one second.
After Miles’ trey, Missouri’s Rickey Paulding missed a field goal — he was 5-for-20 on the day but was 11-for-11 on free-throw attempts — with a minute to play.
KU had possession with the game tied at 74 in the final minute, and the Jayhawks called timeout. At that point, Hinrich boldly told coach Williams that Hinrich would stick a jumper if the play came his way.
“He said, ‘If I get it, I’ll make it,’” Williams said. “He’d missed one from the corner earlier and was really upset with himself.”
Hinrich had the ball out front, but passed to Collison, who fired an airball from the baseline with 0:27 left.
Michael Lee, who had a big game with 11 points and three rebounds, grabbed the ball and passed to Hinrich, who was far behind the three-point line coming off a screen when he swished the game-winner.
Kansas 84, Missouri 82, March 7, 2004: David Padgett played only one season for the Jayhawks, but he’d make one of the most memorable shots in the KU-MU rivalry.
In the last game contested at the Hearnes Center, power forward Padgett, who transferred to Louisville after the season, made a baseline jumper with two seconds left that went down as one of the most painful field goals in the 32 year-history of the Tigers’ building.
Wayne Simien scored 22 points and grabbed seven rebounds. MU’s Arthur Johnson had 37 points and eight boards.
Padgett, who entered with a 6.7 scoring average as a freshman, was alone on the baseline after accepting a pass from Keith Langford. He swished a 10-footer and finished with six points.
“Keith was supposed to take the shot. I’m sure they knew that, and I just happened to be open so he passed it to me,” Padgett said. “I didn’t think there was enough time left so I was just trying to get it up there and maybe get a tip or something, but things just went my way.”
Aaron Miles stole the ensuing inbounds pass from Jimmy McKinney just beyond midcourt and hung on to the ball until the buzzer.
Missouri 89, Kansas 86, OT, Jan. 16, 2006: Kansas led 77-74 with 14 seconds left, but Missouri’s Thomas Gardner hit a three-pointer to tie the game in Columbia. KU forward Christian Moody was fouled while shooting with 0.4 seconds left. He had to make one free throw for a KU win, but missed both.
MU won the game in overtime, and Gardner finished with a career-high 40 points, including two free throws with 1:01 left in OT. The lead switched six times in OT.
The Tigers actually trailed by seven points before outscoring Kansas 10-3 over the final 30 seconds of regulation. Gardner’s three-pointer with 5.6 seconds left tied the game.
Jimmy McKinney scored 19 points for Missouri. Mario Chalmers led Kansas with 22, while Brandon Rush had 14. Moody added 13 and Russell Robinson finished with 12.
Missouri 74, Kansas 71, Feb. 4, 2012: The Jayhawks led by eight points following a baseline dunk by Tyshawn Taylor with 3:21 left at Mizzou Arena. Missouri scored the game’s final 11 points to storm to victory.
Marcus Denmon scored 29 points for the Tigers. The senior guard hit 10 of 16 shots, including 6 of 9 threes. He also had nine rebounds in 39 minutes.
Denmon converted a conventional three-point play and hit two three-point baskets in the final 2:05, the last for the go-ahead points.
MU’s Kim English scored 18 points.
MU’s go-ahead three came with 56 seconds remaining for a one-point lead. Michael Dixon added a pair of free throws with 9.8 seconds left after an offensive foul on Tyshawn Taylor. Kansas’ Elijah Johnson missed a shot to tie at the buzzer.
”The most important thing I remember hearing was Kim saying, ‘We’re going to win this game,’’’ Denmon told ESPN.com. ”I understood how much it meant to him to say that. We’re the senior leaders and I felt we had to come out and execute.”
KU’s Thomas Robinson scored 25 points off 11-of-17 shooting, with 19 points the second half.
Kansas 87, Missouri 86, OT, Feb. 26, 2012: Robinson scored 28 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the last game played between the two teams prior to the resumption of the series a year ago. Robinson’s block of Phil Pressey’s driving layup with two ticks left assured overtime.
Missouri led by as many as 19 points in the game.
An emotional KU coach Bill Self said this after the game about the series: “The next coach (at KU) may play. The next president, next AD may force me to play, who knows? Missouri has to market their future. We are their past. For it to end like this is pretty cool for us, especially the way we lost the first game (blowing a late eight-point lead). It’s a great rivalry. It’s two schools that fiercely don’t like each other hooking up and going at it. We saw the best they have to offer in Columbia. They saw the best we have to offer. It’s a shame it’s going to end, 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.”
Some other notable moments in the series. …
KU 75, MU 65, Dec. 29, 1951: KU’s Clyde Lovellette scored on MU’s Win Wilfong with three minutes left in the finals of the Big 7 holiday tournament in KC, then was ejected for stepping on Wilfong’s stomach. MU coach Wilbur “Sparky” Stalcup quieted the crowd’s booing by stating into the Municipal Auditorium’s microphone: “The University of Missouri enjoys this rivalry with the University of Kansas. Doc Allen is a great coach.” Both teams then shook hands and Lovellette and Wilfong hugged.
KU 71, MU 69 OT, March 9, 1971: Senior forward Dave Robisch hit three free throws and grabbed two rebounds in the final minute of overtime. It was the final game ever played at MU’s Brewer Fieldhouse.
MU led by nine at halftime but thanks to Roger Brown’s six points KU tied the game just three minutes into the final half. Robisch had 15 points on 5-of-19 shooting. Aubrey Nash had 16 points.
MU 67, KU 65, March 9, 1987: A 15-foot jumper by Missouri guard Lee Coward with four seconds remaining gave MU a victory in the Big Eight postseason tourney title game. Danny Manning totaled 31 points and 12 rebounds against Mizzou’s Derrick Chievous. Two of Chievous’ 26 points came on a 14-foot jumper that tied the game at 65 with 59 seconds left.
Buckets by Manning gave Kansas the lead three times during the final 3 1/2 minutes, but Missouri answered each time.
Kevin Pritchard missed a five-footer in the lane with 11 seconds left with the score tied, and Chris Piper was called for a foul on Mike Sandbothe.
Sandbothe missed the front end of the one-and-one, but the rebound was tipped by MU’s Steven Hardy to Coward, who was wide open at the foul line. His 15-footer swished with 0:04 showing.
After a timeout, Chievous intercepted an inbounds baseball throw from Keith Harris intended for Pritchard.
MU 91, KU 66, Feb. 1, 1989: Missouri registered the largest victory by a visitor in Allen Fieldhouse, winning by 25 points in a game played in Williams’ first season at KU. Texas would later match Missouri’s record during the 2020-21 season with a 25-point win over Kansas in Allen Fieldhouse.