Seriously, how can he not be Player of the Year?
Kansas managed to show off its best and absolute worst on a national stage, but at the end of the day they had more points than the other team. Kansas started off slow, and for much of the game it looked like they simply didn't have it in them to take down an MU team that simply looked more polished and effective. Jeff Withey, after getting shut down in Columbia, sprained his ankle early and was never able to make it back onto the court for meaningful minutes. In his absence, Kevin Young stepped up helped keep the team in the game with a 5 point, 8 rebound, 4 block performance in 28 minutes.
Missouri entered halftime with a 12 point lead, and quickly hit a couple of big shots to kick off the second half, and was able to push the lead to 19. At that point, with the Jayhawk fanbase feeling sick, Kansas simply started whittling away at the lead. With the aid of some Mizzou foul trouble, and red-hot three point shooting, it was a 1 point game game just inside the 3 minute mark.
From there, clutch free throw shooting by both teams made it a nailbiter. Down three, Thomas Robinson converted a clutch three point play with 16 seconds remaining. Missouri wasn't able to hit another shot and game went into OT. Overtime showed us shades of the first matchup with the Tigers, as Marcus Denmon hit two fantastic shots within the last minute, each putting Missouri up one. With eight seconds remaining, Tyshawn drove the lane, fouled out Phil Pressey and hit two clutch free throws to give Kansas their final, and most important lead. Missouri never even got a shot off and the Jayhawks walked away with a clinched share of their eighth straight Big 12 title.
It's hard to imagine a better finale to this rivalry (at least on this side of State Line). This game was everything it was hyped to be, and it's hard to imagine feeling better as a KU fan even if we had won by 30. A classic end to a classic series.
Rock chalk Jayhawk.