Kansas rallies by No. 3 Missouri
No. 4 Jayhawks come back from 19 down to win Border War
LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Kansas and Missouri kept their storied rivalry alive just a little bit longer.
Tyshawn Taylor and Thomas Robinson made it a memorable ending for Kansas.
Robinson kept the game going with a three-point play in the closing seconds of regulation, and Taylor's two free throws with 8.3 seconds left in overtime gave the fourth-ranked Jayhawks an 87-86 win against No. 3 Missouri on Saturday in their final scheduled regular-season matchup.
The Tigers, who blew a 19-point second-half lead, never got a potential winning shot off in the final seconds. Michael Dixon was boxed in by Robinson as he tried to get to the basket, and the buzzer eventually sounded on a 105-year-old rivalry steeped in tradition.
|TOP 25 SCORES|
|No. 1 Kentucky 83, Vanderbilt 74|
|No. 4 Kansas 87, No. 3 Missouri 86 (OT)|
|No. 5 Duke 80, Virginia Tech 75 (OT)|
|No. 7 North Carolina 54, No. 25 Virginia 51|
|No. 9 Georgetown 67, Villanova 46|
|Purdue 75, No. 11 Michigan 61|
|Georgia 76, No. 12 Florida 62|
|No. 13 Baylor 70, Oklahoma 60|
|No. 19 Wichita State 81, Drake 58|
|St. John's 61, No. 20 Notre Dame 58|
|No. 21 UNLV 68, Air Force 58|
Robinson finished with 28 points and 12 rebounds for Kansas (24-5, 14-2), which wrapped up at least a share of its eighth consecutive Big 12 title. Taylor added 24 points, seven in overtime.
Marcus Denmon had 28 points to lead Missouri (25-4, 12-4), which heads off to the Southeastern Conference next season. Ricardo Ratliffe finished with 22 points, Dixon had 17 and Kim English 11.
The Tigers controlled the game early in the second half, but Kansas methodically chopped away, Robinson working inside and the Jayhawks taking advantage of the Tigers' foul trouble.
Robinson's basket inside with 2:28 remaining got the Jayhawks within 71-70, and Travis Releford answered a basket by Denmon with two free throws. Ratliffe restored a three-point lead with two free throws, but the Jayhawks still had time to draw even.
Robinson took a feed in the post and backed down Dixon, getting the leaner to go as he was undercut for the foul. His free throw with 16.1 seconds left tied the game at 75.
The Tigers had the final possession, clearing the lane for Phil Pressey to drive to the rim. But Robinson was there once more, swatting away his shot to force overtime.
Kansas struck first in the extra session when Taylor curled in a 3-pointer. Denmon's 3-pointer kept them close, and his 3 from the wing with 39 seconds remaining gave Missouri an 84-83 lead.
Taylor pushed Kansas back ahead when he dunked off a bounce pass from Elijah Johnson with 26.2 seconds left, and Denmon's baseline jumper with 12 seconds left set the stage for high drama.
As if the series could have ended any other way.
The schools started playing in 1907, and joined the same conference the following year, setting the stage for more than a century of animosity. There have been bench-clearing brawls, game-winning shots and enough colorful characters to make both sides proud.
But all that has come to an end with the Tigers departing for the SEC next season. Officials from Kansas have no intention playing out of conference, feeling as though Missouri jilted fellow members of the Big 12 and nearly brought the league to ruin with their decision to leave.
It turned out the finale couldn't have been much bigger.
Students began lining up for prime seats at daybreak last Sunday, and thousands formed a mob outside Allen Fieldhouse leading up to tipoff. They poured into the venerable gym the moment the doors cracked open, working themselves into a wall of noise during player introductions.
The sound registered at 120.2 decibels, roughly equal to that of a jet engine.
The opening few minutes of the 267th meeting lived up to the billing, both teams pounding away at each other with the passion and fury that can only be cultivated across a century of games.
Ratliffe and Robinson were engaged in their own personal duel early, the big man for Missouri with eight of his team's first 10 points and Robinson scoring 10 by halftime.
The lead went back-and-forth until the 4:43 mark, when Johnson picked up his third foul and Pressey's free throws gave Missouri a 33-31 lead. Robinson was called for charging at the other end, sending the Jayhawks' star forward to the bench with two fouls, and Pressey added a 3-pointer moments later to give the Tigers some breathing room.
Denmon reprised his late-game heroics from the first meeting, when he lit up the nets down the stretch, by doing the same thing in the final minutes of the first half.
First, he buried a 3-pointer right in front of the Kansas bench. Then he added a jumper in the paint, and finished off the flurry by tracking down a loose ball in the waning seconds and knocking down his third 3 of the game, giving the Tigers a 44-32 lead.
It was the biggest lead either team had in the opening 20 minutes.
The Tigers didn't let up after the break, either. Ratliffe went back to work inside, Denmon and English hit from the perimeter, and Missouri pushed the lead to 55-36 with 16:57 left.
That deafening noise inside the Phog?
It was quiet enough that the cheerleaders' pom-pons could be heard from the stands.
It didn't stay that way for long.
The Jayhawks slowly began to get back in the game, and the volume slowly began to rise. Kevin Young's dunk and Connor Teahan's 3-pointer got the crowd on its feet, and Robinson's third-chance basket trimmed the lead to 67-58 with 8:56, forcing Missouri coach Frank Haith to call a timeout.
The Jayhawks simply kept coming, persevering through their own foul trouble and ultimately relying on its two best players -- Robinson and Taylor -- when it mattered most.
Kansas's 22nd consecutive win at Allen Fieldhouse ensured its 12th title in the 16-year history of the Big 12, one that will be especially sweet given it was clinched against Missouri.