The Border War, Part One: A History

Posted by cwilliams on February 1st, 2012

Each collegiate rivalry is encompassed by a rich history. Many date back over 100 years, and each rivalry has its unique moments, stories and anecdotes. However, no rivalry coincides with American history as much as the Missouri-Kansas rivalry, known simply around those parts as the Border War. The cities of Lawrence, Kansas, and Columbia, Missouri, have despised each other for as long as anyone can remember, but not in a way similar to the dislike between Columbus, Ohio, and Ann Arbor, Michigan. Kansans and Missourians loathed each other due to state political and social views, not because of football scores. The Border War is so rich with history that I thought it would be best to briefly touch on many of these spectacular moments, instead of focusing on just one.

Hide Ya Kids, Hide Ya Wife, the Border War is Coming this Weekend. (Mizzou Magazine)

  • The initiation of the rivalry began around the 1850s, when Kansas and Missouri began burning down each other’s border cities during the Civil War. That’s right. Kansas residents would cross the border and burn down a Missouri city before heading home for supper, and vice versa. The tension reached it’s pinnacle when William Quantrill and his guerrilla forces rode into Lawrence and burned down parts of that city, ultimately murdering 200 people. Ironically, Quantrill was part of a group who attempted to burn down Columbia as well, because it was a Union stronghold during the Civil War. After the war, the athletic matches between Kansas and Missouri served as relief funds for the state’s recovery from the Civil War.
  • Former Missouri hoops coach Norm Stewart refused to let his team’s busses stop in Kansas for fuel or allow his players to eat in Kansas. He didn’t want to put a single Missouri penny into the Kansas economy. On the Red and Blue side, former Jayhawk football coach Don Fambrough once refused to see a doctor in Kansas City, Missouri, stating “I’ll die first!”
  • The first time Kansas and Missouri met on the football field was Halloween 1891. They hit the hardwood for the first time together in 1906, a 34-31 Missouri triumph.
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Ten Tuesday Scribbles…

Posted by zhayes9 on January 12th, 2010

RTC contributor and bracketologist Zach Hayes will deliver ten permeating thoughts every Tuesday as the season progresses.

1. Other than Kansas students, graduates, former players and all former or current residents of Lawrence, was there anyone in this fine country of ours rooting for the #1 Jayhawks to beat a depleted Tennessee team, a group of kids and a stunned head coach that just dealt with the suspension and/or dismissal of four of its regular rotation players? All of the events that occurred in that two-hour window in Knoxville Sunday was a release of pent-up frustration and anxiety from a tumultuous week in which Tennessee was considered a prime threat to upend favorite Kentucky in the SEC one day and counted out as a SEC contender that must scratch and claw the final two months for an NCAA berth the next. Renaldo Woolridge banking in a three, the Vols maintaining their lead with Wayne Chism and J.P. Prince on the bench with four fouls, the coach’s son Steven taking a critical charge, a miracle Skyler McBee (one of three walk-ons playing substantial minutes) leaning trey that iced the game, and coach Bruce Pearl aiding the Volunteer mascot in waving the orange Tennessee flag while the sounds of Rocky Top reverberated throughout Thompson-Boling Arena summed up what college basketball should be about. Bill Self pointed this out after the game, but there are some moments during a season when a team officially becomes a team instead of a group of individuals. Even though Pearl would gladly reset the timer to New Year’s Eve and prevent four scholarship players from getting in that car, sometimes it takes a catastrophic occurrence that truly tests the mettle of a unit for them to band together and accomplish lofty goals. I think it’s fair to say Tennessee became a team Sunday night.

2. As long as Mike Anderson is employing his Forty Minutes of Hell hellacious press on demoralized opponents, especially on a home floor where his team has won 30 consecutive games, Missouri should never be totally counted out of the Big 12 race. Losing DeMarre Carroll, Leo Lyons and Matt Lawrence from an Elite 8 squad isn’t easy to overcome, and certainly the ceiling for the Tigers isn’t nearly as high, but the ultra-talented and quick Mizzou backcourt should have enough firepower to carry them to an NCAA berth. Missouri carried an impressive 12-3 record into their Big 12 opener with #10 Kansas State Saturday, yet their overall resume wasn’t incredibly awe-inspiring with their best wins over Old Dominion, Illinois, Georgia and Oregon and opportunities lost in defeats at the hands of Richmond, Vanderbilt and Oral Roberts. The win Saturday was clearly a statement that Missouri will be a contending force in the Big 12 for that #3 spot behind Texas and Kansas. Anderson looks to have a workable combination with experienced seniors J.T. Tiller and Zaire Taylor (evident by Taylor’s tie-breaking 3 with under a minute to play) making plays in late-game situations, a promising sophomore backcourt duo of Kim English and Marcus Denmon carrying most of the scoring load, and a defensive unit that ranks seventh overall in D efficiency, first in turnovers forced and gives Missouri a fighting chance on any night.

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2009-10 Conference Primers: #4 – Big 12

Posted by rtmsf on November 4th, 2009

seasonpreviewPatrick Sellars is the RTC correspondent for the Big 12 Conference.

Predicted Order of Finish:

  1. Kansas (15-1)
  2. Texas (14-2)
  3. Oklahoma (11-5)
  4. Kansas State (10-6)
  5. Missouri (9-7)
  6. Texas A&M (8-8)
  7. Oklahoma State (8-8)
  8. Iowa State (7-9)
  9. Baylor (5-11)
  10. Texas Tech (4-12)
  11. Nebraska (3-13)
  12. Colorado (2-14)

All Conference Team:

  • Sherron Collins (G), Kansas
  • Willie Warren (G) Oklahoma
  • Craig Brackins (F) Iowa State
  • Damion James (F), Texas
  • Cole Aldrich (C), Kansas

6th Man. James Anderson (G) Oklahoma State

Impact Newcomer. Xavier Henry (G), Kansas

big 12 logoWhat You Need to Know.

  • KU Dominance.  Of the 13 years that the Big 12 has held a conference tournament, Kansas has won the crown six times, which is the most of any Big 12 school.  Kansas has been deemed the regular season conference champion nine times in those 13 years, sharing the title in three of those times. Every time Kansas has shared the title the Jayhawks were the two-seed in the conference tournament.
  • Two At the Top. It’s very possible that Texas and Kansas could share the Big 12 title this season. Texas’ toughest conference games are Kansas (in Austin), then Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Kansas State on the road.  The Longhorns seem to have the advantage over the Jayhawks when it comes to an easier conference schedule, but with KU bringing back all of its talent and adding one of the top freshman in the nation, I still believe that Kansas will stay atop the conference alone.
  • Where are the Tigers. Where do you rank the Missouri Tigers in the Big 12 this season? After being picked seventh by the coaches in last year’s preseason poll, the Tigers finished third and won the Big 12 Tournament en route to an Elite Eight appearance. Mike Anderson will continue to play his “Fastest Forty Minutes” style, and behind leadership from senior guard JT Tiller (Co-Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2009), and sophomore guard Kim English, it’s hard to determine where Mizzou will be at the end of the season. Anderson has put together a very athletic lineup, which should be able to play to his coaching style, but their lack of experience and a consistent scorer could hurt them.
  • X-Factor. Freshman phenom Xavier Henry could be the key to Kansas’ hopes of a second national title in just three seasons.  A late decider, Henry could very well be one of the most productive freshmen in the NCAA this season.  He is surrounded by unbelievable talent that will hog most of the attention from opposing defenses, which should open up many scoring opportunities for Henry.

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RTC 2009-10 Top 65 Games: February/March (Part Two)

Posted by zhayes9 on October 27th, 2009

seasonpreview

The final two-part edition of our Top 65 games delves into the exciting stretch run of the final five weeks. These highlighted games should have tremendous implications on seeding and conference standings with heated rivals doing battle in the final push towards March Madness. Here’s a preview of what’s guaranteed to be the best slate of games 2009-10 has to offer (top games of November/December, January and the first part of February/March in case you missed them):

February 16- North Carolina @ Georgia Tech (#36 overall)- Many believe Georgia Tech has assembled the talent to play with the supposedly rebuilding reigning champs. Still, UNC should be the favorite to win the ACC and Tech may be right on their heels (no pun intended). Gani Lawal and Derrick Favors make up a frontcourt composed of two possible lottery picks. Iman Shumpert (5.0 APG) returns to bolster the backcourt at the 1 or 2 position while Zach Peacock and Mo Miller provide depth for a Tech squad looking for a late-season impact win.

4880903041245_Miami_at_Georgia_Tech[1]

February 22- West Virginia @ Connecticut (#20 overall)- Whether Stanley Robinson is assigned Da’Sean Butler on the perimeter or Devin Ebanks in the post, Stix is the key for Connecticut this season and in this specific Big East battle. Robinson averaged 14.0 PPG and 9.0 RPG in his final ten contests last year and the UConn coaching staff strongly believes their athletic forward can replicate that success the entire season. He won’t be spending the first half in a sheet metal plant this time around, either.

February 23- Tennessee @ Florida (#62 overall)- The Gators could linger around the bubble this season in a difficult SEC East. Knocking off likely high seed Tennessee at home would send a message to the committee at this late date in the season. It’s imperative Kenny Boynton have an electric shooting game against Tennessee’s shaky defense for the Gators to have a shot. They’ll also need Alex Tyus and Chandler Parsons to contain the Tennessee bigs inside and out.

February 24- Purdue @ Minnesota (#32 overall)- A difficult road contest for a Purdue team looking to capture the Big Ten title. Minnesota always plays at a different level defensively at the Barn, meaning this could be a battle of wills in the 50s that sends Big Ten haters screaming in the streets. How Minnesota’s youth, whether it be sophomores Colton Iverson and Ralph Sampson or their freshmen Royce White and Rodney Williams, develops into late February should reveal whether the Gophers can pull off this upset.

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NCAA Preview: Missouri Tigers

Posted by rtmsf on March 18th, 2009

Missouri (#3, West, Boise pod)

vs. Cornell (#14)
Friday, March 20 @ 3pm

Vegas Line: Missouri -13

missouri-ncaa-graph

Thanks to Vegas Watch for providing these graphs that measure the moving average of a team’s spread (moving avg.) over time vs. the spread for each individual game (indiv).  If a team’s moving average is higher than zero, then Vegas currently has a higher opinion of them than Pomeroy, and vice versa.

General Profile

Location: Columbia, MO
Conference:
Big 12, Automatic bid
Coach: Mike Anderson (62-34 in three seasons)
08-09 Record:
28-6 (12-4)
Last 12 Games: 10-2 (streak: 3 wins)
Best Win:
62-60, Kansas, 2/9
Worst Loss:
56-51, at Nebraska, 1/10
Off. Efficiency Rating:
114.9; #18
Def. Efficiency Rating: 88.2; #8

Nuts n Bolts

Star Player(s): DeMarre Carroll (Sr), 16.8 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.6 SPG, 37.8% 3-pt FG; Leo Lyons (Sr), 14.2 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 2.0 APG
Unsung Hero
: Zaire Taylor (Jr), 6.5 PPG, 3.5 APG, 3.1 RPG, 1.5 SPG, two game-winning shots (vs Texas, Kansas); J.T. Tiller (Jr), 7.9 PPG, 3.6 APG, 3.3 RPG, 1.8 SPG, Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year
Potential NBA Draft Pick(s):
none
Key Injuries: none
Depth: 38.7% mins (#23)
Achilles Heel: Free-Throw shooting (66.8%, #242 in the country)
Will Make a Deep Run if…: They can avoid an early hole. They are 1-5 this season when trailing by double digits at half, 27-1 when they’re not.
Will Make an Early Exit if…: Cold shooting sets in, and Mizzou cannot press after made baskets

NCAA History

Last Year Invited: 2003 (NCAA Second Round)
Streak:
1
Best NCAA Finish:
2002, 1994, 1976, Elite Eight
Historical Performance vs. Seed (1985-present):
-0.31 wins per appearance

Other

Six Degrees to Detroit: Some of Missouri’s best players in the late-’80s–Doug Smith, Lee Coward, Nathan Buntin, John McIntyre–were from the Detroit area, leading to the “Detroit Tigers” nickname for some of those squads.
Distance to First Round Site:
1498 miles
School’s Claim to Fame:
Nothing specific, just a montage of Don Faurot (inventor of the Split T!), Brad Pitt, Norm Stewart, Sheryl Crow, Jon Sundvold & Steve Stipanovich, Robert Loggia, Chase Daniel & Jeremy Maclin, ESPN’s John Anderson (and Matt Winer), and the invention of Homecoming.
School Wishes It Could Forget:
The Paige Sports Arena incident, the Popcorn incident, Ricky Clemons, Athenagate, and pretty much everything that happened to Mizzou basketball between 2003 and 2008. You appreciate a high-character team like Mizzou’s current squad a lot more when you’re seen some less-than-stellar characters make their way through town.
Prediction:
The main expectation for this team is to make the second weekend and play a strong game against (likely) Memphis in the Sweet Sixteen. There is nobody in the West Region that Mizzou cannot beat, but Memphis has the defense to force bad shots and the streaky offense to potentially make a run in the first half to build some cushion for a Mizzou second half run. A second round game against Marquette could be explosive and fun, but Mizzou should have the depth and inside presence to wear down the Golden Eagles.

Major RTC stories: None
Preview written by… Bill Connelly, Rock M Nation

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Boom Goes the Dynamite: 03.01.09 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on March 1st, 2009

dynamiteWell it’s finally here. The month of March is upon us. Here at RTC, we’ll be coming up with a ridiculous number of posts (I’m not sure how we will be able to do it with our other “lives”) so be sure to check back throughout the month as we will have posts for conference recaps, our unique bubble watch, frequent bracket updates by our resident bracketologist Zach, our favorite NCAA tournament memories, and the most comprehensive NCAA tournament preview anywhere. Ever.

11:00 AM: Just to set the table for today (and before I run out to grab some lunch before the games start), we’ll be following all three of the major games today, which will all be on CBS. At noon, Dominic James-less #10 Marquette will travel to #6 Louisville. Then at 2 PM, #8 Missouri will travel to Lawrence to take on the defending national champs, #15 Kansas. (CBS will also be airing the Tennessee-Florida game at 2. We will be very unhappy if we end up with that game instead.) The last time these teams met, Missouri shocked the Jayhawks with a Zaire Taylor 10-footer to hand Kansas its only loss in their last 13 games. A win here for Kansas would essentially seal the Big 12 regular season title for Kansas since they own the tie-breaker over Oklahoma (thanks to Blake Griffin‘s absence). Finally at 4 PM, #9 Michigan State will go to #20 Illinois. Like the preceding game, a win here would essentially clinch the Big 10 regular season title for the Spartans. In addition, we will be following the aforementioned UT-UF game (hopefully online instead of on our TVs) as well as a handful of bubble match-ups (Providence at Rutgers, Cincinnati at Syracuse, Michigan at Wisconsin, and West Virginia at South Florida).

11:50 AM: If any of you are wondering if I might decide to ditch this and go outside to enjoy the beautiful March weather, here’s your answer. On a side note, I just saw myself on ESPN for the second time this season (thanks to the miracle of HD).

11:55 AM: Wow. I just saw the Blake Griffin play from yesterday where we went over the scorer’s table. Pretty impressive after his concussion against Texas.

Noon: CBS just announced they will be have an interview with Jamie Dixon at halftime. So the Pittsburgh fans might want to tune in for that if a top 10 match-up in their own conference wasn’t enough.

12:05 PM: Rick Pitino is wearing his Colonel Sanders suit for the white out. As the CBS guys mentioned, last year he had to switch at halftime. Let’s see if it is more effective this year.

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ATB: Wed. Night of Blowouts

Posted by rtmsf on February 4th, 2009

afterbuzzer1Story of the Night. Life on the road can be pretty tough in the ACC.  Top ten teams Duke and Wake Forest were both obliterated by Clemson and Miami (FL), respectively. It’s not often that two top 10 teams get destroyed on the same evening.

  • Clemson 74, Duke 47. If we wanted to be succinct, we’d just point you to today’s post suggesting the Duke Swoon was about to begin.  Still, the sheer dominance that Clemson showed over Duke tonight was shocking.  Unlike their Tobacco Road brethren in W-S, Duke doesn’t typically get run out of the gym.  Yet the Tigers did just that, and handed the Devils their worst loss in 19 seasons as a result.  Everything that Clemson did seemed to be the right manuever, and everything Duke tried seemed to be the wrong one.   It’s just one game, but the fact of the matter is that Duke is once again a flawed team (no inside game and limited offensive options), and we’re afraid they’re going to see several more of these Ls in February/March than they had in the previous months.  Clemson’s Trevor Booker had 21/8 in a ridunkulous performance, and Terrence Oglesby added 17 on five threes.
  • Miami (FL) 79, Wake Forest 52. It’s official, there’s something seriously wrong with this Deacon squad, and it’s not just that they can’t shoot threes (last in the nation in % of points from threes).  Anybody can have an off night, but Wake has now had three “off” nights in their last four games, and it’s not like the competition was Duke or Carolina (WFU is outstanding at getting up for those teams).  Our best guess is that there are players following NBA agendas, because the talent is such that this team shouldn’t be losing by 27 to anybody.  The question is whether they can get their chemistry back and look like the same team that won at BYU, at Clemson and vs. UNC.  Otherwise, this team is going nowhere fast.  Miami’s Jack McClinton blew up for 32 pts (6-10 from three) as the Canes’ 2-3 zone held Wake to 32% shooting (15% from three).  There was an RTC at the end of the game by the Miami students, made somewhat pathetic by the fact that the arena was half-empty.

One Blowout and Two Close Games.

  • Michigan St. 76, Minnesota 47. MSU came out with a vengeance tonight after losing its last two home games to the likes of Northwestern and Penn St.  Durrell Summers had 21 pts, but it was the Spartan defense that did the job, holding Minnesota’s starters to five total FGs for the game, and running out to a 42-16 halftime lead.  It was a night to forget for Minnesota, but both of these teams are in solid shape with respect to the NCAA Tourney.
  • Oklahoma 77, Texas A&M 71. OU just keeps doing what it does, although tonight with five minutes to go it appeared that A&M had their number.  With a nine-point lead, the Aggies decided it would be a good idea to start chucking random jumpers from all over the floor.  Very quickly Oklahoma came back, secured the lead again and finished off A&M to the tune of a 16-1 run.  Blake Griffin had 16/14 in the win that puts OU at 8-0 in the Big 12.
  • Missouri 69, Texas 65. This is the kind of road win that would have been unthinkable for Mike Anderson’s program just last season.  But this year, Mizzou has proven thus far that it can play with much of the Big 12, and at 19-4 (6-2) are right there in the mix should Oklahoma and/or Kansas falter down the stretch.  Missouri’s Zaire Taylor had the game-winning three-point play with five seconds remaining, but we should also note that UT’s Dexter Pittman had the best game of his career (25/7 in 23 minutes).

Other Games From Wednesday Night.

  • Indiana 68, Iowa 60. IU gets its first Big Ten win of the year (and in two months) by holding off Iowa behind Devan Dumes’ 27 pts.  Good for Tom Crean’s crew.
  • UCLA 76, USC 60. This game got ugly fast (44-21 at halftime), and UCLA coasted the rest of the way behind Alfred Aboya’s 14/12 and Josh Shipp’s 19 pts.
  • Syracuse 74, West Virginia 61. WVU is the kind of team that will cause somebody fits in the first round of the NCAAs (assuming they get there), but Syracuse had no problem tonight at home behind twin 22-pt performances from Jonny Flynn and Eric Devendorf.
  • Boston College 80, Virginia 70. UVa is officially the whipping boy of the ACC – believe it or not, BC is now tied in the loss column (3 Ls) for second place in the conference.
  • UNC-Wilmington 81, VCU 72. First big upset in the CAA tonight, as 2-9 UNCW defeated conference #2 VCU behind Chad Tomko’s 19/6/6 assts.
  • William & Mary 68, Northeastern 63. Ditto for this one, as 1-10 W&M beat 10-1 Northeastern.  Crazy night in the CAA.
  • LSU 80, Georgia 62. You know you have problems when LSU is going into your house and whipping you.  Marcus Thornton had 30 for the Bayou Tigers.
  • Cincinnati 93, Notre Dame 83. Is it safe to officially put a fork in the Irish, now losers of six in a row?  At 3-7 in the Big East, they have a herculean task ahead of them.  ‘Gody had 28/14, his 11th straight dub-dub, but Deonta Vaughn killed them for 34 pts on the other end.
  • Villanova 94, Providence 91. Villanova keeps winning the games it’s supposed to win, which is a must in this rugged conference.  Scottie Reynolds had 31/6 in this one where the Cats held on despite PC’s 17 threes.
  • Tennessee 74, Arkansas 72. JP Prince had several clutch shots down the stretch of this one to keep the Hawgs from getting their second SEC win – they really need to schedule more Big 12 teams.
  • Memphis 79, SMU 66. Memphis won its fiftieth CUSA game in a row behind Tyreke Evans’ 26 pts.  Is there a Death Watch on Matt Doherty at SMU – they’re now 6-14 (1-7 CUSA) with literally no sign of improvement (30-51 overall; 8-32 CUSA).
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