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Nuts & Bolts Preview: Kansas vs. Missouri

Kansas vs. Missouri

For the second straight game, the top spot in the Big 12 standings is on the line as No. 15 Kansas (23-5, 12-1) hosts Border Showdown foe No. 8/11 Missouri (24-4, 11-2) Sunday at 1 p.m. on CBS. KU finds itself in familiar territory as it heads into the final week of the regular season. Kansas is the four-time defending Big 12 regular season champion and has won eight of the 12 league titles since the inception of the conference in 1996-97. Kansas takes a four-game winning streak into the Missouri contest after its 87-78 win at No. 3 Oklahoma Monday. Missouri won its seventh-straight game with a 94-74 victory against Kansas State on Wednesday. At halftime of Sunday’s game, Kansas will retire the jersey of Kirk Hinrich who guided the Jayhawks to two Final Fours during his career from 2000-03. Hinrich's junior season, 2002, Kansas went undefeated (16-0) in Big 12 play.

Denver's Thoughts...

I know this might be a day early but why not start looking at this monster matchup.  There is a lot at stake on Sunday and with a win the Jayhawks should all but lock up the Big 12 title, with a loss it's up for grabs once again.  Just as a point of clarification though before we get going the Big 12 does not use any tiebreakers for the actual title.  The tiebreakers do apply in seeding for the conference tournament only.  So basically if Missouri comes out of the Fieldhouse with a win we're technically looking at a three way tie for the conference crown at least for the moment.  That said Kansas not only has the motivation of a 5th straight title to look toward, they've also got revenge on their minds and with the return of this great rivalry the crowd should be rocking more than any other game this year.  Kansas needs to exploit their inside advantage and they must take care of the ball MUCH better than they did during the first meeting.  This is by no means going to be easy.  Missouri got the better of Kansas by two last time and I for one don't think that was their best game.  If the Tigers play as they are capable Kansas is going to need to elevate there game in order to keep Mike Anderson winless in the Phog.  Missouri will be tough, VERY tough and look for them to make some good runs in this one.  I do however think the home crowd gives us the needed boost and much like the OU game we pull away near the end.

Score Prediction:  Kansas 88 Missouri 79

Team Stats

Missouri MIZZ 82.6 47.7 67.0 36.3 40.0 13.3 24.4 19.0 12.8 10.9 4.1 19.9
Kansas KU 77.4 48.4 72.5 38.4 41.6 12.0 26.9 16.3 14.9 7.0 4.5 19.6
Missouri MIZZ Opponents 65.4 40.8 66.4 30.9 39.3 12.4 23.8 11.5 19.5 6.6 2.5 19.6
Kansas KU Opponents 64.8 38.3 70.3 33.1 34.1 11.1 20.1 12.4 14.1 7.1 3.1 20.4


More stats and game breakdown after the jump...



Ranks and Records

Rank and Records MIZZ
RPI #13
Strength of Schedule #63
Overall 24-4
Conference 11-2
Home 17-0
Away 5-2
Top 25 3-0
RPI Top 50 4-2


About Kansas

For the 12th time in the 13-year history of the Big 12 Championship, Kansas has been guaranteed a bye in the event, i.e. finished as a top four seed. The Jayhawks can finish no lower than the No. 3 seed in the event. KU has won the event each of the last three seasons and six times since the inception of the league in 1996-97.

In Kansas’ 13 conference games, eight have been decided by double figures, all KU victories. The Jayhawks have won four straight and 12 of their last 13 games with the lone loss at Missouri, 62-60, on Feb. 9. The Jayhawks are averaging 77.4 points per game and giving up 64.8 for a +12.6 scoring margin. KU leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense at 38.3 percent, rebound defense at 31.2 and rebound margin at +7.7. KU at 50.0 percent and Oklahoma at 50.1 percent are the only two league teams to shoot better than 50 percent in league play. Conversely, the Jayhawks also lead the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense in league games at 38.2 percent.

About Missouri

Like Kansas, No. 8/11 Missouri is one of the hottest teams in the nation bringing a seven-game winning streak to Allen Fieldhouse after its 94-74 win against Kansas State Wednesday. The Tigers are 24-4 overall and 11-2 in Big 12 play, tied with Oklahoma (25-3, 11-2) and one game behind league-leading Kansas. Missouri is 17-0 at home this season and 5-2 in true road games, including victories in its last three games away from Mizzou Arena. MU leads the Big 12 in scoring margin at +17.2, three-point field goal percentage defense at 30.9 percent, assists at 19, steals at 10.9, turnover margin at +6.8 and assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.5. Missouri averages 82.6 points per game, second in the league, to its opponents’ 65.4 points per game.

The Series

Kansas leads the all-time series with Missouri, 166-94, including a 85-33 record in games played in Lawrence and 38-14 in Allen Fieldhouse matchups. The Jayhawks have won the last nine meetings with the Tigers in Allen Fieldhouse dating back to 2000. Overall, Kansas has won five of the last six and nine of the last 12 meetings with Missouri. Since the inception of the Big 12, KU holds a 19-9 series advantage against Missouri - 17-8 in regular-season play and 2-1 in the conference championship. Sunday’s game will mark the 39th KU-MU game with one or both of the teams ranked.

Earlier this season then-No. 17 Missouri overcame a 14-point deficit to edge No. 16 Kansas 62-60 at Mizzou Arena on Feb. 9. MU’s Zaire Taylor’s jumper with 1.3 seconds remaining was the game winner for the Tigers. KU’s Tyshawn Taylor was the lone Jayhawk to score in double figures with 11points, while Cole Aldrich pulled down 15 rebounds for the game. Missouri was led by DeMarre Carroll who had 22 points and seven rebounds.

A Kansas Win Would…

Improve Kansas to 24-5 on the season and be KU's fourth-straight season with at least 24 wins dating back to 2005-06…

Make KU 13-1 in Big 12 play, its best conference 13-game record since the 2001-02 team went 16-0…

Mark the fourth-straight and 20th time in school history KU has won at least 13 conference games…

Make the all-time series with Missouri 166-94, including 86-33 in games played in Lawrence, 38-14 in Allen Fieldhouse and 20-9 in the Big 12 era…

Be Kansas’ 10th-straight win against Missouri in Allen Fieldhouse dating back to 1999…

Extend the nation’s longest home court winning streak to 40 games…

Make Kansas 632-106 all time in Allen Fieldhouse, including 94-6 under head coach Bill Self…

Improve Bill Self to 166-37 while at KU, 373-142 overall and 13-3 against Missouri, 10-3 while at KU…

Make Kansas 1,967-790 all-time.

Just a Winner

Kansas junior Sherron Collins has a combined 93-13 record for 87.6 percent (33-5, 37-3, 23-5) with two Big 12 regular-season titles, two Big 12 Tournament titles, two Elite Eights, one Final Four and one national championship. The best three-year career in KU history is 1996-97-98 when KU went 98-11 (89.9 percent). The next would be 2006-07-08 with a 95-16 (85.6 percent) record but obviously Kansas is still playing this year. Collins has been named at Bob Cousy Award finalist (top 15) and a mid-season candidate (top 30) for the Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy.

Remaining Schedule

1 *MISSOURI (CBS) ................ 1 p.m.
4 *at Texas Tech (ESPN2) .... 8:30 p.m.
7 *TEXAS (CBS) ...................... 3 p.m.
11-14 ~Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship