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Open Game Thread :: #11 Missouri Tigers 24-4 (11-2) @ #15 Kansas Jayhawks 23-5 (12-1)

Here it is. The game we've all been waiting for.

The winner is looking really sharp for the Conference Title. Particularly us, with our one-loss advantage on the other two contenders, MIssouri and Oklahoma.

In order to win, though, and advance that advantage, we're going to need to play better than we did in Columbia. Sure, we only lost by two, and homecourt advantage is certainly worth more than that, but Missouri didn't play all that well, either. In the first half, they were just as sloppy as we were. As long as we follow the three keys (Make Threes, Morris Twins playing well enough to rest Cole and the good Sherron showing up), we should be A-OK. Obviously, forcing turnovers would be awesome, and would help us out a ton, but I'm just not confident we can do it.

So, there you have it. Being a Kansas fan, naturally, I think we do follow those keys. With the backing of 16,300 Kansas fans, I think that a couple of timely threes from Relly Ice and Bradystar send the crowd into a frenzy, and McMorris and Kieffer show up to play. Combining that with BAMF Sherron, and another fabulous performance from a more rested Cole, and we could run away with it.

We won't, because they will still turn us over far too often, and hit more threes (they were only 2-14 last time). Still, going off of the usual home-game pattern, we jump out to an early lead, their pressure lets them come back throughout, but they make one, huge run with about 5 minutes to go in the second half. They cut it down to 1, before a gigantic Relly Ice three extends the lead. They come down and score, but then BAMF Sherron takes over. He goes on a mini-run by himself, and a couple of shut-down possessions later, we're up by 8 again. The rest of the game, they never get closer than 6, and we make free throws late to extend the lead.

Kansas 78 Missouri 67

And, like I said earlier, I will not be able to make this OGT. I'm planning on reading it later, after I watch the Tivo'd game, so I will still read all of your comments. But, y'all are going to have to carry the torch for me. A quick note: a second half thread is set to go up at 2 PM CST. Even if the first thread isn't terribly busy, which it might not considering it's a home game and I'm gone, make the switch.